Kyoto Protocol Comes into Effect

Politics | February 16, 2005, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
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The Kyoto Protocol, which aims to slow global warming, came into force, seven years after being agreed.

Some 141 countries, including Bulgaria, that account for about 55% of greenhouse gas emissions - have ratified the treaty, which pledges to cut these emissions by 5.2% by 2012.

However, the US and Australia have abstained for economic reasons, and developing countries such as China and India are outside its framework.

The treaty has come into force 90 days after Russia's crucial decision to ratify it in November 2004. Russia's entry was vital, because for the treaty to work, it has to be ratified by nations accounting for at least 55% of greenhouse gas emissions. This target was only met after Russia joined.

The protocol, which became a legally binding treaty at midnight New York time on February 16, targets carbon dioxide and five other gases that can trap heat in the atmosphere, and are blamed for rising global temperatures that are melting glaciers.

It commits the industrialized countries who have ratified it to reduce the amount of six greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulphur hexafluoride (SF6) by 5.2 percent of 1990 levels during the five-year period 2008-2012.
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