The role of „developing countries“ in the climate regime. Germanwatch Working Paper No. 16

A summary of opinions collected by Andrea Rück and Christoph Bals

March 1999
(minor amendments made in October 1999)


Even without formal commitments, developing countries are already taking significant steps in climate protection (e.g. China's carbon savings between 1980 and 1990 amounted to more than half of Germany's emissions in 1995) and these measures can indeed serve to promote socio-economic development as well as to prevent further ecological damage.

The equity concept is regarded as essential for a fair global climate regime. However, it is defined in a variety of different ways. Equal entitlements of humanity to use up resources is mentioned, as well as the impossibility of totally equal per-capita-emissions. Also, equity refers to the basis of different emissions (either historic or actual) between the countries in some statements, as well as to differences in emissions within the countries in others.

On the Clean Development Mechanism, there is an even wider range of opinions, from the approval of this mechanism to the vehement refusal. Unclarity regarding the implementation of the CDM and the need for further discussion is emphasized.

A crucial point is the participation of developing countries in the climate regime. There is overwhelming agreement that new commitments cannot be expected from developing countries unless the Annex I countries prove that they will implement their own domestical commitments first. However, there are some voices promoting participation of developing countries for a time beyond the 1st commitment period.

The range of suggestions for future action towards socio-economic development while protecting the climate is broad. It encompasses the emphasis on the implementation of certain articles of the Convention / the Protocol and thus working within the process on the one hand, as well as the call for getting out of the process on the other.
Within the climate negotiation process, Articles 4.2, 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention and Article 12.8 of the Kyoto-Protocol are mentioned as important bases for implementation. Outside this process the empowerment of civil society, the change in consumption patterns and the discussion with industry are seen as means of progressing. The role of NGOs is hereby seen as crucial, because there is a great potential in networking between the Southern and the Northern NGOs, educating civil society and business and combining local community activities with international climate and development politics. NGOs are thus called to change their position from reactive to proactive, which - in the extremest opinion - would lead to the NGOs leaving the climate negotiation process, entirely.


The question of global climate change is usually being discussed in an ecological context. Germanwatch, however, considers the climate change question mainly under development aspects. While industrialized countries are the main emitters of CO2 worldwide, the so-called "developing countries" are the main victims of the effects caused by greenhouse gases. Events like Hurricane Mitch in Central America, floodings in Bangladesh and China or droughts in Africa show the disastrous effects that catastrophic weather events can have on countries which do not have the ressources and the money to cope with it. Global climate change would therefore above all affect developing countries.

For Germanwatch as North-South initiative the climate change topic is a main working field. We are also stimulating dialogue processes with other non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on the topic:

  • Germanwatch is part of a working group which is discussing equity-questions in the context of the UN-climate change negotiations.
  • in the German Forum on Environment & Development (forum of environmental and developmental NGOs) Germanwatch has organized workshops to discuss these questions between German NGOs.
  • Germanwatch initiated a "Debate 21"-process with its partner organization WEED in which the climate change question among other topics is being discussed with international NGOs including representatives from developing countries, aimed at identifying steering mechanisms for international environmental, financial and trade processes.

At the same time Germanwatch is in a deep dialogue with business NGOs and companies who also deal with the climate issue.

For these national as well as international dialogue processes (and of course for everyone interested) this working paper can serve as a background paper to get an insight into some of the opinions of representatives from the South.Andrea Rück, Bonn, March 1999


This summary of opinions on climate change issues in developing countries gives an overview of the different Southern (and some relevant Northern) perspectives on questions posed in the process of the ongoing UN-climate negotiations.

