The Kyoto Protocol

The  amendment  to the treaty on United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, called Kyoto Protocol,  aims at cutting global emissions of Green House Gases (GHG). The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in temperature of 1.4°C to 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. Current estimates indicate that even if successfully and completely implemented, the Kyoto Protocol will reduce that increase by somewhere between 0.02 °C and 0.28 °C by the year 2050 (source: Nature, October 2003).

Objectives: Kyoto is intended to assign mandatory  targets for the reduction of global emissions of greenhouse gas to signatory nations. The objective is the “stabi-lisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system” UNFCCC-2.

Status: The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997, opened for signature on March 16, 1998, and closed on March 15, 1999. The agreement came into force on February 16, 2005 following ratification by Russia on November 18, 2004. As of July 2006, a total of 164 countries have ratified the agreement (representing over 61.6% of emissions from Annex I countries). Notable exceptions include the United States and Australia. Other countries, like India and China, which have ratified the protocol, are not required to reduce carbon emissions under the present agreement.

Author: gktoday

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