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Naderev Saño on Kyoto, the G77 and Philippines

The G77 have set their eyes on securing a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol at the latest round of climate change meetings in Doha, Qatar this week. Naderev Saño, Commissioner of the Philippine Climate Change Commission and Deputy Head of the Philippine Delegation, talked G77 and Filipino politics exclusively with The Verb.

The main priority of the G77 is in securing a second commitment period for the Kyoto Protocol that is high in levels of ambition and free of loopholes. “We have been trying to save the Kyoto Protocol for many,

many years and this is our last chance because the first commitment period is ending by the end of December,” stated Mr. Saño.

The G77 hopes that their common position on allowing for some carry over of surplus carbon credits may encourage Japan, New Zealand and Russia, countries who have not signed on to the second commitment period, to still allow for progress.

The nearing expiration date of the first commitment period will add pressure on negotiators to ensure the continuation of the only legally binding treaty on climate change. The second commitment period is necessary to bridge the gap between the original Kyoto Protocol and Durban Platform for Enhance Action, to be negotiated by 2015. Without this intermediary stage, there is likely to be a crisis of confidence about the ability and effectiveness of the United Nations to solve climate change.

The G77 will also be pushing for increased adaptation finance and continued participation from countries such as Canada, who have formally withdrawn from the Kyoto Protocol even if a second commitment period was to be agreed upon in Doha. Saño emphasised that “We cannot contribute towards mitigation if we are not secure with our adaptation actions.”

Saño recognised that the G77 inevitably faces challenges with its diversity of 131 members states though. Many members also face domestic capacity challenges, lacking the resources to properly cover the negotiations; something of concern as there will be seven negotiating streams this year.

These challenges have already manifested in the form of a joint G77 statement and additional statements that represent the different priorities of each country. It’s this diversity that adds breadth to the G77 whilst simultaneously limits their diplomatic influence.

Closer to home Saño discussed the Philippines People’s Survival Fund; created this year with an allocated $1 billion pesos, the equivalent to $US25 million to kickstart grassroots adaptation programs. The Philippines clocked in at third in a report ranking vulnerability to climate change. Given that, Saño told The Verb that “We cannot wait for the international process to let funds flow into the Philippines.”

photo by Laura Owsianka.