Last night, the Netherlands became one of the first European nations to commit to an extension of the Kyoto Protocol, the central issue for developing nations, especially the most vulnerable to climate change. Linda Ijmker of Friends of the Earth Netherlands explains how Holland is taking the lead in an exclusive interview with the Wonk Room. Her message to the people of the United States was simple: “don’t be scared” and “step it up”:
My message to the American people is: Act now, take leadership, commit to forty percent reductions. You can achieve it. It’s good for the economy, it creates green jobs, it creates a lot of opportunity. Don’t be scared. So, step it up.
The Netherlands also pledged to new short-term financing for countries already hit by the impacts of climate change, “over and above” its existing commitments to official development assistance (ODA) of 0.8% of its total gross national product.
Top historical polluter United States, which has no intention of ever joining the Kyoto Protocol, has put $1.2 billion in short-term financing in its 2010 budget, but is avoiding making formal international commitments. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) has called for the administration to commit to $3 billion in international climate finance in the fiscal year 2011 budget, and has released a draft bill for international climate funding.