We sent out questionnaires to representatives of Southern NGOs or Northern organizations working on developing countries´ climate issues, and we held interviews with Southern representatives during the UN-climate negotiation sessions in Bonn in June 1998. The answers are presented either in quotation marks (if they were given orally) or summarized (if written material was evaluated) under the following headings:

  1. Which climate protection measures have been taken by developing countries?
  2. How can climate protection promote socio-economic development?
  3. What role should the equity argument play?
  4. Can the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) be a useful tool for socio-economic development?
  5. Which commitments, if any, do you think developing countries could suggest for themselves?
  6. The US are obviously making their ratification dependent on the participation of developing countries in the climate regime. How would you define a "meaningful participation" of developing countries?
  7. What can be done in the future - within the climate negotiation process - outside this process to promote socio-economic development while protecting the climate?

1 - Which climate protection measures have been taken by developing countries?

Agus Sari (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley):
"Developing countries are already becoming more energy efficient as can be shown in many examples:
China implemented subsidies - without them they would have reached much higher emissions by now.
- In Indonesia there is a "blue sky project" to reduce urban pollution in Jakarta.
- Thailand operates very successful energy efficient projects.
- Kenya already has a lot of solar energy.
- India installed the largest renewable energy systems in the world."

Marcelo Mautone Di Napoli (AAC Uruguay):

  • Between 1990 and 1995 14 key developing countries reduced their fossil fuel subsidies by 45%.
  • China has reduced coal subsidies from 37 to 29% and oil subsidies from 55 to 2%. Increased energy efficiency in China, including expanded use of cogeneration, has caused the growth rate of their emissions to be 40% lower than it would have been otherwise.
  • Mexico, India and Brazil have launched specific energy efficiency and renewable energy programs.

World Resources Institute-Report by Walter Reid and Jose Goldemberg (July 1997): "Are Developing Countries doing as much as Industrialized Countries to slow climate change?":
They emphasize that even without commitments to limit emissions, developing countries are already taking significant steps to rein in greenhouse gas emissions.
For example China has reached most significant carbon savings over the past decades. Although annual carbon emissions grew by 228 MtC between 1980 and 1990, emissions would have been 155 MtC higher in 1990 without the energy efficiency gains achieved over this period.
Also India, Mexico, South Africa, Saudi Arabia and Brazil cut fossil fuel subsidies significantly within the past six years.

Summary Report of the international workshops on "A new initiative for North-South dialog on climate change":
This report summarizes good practices in climate protection also promote sustainable development:

  • A low-emission housing program in the townships of Western Cape Province in South Africa as a joint venture of an American engineering firm and a consortium of South African companies, for example, lowers residential energy costs, provides construction jobs for local residents and reduces residential sector GHG emissions.
  • Waste collection and waste treatment through composting in three cities in Cameroon reduces methane emissions by about 7000 tons per year and increases agricultural yields through the use of the produced fertilizer.
  • Sugar cane is used in the Brazilian fuel alcohol program for generating electricity and producing car and truck fuel. This practice reduces carbon dioxide emissions by replacing oil-derived gasoline and increases electricity efficiency. It is part of a national electricity efficiency program by the Brazilian government and a national electricity company. Other parts of the program include energy saving through improved water pumps and wastewater systems, efficient refrigerators and compact fluorescent lightbulbs.
  • In a tree planting and forest management program in rural Mexico, local arboculture is combined with agricultural research and extension services from the national university in order to develop heat, salt and drought-resistant species. This reduces soil erosion and promotes carbon sequestration in the soil.
  • In India, a new house construction technology using compressed earth bricks reduces GHG emissions of the construction sector which is the major driver of Indian GHG emissions.
  • The rural electrification program near Dhaka in Bangladesh uses a system of solar photovoltaic cells for the whole village.
  • A national program of demand-side management in the Thai power sector has reduced the rate of growth in electricity demand significantly. It is coordinated by a government agency with strong support from local utilities and NGOs.

2 - How can climate protection promote socio-economic development?

