Letter: Now build on Kyoto

Share
Sir: The climate change treaty hammered out at Kyoto was a political breakthrough. For the first time, a statutory global protocol mandates industrial nations to cut emissions of the six main greenhouse gases within a definite period. Countries like the US, the world's worst climate polluter and implacably opposed to any such agreement beforehand, were forced to compromise.

But it's not nearly enough. To stabilise climate change and sea-level rise, protect vital forest and other life systems along with heavily populated coastal regions, cuts of between 60 and 80 per cent must be achieved within 50 years.

Next year is critical, for ratification and first-step implementation. The two are linked. The US Senate is threatening to veto the treaty, arguing it will be bad for the economy and that newly industrialising countries, like China and India, should agree their own cuts.

The UK has another vital leadership role to play to overcome these hurdles, by demonstrating that cutting emissions is good for the economy and people. Friends of the Earth, using EU economic forecasting models, has shown that meeting the UK's carbon dioxide reduction target of 20 per cent by 2010 can create up to 225,000 new jobs, through affordable domestic energy conservation measures, renewable supply (off-shore wind, wave, solar and combined heat and power) programmes, reducing traffic levels and building up a modern public transport network.

The Government must back the Road Traffic Reduction Bill before Parliament, and implement the policy, green taxation and public expenditure needed. As employment and profitable green technology export opportunities materialise for the UK and Europe, while emissions fall, the US and others will see it is worth following suit - or risk losing market share and competitiveness. Essential and much tougher reduction targets will then be easier to negotiate at future climate summits, using Kyoto's legal foundation.

CHARLES SECRETT

Director, Friends of the Earth

London N1

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Finance Assistant

£14000 - £16000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Due to expansion, this multi-ac...

Recruitment Genius: SEO Specialist

£21000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an opportunity for an e...

Recruitment Genius: In House Counsel - Contracts

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This leading supplier of compliance software a...

Recruitment Genius: Associate System Engineer

£24000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Associate System Engineer r...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Daily catch-up: personality is so much more important than policies

John Rentoul
Zoe Sugg, aka Zoella, with her boyfriend, fellow vlogger Alfie Deyes  

If children are obese then blame food manufacturers, not Zoella

Jane Merrick
General Election 2015: The masterminds behind the scenes

The masterminds behind the election

How do you get your party leader to embrace a message and then stick to it? By employing these people
Machine Gun America: The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons

Machine Gun America

The amusement park where teenagers go to shoot a huge range of automatic weapons
The ethics of pet food: Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?

The ethics of pet food

Why are we are so selective in how we show animals our love?
How Tansy Davies turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

How a composer turned 9/11 into her opera 'Between Worlds'

Tansy Davies makes her operatic debut with a work about the attack on the Twin Towers. Despite the topic, she says it is a life-affirming piece
11 best bedside tables

11 best bedside tables

It could be the first thing you see in the morning, so make it work for you. We find night stands, tables and cabinets to wake up to
Italy vs England player ratings: Did Andros Townsend's goal see him beat Harry Kane and Wayne Rooney to top marks?

Italy vs England player ratings

Did Townsend's goal see him beat Kane and Rooney to top marks?
Danny Higginbotham: An underdog's tale of making the most of it

An underdog's tale of making the most of it

Danny Higginbotham on being let go by Manchester United, annoying Gordon Strachan, utilising his talents to the full at Stoke and plunging into the world of analysis
Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police

Steve Bunce: Inside Boxing

Audley Harrison's abusers forget the debt he's due, but Errol Christie will always remember what he owes the police
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat