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Kyoto Protocol: Commitments and Reality

International policy has recognized the urgent need of global emission reduction for protection of the Earth's climate. After long and difficult negotiations in 1997, the contracting parties of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change have agreed upon the Kyoto Protocol. It lays down that the industrial countries listed in the Annex-I of the UN framework should reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 % until 2012 compared to the reference year 1990. On the other hand it can be expected that most of the developing and emerging countries will drastically heighten their emissions. Therefore, the compromises of the Kyoto Protocol can only reduce the increase velocity of the greenhouse gas concentration in atmosphere.
Since 1990 the emissions of the USA shot up so much that it is nearly impossible to reach the Kyoto emission goal. From this background USA has declared not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Since USA are responsible for a large amount of the global greenhouse gas emissions this is a sour setback for the international climatic protection efforts. Nevertheless, most of the other Annex-I countries want to keep the Kyoto protocol alive.
The following table shows the emission limitations and reduction commitments of the contracting parties as well as the carbon dioxide emission change during the last years.



Reduction commitments of the Kyoto protocol and emissions development
Party Reduction
commitments
Emissions
1990 in Mt
Emissions
2000 in Mt
Emissions
2008 in Mt
Change
1990-2008
EU -8 % 4 245 4 114 3 970 -6.5 %
Liechtenstein, Monaco, Switzerland -8 % 53 52 54 +0.5 %
Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithunia, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia -8 % 814 469 487 -40.2 %
USA -7 % 6 112 7 008 6 925 +13.3 %
Japan -6 % 1 269 1 344 1 282 +1.0 %
Canada -6 % 592 717 734 +24.1 %
Poland, Hungary -6 % 679 467 469 -30.9 %
Croatia -5 % 31 26 31 -0.9 %
New Zealand 0 % 61 70 75 +22.8 %
Russian Federation 0 % 3 322 2 025 2 230 -32.9 %
Ukraine 0 % 928 393 428 -53.9 %
Belarus 0 % 140 79 91 -35.1 %
Norway +1 % 50 53 54 +8.0 %
Australia +8 % 418 496 550 +31.4%
Iceland +10 % 3 4 5 +42.9 %
Total -5,2 % 18 717 17 318 17 383 -7.1 %
Source: UNFCCC, these values refer to carbon dioxide equivalents excluding land-use change and forestry


Emissions in 1990 and reduction commitments in the EU
Emissions in 1990 and reduction commitments in the European Union


© 10/2010 by Volker Quaschning

Solaranlagen, Photovoltaik, Solarthermie Imprint (German)