Atiq Rahman (Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies):
"Climate protection is already happening and is promoting the socio-economic development in developing countries". (See chapter 1- Summary Report of the internat. workshops on "A new initiative for North-South dialog on climate change")

Agus Sari (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley):
"Climate protection can promote socio-economic development everywhere, not only in developing countries. We can have a look at the different sectors in Indonesia:
- Energy sector: oil is a source of greenhouse gases and oil exploitation disrupts socio-economic structure. Thus, less use of oil would lower greenhouse gas emissions and benefit the socio-economic structures.
- Electricity: it is difficult to electrify small islands - decentralized sources of energy would be feasible on small islands because the amount of fuel needed for transport might be higher than the fuel to be used on the islands; there is already some solar, wind and geothermal energy.
- Transportation: Jakarta is one of the most polluted cities in the world; reducing carbon dioxide through less use of cars would reduce the local air pollutants which is an extra benefit for the people and the local air quality.
- Forestry: deforestation and land-use change was responsible for two thirds of the greenhouse gas emissions in 1988; it also ruined local social economic structures (indigenous peoples). Thus, reducing deforestation would benefit local people and promote the socio-economic well-being."

Grace Akumu (Climate Network Africa):
"Climate protection and socio-economic development are one and the same thing and the African countries have been doing it for a long time. There are lots of projects which are promoting both. However, it is very important that the developing countries are allowed to design their projects themselves! It is included in the climate regime (esp. the financial mechanism documents) that the projects should be country-driven, but the industrialized countries do not respect that. This problem concerns all the GEF-projects and it is the reason why they get stuck. It is important that the industrialized countries respect the principle of country-drivenness of the projects! The delegates of the North have to take up positive attitudes towards this principle and implement it in their countries/governments/ministries, as the developing country delegates alone can only push it to a certain extent."

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"Climate protection in developing countries is happening for the sake of the people and not necessarily for the implementation of the Convention. Results of local activities regarding more energy efficiency, higher quality of life and social development automatically have positive effects on the global environment and the climate. So climate protection can be seen as an effect resulting from development.
But the development model has to be reviewed to prevent the developing countries from making the same mistakes the industrialized countries have made. The industrialized countries have to review their energy policies and the developing countries have to review their own."

Eduardo Sanhueza (CAN-Latin America):
"The economic and technological order in the North and the South differ widely.
Thus, climate protection is not an end in itself for developing countries, but can be used as a means for closing the technological gap between the North and the South. This can happen through technology transfer and the Clean Development Mechanism.
And, as the main source of emissions in Latin America is the change of land-use, CDM-projects should also include these aspects."

William Moomaw, Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Kevin Gallagher, Tobin Freid (Conference report of the TUFTS University Conference "Where do we go from Kyoto?", 27 February 1998):
- Technologies have to be utilized and policies implemented which significantly alter current patterns of energy consumption.
- The developing countries will need assistance through channeling of public funds and private investment.
- In newly industrialized countries there exists enourmous potential for constructing new, highly efficient electric power stations and industrial facilities.
- The old, inefficient capital stock in redeveloping transitional economies of Eastern Europe has to be replaced.
With the introduction of new, efficient energy supply and energy using equipment the economies will become competitive with already industrialized nations and the carbon dioxide emissions will be lowered.

3 - What role should the equity argument play?

Atiq Rahman (Bangladesh Centre for Advaced Studies):
"All people have equal rights. Thus, the entitlements of humanity to emit CO2 and use up resources are equal. The C-uptake capability of the earth has to be measured. If we know how much CO2 the atmosphere can take we can determine how much we can produce without disturbing the equilibrium - this number then has to be divided equally.
Most people (delegates of industrialized countries) understand this, but unfortunately do not act accordingly. It is like 'Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde': at home they teach their children that all humans are equal, but when they go out to the climate negotiations they become advocates of the opposite.
We all have to reduce equally - and the poorest are already reducing the most. Also, they are not using up all their environmental space."

