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The state of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations: After the fourth UNFCCC Conference of the Parties (COP4) in Buenos Aires 2-13 November 1998

Asbjørn Torvanger

The fourth Conference of the Parties (COP4) under the Climate Convention (UNFCCC) took place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from 2–13 November 1998. Summing up the conference, the main impression is that the climate process is moving ahead, but the speed is slower than many had anticipated and hoped. There has been progress on some issues, but only in terms on agreeing on the agenda and timetable for further negotiations. No decisions will be made at COP5, but postponed until COP6 in October 2000. Given the complicated and extensive agenda ahead, a lot of hard work remains before most of the "open brackets" from the Kyoto Protocol are filled. A large fraction of business, both in Europe, Asia and the U.S., seem to have changed their strategy from slowing down the climate process to a green strategy due to future market possibilities that are likely to arise in green technologies and project and quota markets. Argentina and Kazakhstan announced that they would take on voluntary commitments for the first target period 2008-12. Argentina will announce its commitment at COP5 in October 1999. Also interesting was the American signing of the Kyoto Protocol on 12 November as the 60th Party. So far two countries, Fiji and Antigua and Barbuda, have ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

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  • År: 1998
  • Språk: English
  • Serie/Rapport: CICERO Policy Note;1998:05