General News - Tuesday December 18, 2007
Government disappointed with Bali talks
Thailand is disappointed with the outcome of the UN climate change conference in Bali because it failed to come up with concrete emission reduction targets, acting Natural Resources and Environment Minister Yongyuth Yuttawong said yesterday.
''[The Bali summit] is a failure,'' he told a press conference to sum up the trip by the Thai delegation to the 13th conference of the parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Bangkok would like to see industrialised nations committed to cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 25-40% by 2020, but the final text of the Bali road map does not mention specific targets.
The Bali road map, agreed by the delegates in the final minutes of the conference, initiates a two-year process of negotiations on a new set of emissions targets to replace those in the Kyoto Protocol, which will expire in 2012.
Mr Yongyuth also expressed disappointment with the US for refusing to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.
Thailand is not among the pact's Annex I countries which are legally bound to cut their greenhouse gas emissions, but it had volunteered to cut emission rates, said the minister. The country had also come up with a five-year plan, 2007-2011, on adapting to climate change, which includes the development of drought-resistant rice varieties and crop species that consume less water.
In a speech delivered at the conference, which was attended by high-level representatives from 180 countries, Mr Yongyuth called on other countries to support women's role in combating global warming.
To assert Thailand's support for women's roles in environmental protection, the government has invited HRH Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn to head the Thai delegation to the World Conservation Union conference in Spain in 2008.