Eduardo Sanhueza (CAN-Latin America):
"The emissions should be reduced according to the 'Contraction and Convergence' model.
To achieve this we have to define a path from the grandfathering approach towards equal per-capita-emissions.
However, the per-capita-emissions will not be totally equal, as the environmental space is not equal throughout the world. There are so many different zones with different conditions, the earth is not homogenous. Also, in an unjust and inequal world it is very unlikely that just and equal emission rights can be realised. But, let us be idealistic anyways!
Inequity within the countries is also a big problem when dealing with this approach, as parallel to the North-South divide there is also a divide within the countries: only a certain percentage of the population (of developing countries) is responsible for emissions.
The time frame for achieving the convergence is difficult to assess because it is difficult to look further ahead than 25 years as things are very dynamic and might change."

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"Equity should be one of the basic principles in the climate debate.
We now have a system of inequity between the countries and within them. And this gap has to be reduced."

Agus Sari (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley):
"The emissions should be allocated on the basis of equity, which means that the developing countries should be given the same time lag period as the industrialized countries for acting towards reducing their emissions after having reached their equal share of emissions (see chapter 5 - Do you see commitments...).
As emissions are generated by the activities of rich people in the countries, the fight is not only between rich and poor countries, but between rich and poor people. Rich Indonesians should commit as well as rich Germans.
To reach this goal we have to increase the role of civil society and form a global network of civil society. Within the climate negotiation process all we can expect is to reach equitable national allocation."

Centre for Science and Environment, India:
In the trading regime we need property rights of buyers and sellers, especially for the developing countries as they are being asked to "assist" the industrialized countries in meeting carbon reduction targets, but have no framework of rights themselves.
The atmosphere is the common property of humankind, so we need a framework that is built on the concept of equal per capita entitlements.
The developing countries must insist that this commodification of the atmosphere - without an appropriate framework of rights - is like the Western colonial appropriation. This is clearly immoral and unacceptable.

4 - Can the Clean Development Mechanism be a useful tool for socio-economic development?

Eduardo Sanhueza (CAN-Latin America):
"The CDM is an opportunity to close the technological gap between the North and the South. CDM projects should also include forestry/land use projects."

Grace Akumu (Climate Network Africa):
"Yes, but

  • it has to be implemented correctly, according to the national project priorities; then it can be a solution. Otherwise it will backfire.
  • you cannot discuss CDM outside Article 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention, they have to be connected, as people who did not cause the climate change are already dying because of it.

It is still very early to give a statement on the CDM, much more discussion is needed. There is a need for workshops and seminars in the North and the South on this topic before COP 4. In Nairobi there will be a workshop in July 1998 with representatives from the government, the private sector and NGOs.
The G77-paper on the CDM contains useful ideas for discussion."

Centre for Science and Environment, India:
The CDM is as unclear as it is possibly unclean.
The purpose of CDM is to "assist" industrialized countries to meet their emissions reduction commitment. Therefore it is designed to help the rich and not to assist the poor to achieve sustainable development.
The CDM is a clear market-based instrument. So the key issue is price, and the interest of the North is to buy the emissions as cheaply as possible. There is no additional aid or technology transfer promised. The US, for example, plan to buy as much as 93% of its emission units at the cheapest cost in the market place (US-$ 14-23 per ton of carbon equivalent when trading with developing countries compared to US-$ 125 per ton for domestic action!). Thus, it is important to realize that the CDM is a way for the industrialized countries to meet their targets by investing in projects in developing countries without changing anything domestically!
It is also important for the South to realize that the cheap option that it is offering the North today will cause heavy costs in the future. Developing countries will use up their cheap options for reducing emissions and not even get credits for it in the global balance sheet. And when the South reaches high levels of energy efficiency and the cost of curtailing emissions becomes high domestically, the North will have no economic incentive any more to invest in these countries. And the developing countries themselves, once they are taking on commitments, will have to take the tough, expensive, route.
The biggest problem with this trading system is the absence of a property rights framework which is essential for market based systems. It is vital that a clear system of entitlements is set up so that the market can function with property rights clearly defined.

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"South-East Asian countries are not interested in the CDM; Malaysia is not interested and especially my organisation is not interested. Working on the details of this and other mechanisms means agreeing and adapting to the whole negotiation process."

