UN official urges rapid ratification of Kyoto Protocol extension

BONN, Germany, June 13 (Xinhua) -- The extension of Kyoto Protocol, the only legally binding emission reduction agreement, should be ratified by more countries and thus lay a foundation for a new global climate change treaty, said a top United Nations climate official on Friday.

The comment came as Norway on Thursday ratified an eight-year extension of the Protocol as the 11th countries to do so after the amendment was made in December 2012 in Doha, Qatar.

"I would like to congratulate Norway and the other ten nations who have stepped up to their responsibilities and ratified the amendment," said Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in a statement.

According to the rule of Kyoto Protocol, the amendment would enter into force only if it was accepted by at least three-fourth of the Protocol's 192 parties.

"I would urge others, many of whom worked diligently to secure the Doha amendment, to follow suit," said Figueres, adding that it would be an important step and milestone on the way towards a new global climate change agreement, which was scheduled to be passed in 2015 in Paris.

Due to their historical responsibilities for the high levels of green house gases emitted during their process of industrialization, developed countries were set binding obligations of emission cuts during the extended eight-year commitment period from 2013 to 2020, as in their first commitment period from 2008 to 2012.

Norway was the first country with binding emission cuts targets to ratify the second commitment period of Kyoto Protocol. Analysts said the ratification of Kyoto Protocol's amendment indicated developed countries intention to continue taking their responsibility in the new climate change agreement.

In the ongoing climate change talks in Bonn, developing countries have called on developed countries to ratify the second commitment period rapidly and to increase their pledged level of emission reductions.

"Developed countries need to take the lead. This is why Norway took on new commitments under the Kyoto Protocol. We encourage all other Parties to the Kyoto Protocol to advance their ratification process rapidly," said Tine Sundtoft, Norwegian Minister of Climate and Environment, in a statement posted by UNFCCC.