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Belarus concerned over outcome of climate conference in Doha

MINSK, 20 December (BelTA) – The Foreign Ministry of Belarus has expressed concern over the outcome of the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Doha, BelTA learnt from Spokesman for the Foreign Ministry of Belarus Andrei Savinykh.

“The outcome of the Doha conference is a source of concern. We agree with Russia and Ukraine that the necessary procedures were not duly observed during the conference. We believe that the decisions adopted at the session will considerably change the implementation rules of the Kyoto Protocol. The situation requires an adequate response, balanced and reasoned actions, including in the context of the interests of our country,” Andrei Savinykh said.

“We attach utmost importance to international cooperation aimed at combating climate change, we are interested in balanced and efficient multilateral climate mechanisms meeting the interests of all the states, including countries in transition,” the Foreign Ministry representative said.

The Belarusian delegation took part in the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC and the 8th session of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol that was held at the Qatar National Convention Centre in Doha on 26 November - 7 December. The Belarusian delegation included representatives of the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection and a group of experts.

The major objective of the conference was to review the many years of negotiations to develop long-term cooperation instruments to combat climate change. The conference also aimed to implement a legally binding treaty to address climate change that was agreed upon during the 2011 conference in Durban. The terms of the future treaty are to be defined by 2015 and become effective in 2020.

The Foreign Ministry of Russia released an official statement saying that the Doha round of negotiations fulfilled its task in general; however, the final stage of the conference was marked by gross violation of the procedures, which delivers a serious blow to the multilateral efforts to ensure solid and fair solution of the climate change issues.

At the final stage of the conference the delegations of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus prepared a joint proposal regarding the Kyoto rules in a bid to reach a compromise. However, the governing officials did not include the proposal into the agenda. Instead, they put forward for approval a package of documents that disregarded the interests of Russia, Ukraine and Belarus. More than that, Russia’s timely and clear objection regarding the violation of the procedure was defiantly ignored by the Qatari chairmanship, and despite the protests the package of documents was approved allegedly by consensus.

The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change came into effect in 2005. It aimed to commit developed countries to reduce emissions and to use market mechanisms to ensure the implementation of the document. The first period of the commitments on the protocol will be over on 31 December 2012. In Doha the participants of the conference voted for the extension of the validity of the Kyoto Protocol until 2020.