5 - Do you see commitments that developing countries could suggest for themselves?

Atiq Rahman (Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies):
"We cannot talk about commitments of developing countries right now. We have to wait how the 1st commitment period is implemented by the Annex I countries - then we can talk about commitments for developing countries.
The South is already acting in climate protection, so they are already commiting themselves, but no one in the North is acknowledging that. In Bangladesh, for example, there is a whole village solar-generated. Bangladesh also is a net sink for CO2.
There is this murder example: if I murder someone today I do not want to be punished for it - but you might murder someone tomorrow, so you should be punished for this today. Isn't this ridiculous?"

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"We cannot deal with this question until the industrialized countries show proof that they are reducing their emissions domestically. They have to show that they are serious about reducing, which means that the cuts have to be actual domestic cuts - and are not reached by trading or hot air.
The developing countries should be careful not to make the mistakes of the industrialized countries, therefore they should examine their energy policies and technologies, and for example not go into coal but instead use gas."

Grace Akumu (Climate Network Africa):
"Developing countries are already responsible through the Convention.
First the North has to show progress! The USA are crazy - how can someone have the guts to tell others to take on commitments if they themselves don't take their commitments seriously? They have only done inventories so far.
Those who pollute and emit now should act according to their commitments now. The developing countries are potential emitters in the future - so let us talk about their commitments then, we cannot discuss this now.
And all the developing countries are net sinks anyways."

Mitsubishi Hayakawa (CASA, Japan):
You need to consider climate change issues from the viewpoint of historical emissions to get a clear picture of who has how much responsibility. From this, we can conclude that developed countries have to have a significant overall reduction before we ask developing countries to reduce their emissions. The future commitment for developing countries should, of course, be relevant to their historical emissions as well. Further commitment of developed countries should include financial aid and technology transfer for the developing countries.

Agus Sari (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley):
"In the long term, there should be commitments for the developing countries and therefore there will be commitments. However, we have to talk about it on the basis of equity. This means that the developing countries should be given their equitable allocation of allowance and also they should be given the same lag period as the industrialized countries for acting towards reducing their emissions after reaching their equal share of emissions.
We can take the US as an example. By the 1940s they had already used up their fair share of emissions allowance (if allocated equitably) and should have started to limit them. Now, after 50 years, they commited to reduce by 7%. Thus, to establish a fair and equitable climate regime, the developing countries should be asked for commitments also 50 years after reaching their equal share. Ideally, the end of the 21st century or the beginning of the 22nd century would be fair as starting point for their commitments. Thus, there should be no commitments now, not in 2010, not for the 2nd commitment period, but maybe in 2050 as earliest date for developing country commitments."

Eduardo Sanhueza (CAN-Latin America):
"There should be participation of developing countries for the 2nd commitment period.
And the overall aim should be the Contraction and Convergence approach."

Mirna Marin (delegate of Honduras) and Julio Curruchiche (delegate of Guatemala):
"The main emphasis for developing countries, or specifically for Central America, in the climate regime is on receiving funds for the mitigation of the climate change effects on their countries.
Once the national communications are analysed we will start to negotiate and bring the bill!
As Central America is a region with high natural variability and biodiversity and therefore has a great value as a genetic bank for species, the effects of climate change are tremendous and disastrous. The problem is that people at the negotiation tables only see the short-term effects of climate change, they do not see the long-term effects like species loss. The destruction is already taking place in the developing countries and the actors are the developed countries.
The key should be additionality to address the cost to adapt to the climate change that is taking place. The region is already losing agricultural land."

