Singapore ratifies global agreement on climate change
A momentous day indeed. Singapore has ratified the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol which will enter into force once 144 Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Kyoto Protocol has signed and ratified. As the name suggests, the Doha Amendment was crafted in Doha, during the 18th session of the Conference of the Parties back in 2012. On 21 December 2012, the amendment was circulated by the Secretary-General of the United Nations acting in his capacity as Depositary to all Parties to the Kyoto Protocol in accordance with Articles 20 and 21 of the Protocol. The Depositary notification can be found here.
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, which commits its Parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets.
Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”
The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco, in 2001, and are referred to as the “Marrakesh Accords.” Its first commitment period started in 2008 and ended in 2012.
The Doha Amendment includes:
- New commitments for Annex I Parties to the Kyoto Protocol who agreed to take on commitments in a second commitment period from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020;
- A revised list of greenhouse gases (GHG) to be reported on by Parties in the second commitment period; and
- Amendments to several articles of the Kyoto Protocol which specifically referenced issues pertaining to the first commitment period and which needed to be updated for the second commitment period.
Singapore is the 14th county to ratify the amendment. Legally, a further 129 countries will need to ratify the amendment before it can enter into force.
Meanwhile, countries are due to meet again in October this year for the Ad hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) before the next Conference of Parties in Lima, Peru this December. A number of documents have been uploaded by the co-chairs of the ADP to facilitate negotiations for the expected adoption of a draft text in Lima. These are:
Overview Schedule (as of 17 September)
Reflections on progress made at the fifth part of the second session of the ADP
Intended nationally determined contributions of Parties in the context of the 2015 agreement
Accelerating the implementation of enhanced pre-2020 climate action