Article by Guest Contributor: Colleen Marie Gibson

On day two of COP16, the Japanese delegation announced that it does not intend to extend the existing Kyoto protocol.  The protocol was enacted in Japan on 21 March 1994, and began its reporting period of the framework from 2008-2012. There are over 194 countries participating in the protocol, and an extension needs to be agreed upon by participating countries to continue with the framework that has already been developed.

If an extension is not agreed upon, there is considerable concern over the fate of the credits for the UN Clean Development Mechanism.  Currently the credits are traded with an estimated value of $2.7 billion.  This funding provides financing for developing nations to use towards there renewable energy projects.

Japan believes a brand new agreement needs to be made because the Kyoto protocol only binds 37 developed countries.  They want a world treaty to include The United States which never ratified the treaty, and China which isn’t currently legally bound to the agreement because it’s a developing country. It is believed that Japan has an alternative plan that they want to implement which would bind China and the US to the agreement.   The international environmental community will have their eyes turned towards Japan over the next two weeks to see if an extension agreement can be met.

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