Centre for Science and Environment, India:
The threat of some countries taking on voluntary commitments is another innovative method of tightening the noose around the necks of the developing countries. This divide and rule would break the rank and force a "ratchet" effect into place. The model set out by the World Trade Organisation and its protracted haggling about membership to China is being cited as the way ahead.
In fact, the developing countries must start emitting more to get a good share of their assigned amount of the atmosphere. This refers to statements made by officials from UNCTAD who are suggesting that the target set on the baseline can be viewed as a country's entitlement share of the atmosphere and that the developing countries should use this opportunity to increase their projected emission targets. This means that if they emit more, they can have higher reduction targets which gives them higher "assigned amounts" which can be interpreted (according to the UNCTAD officials) as assignments for entitlements over the atmosphere.

6 - The US are obviously making their ratification dependent on the participation of developing countries in the climate regime. How would you define a "meaningful participation" of developing countries?

Atiq Rahman (Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies):
"You cannot have meaningful participation between systematic criminals (Annex I parties) and innocent people. This can only happen between responsible people. Thus, the Annex I parties need to show progress first. They have to demonstrate their commitments by changing from saying 'this is what we will do' to 'this is what we have done'!"
''The US has the full intention of jeopardizing the process. The US NGOs have failed to prevent that. The only way to tell the US to move is to get our act together. The EU should be more serious and stronger, their standing is much less than in Kyoto."

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"First there has to be meaningful reduction for the developed countries, they have to set the example first, - then there can be meaningful participation for the developing countries, they can follow the example only then.
No participation of the developing countries unless the Annex I parties move! The Annex I parties do not necessarily have to reach all their targets, but they have to show actual cuts and especially actual domestic cuts. Results reached by trading hot air cannot be acknowledged."

Grace Akumu (Climate Network Africa):
"This question is an insult to the developing countries!
We can play with this idea for intellectual exercise, but it is not the most immediate problem. The most immediate problem is the implementation for Annex I parties. If the developed countries are implementing the convention and the protocol there will be room for discussion in the developing countries to prepare for doing something in the future."
''The EU doesn't know how to stand the pressure of the USA regarding the commitments of developing countries."

Centre for Science and Environment, India:
The US asked for something vague and undefined as "meaningful participation from developing countries" to make the developing countries define what they can do, so that the US could easily dismiss it as "not meaningful enough". If the US had proposed something, most likely, everyone would have opposed. Therefore, it was best to leave it undefined, but threatening. Now the pressure is on the developing countries, and their non-participation will be seen as holding up ratification by the US. And, as everyone knows that without the US the Kyoto-Protocol is meaningless, every effort will be made to bind the "reluctant" developing countries in the interest of "all of us".

Mitsubishi Hayakawa (CASA, Japan):
Developed countries have to have a significant overall reduction before developing countries are asked to reduce their emissions. However, not only developed countries', but also developing countries' participation is crucial to prevent climate change. The earlier developing countries start, the more effective in both measure and cost will the prevention of climate change be. If you only look at the need of an urgent action to deal with this issue, developing countries' participation in an early timing should be taken into consideration. However, it is not possible to do this under the current situation as the Annex I's reduction commitments in the Kyoto protocol are not enough to convince the developing countries.

7 - What can be done in the future
- within the climate negotiation process
- outside this process
to promote socio-economic development while protecting the climate?

Atiq Rahman (Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies):

  • "Article 12.8 of the Kyoto-Protocol and Article 4.2 of the Convention are there and have to be implemented. The contradiction comes in when people find excuses.
  • Discussion with the industry is important, it is already beginning.
  • A linkage between the Agenda 21 and the climate negotiations has to be established, collaboration is essential. People and communities must be brought into the process! There have been attempts in Berlin and at other occasions, but unfortunately the momentum was lost. The closest alternative are the NGOs which are participating in the process.
  • Consumer patterns must be changed, maybe consumers can be organized in a campaign. We have to raise public awareness, also the policy awareness, to get the message to the community.
  • Eco-labelling, a C-tax and energy-tax could be possibilities.
  • We cannot change the world with the climate process, but it gives us an opportunity to move forward. As Cutajar has stated in his speech in Bonn, the Kyoto-Protocol was the most important economic instrument of the UN since 1948. Thus, the climate process could be an early primitive embryo of global governance and a global society.
  • The NGOs have to change their position from a reactive to a proactive one."

