Kyoto Protocol chairman warns of uncertainty at climate talks

10:15, October 10, 2010      

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UNFCCC official addresses the last plenary session during the UN Climate Change Conference in Tianjin, north China, Oct. 9, 2010. The six-day conference, which wound up on Saturday in Tianjin, is the final meeting before the United Nations Climate Summit to be held in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of this year. (Xinhua/Yue Yuewei)

The second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, the international accord to cut greenhouse gas emission, is facing uncertainty as the fourth round of climate talks draw to a close in Tianjin, China, Saturday.

"As of today, we are not yet close to making a final decision on the second commitment period. There is still some work to be done on that," said John Ashe, chairman of the Kyoto Protocol negotiating group in an exclusive interview with Xinhua Friday.

The Kyoto Protocol, which initially came into force in 2005, legally obliges more than 40 developed countries and European Union to reduce their greenhouse-gas emissions.

It stipulates that developed countries should cut their emissions by 5.2 percent on average from 1990 levels in the first commitment period from 2008 to 2012.

The goal was expected to be achieved before the deadline on Dec. 31, 2012, said Ashe.

However, the second commitment had not yet made any progress.

"The complex process we're involved in, it is never smooth, it is never easy. But it has largely been uneventful, that is also a good sign," he said.

Although most developed countries had made pledges, negotiations on the second commitment period were slow and hard.

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