Grace Akumu (Climate Network Africa):
"The Articles 4.8 and 4.9 of the Convention have to be implemented.
Adaptation measures are very important in this context. Many deaths and destruction have already happened in Africa due to El Niño and other climate related problems. However, Africa does not have many resources to address these impacts. Therefore, it is important that adaptation measures are used to help Africa and the developing countries to mitigate these impacts. To achieve this, the Northern governments could work with their private sectors through tax incentives. To repair the infrastructure of the telecommunication system, for example, the German government could provide tax incentives for Siemens under Article 4.8 and 4.9 to carry out the projects. The role of the NGOs would be to educate business and create political will for these implementations."

Agus Sari (Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley):
"As the problem is one between rich and poor people within the countries, we have to increase the role of civil society and form a network of civil society. (v.3- What role should the equity argument play?) For NGOs this means capacity building, raising public awareness and exposing people to other people in the world."

Misubishi Hayakawa (CASA, Japan):
Environmental NGOs in developing countries have to be strengthened and they have to be provided with information through NGO-networking between Northern and Southern NGOs. (For this reason they established an "Atmosphere Action Network in East Asia").
Also, the difference in values and opinions between North and South NGOs should be discussed to create understanding. This would be the most effective way to reach solutions.

Gurmit Singh (CAN-South East Asia):
"The only useful act is to get out of the process!
The Kyoto-Protocol will not stop the increase in emissions. Emissions will still exceed the ecological limits even if the Kyoto-Protocol is implemented correctly. Thus, the Kyoto-Protocol - and the Convention - are failed attempts in the climate debate.
The US dictates the whole process and the Convention and the Protocol can be seen as US multilateral agreements. The US Senate is trying to run the Convention - we should call their bluff!
A suggestion for strategy is to isolate the US and not adapt to their politics. Japan and the EU should push more for their interests as they together would be stronger. The Convention and the Protocol can work without the US, so does the Basel Convention.
We have to prevent a US-dominated agreement, even if it means writing off the Protocol!
Many NGOs seem to have become bureaucrats, they act like the delegates and the policy makers and have lost their goal (didn't we want to save the environment?). NGOs have to act again like real NGOs, that is why they should leave the process!"

List of Contributors


Akumu, Grace Climate Network Africa
Curruchiche, Julio Delegate of Guatemala
Hayakawa, Mitsubishi CASA, Japan
Marin, Mirna Delegate of Honduras
Mautone Di Napoli, Marcelo  AAC Uruguay
Rahman, Atiq Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies; former coordinator of CAN-South Asia
Sanhueza, Eduardo CAN-Latin America
Sari, Agus Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley; former coordinator of CAN-South East Asia
Singh, Gurmit CAN-South East Asia


Centre for Science and Environment, India:

  • Statements on "Politics in the post-Kyoto world" and "The atmospheric rights of all people on earth" by Anil Agarwal and Sunita Narain

World Resources Institute, USA:

  • Report on "Are developing countries already doing as much as industrialized countries to slow climate change?" by Walter V. Reid and Jose Goldemberg, July 1997

Workshop and Conference Reports:

  • Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies, Bangladesh, and Pacific Institute for Studies in Development, Environment and Security, USA: Summary Report of the international workshops on "A new initiative for North-South dialog on climate change"
  • William Moomaw, Kilaparti Ramakrishna, Kevin Gallagher, Tobin Freid: TUFTS University Conference Report on "Where do we go from Kyoto?", February 1998


Voices from the South comment on climate and development issues. - Bei den internationalen Klimaverhandlungen im Juni 1998 führte Andrea Rück Interviews mit Süd-VertreterInnen zu der Rolle von „Entwicklungsländern“ im Klimaregime durch. Das Arbeitspapier faßt die Ergebnisse dieser Interviews (in englischer Sprache) zusammen.

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