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Kyoto Countries Below Reduction Target, But Within Striking Distance

The industrialized countries that have ratified the 1997 Kyoto Protocol are tracking to a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of a combined 3.5% below 1990 levels during the first commitment period (2008–2012), according to the acting head of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Richard Kinley.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, 34 industrialized countries and the EEC are required to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. A total of 160 Parties to the Protocol have now ratified the treaty, which entered into force on 16 February 2005.

With the help of additional measures and the use of Kyoto market-based mechanisms, they will as a group be able to reach their agreed Kyoto reduction targets.

—Richard Kinley

In addition to the direct reduction of emissions, the Kyoto Protocol allows countries to meet their emission targets through the Kyoto mechanisms. For example, the clean development mechanism allows industrialized countries to generate emission credits or allowances through investment in emission reductions projects in developing countries.

The currently known project potential of the clean development mechanism is estimated to generate over 700 million tonnes of emission reductions by the end of 2012, the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This is almost as much as the annual greenhouse gas emissions of Canada.

—Christine Zumkeller, Coordinator of the Project-based Mechanisms Program

According to reports by industrialized countries submitted to the UNFCCC secretariat at the beginning of 2006, many countries have already made progress in putting in place policies and enacting relevant legislative, regulatory and institutional frameworks for achieving their Kyoto commitments.

Setting these actions in motion will be the success of Kyoto, but more is needed. The implementation of the Protocol will help to drive the technology innovation needed to further bring down emissions.

—Richard Kinley

The most recent report by the US Department of Energy shows that US emissions of greenhouse gases have increased by 15.8% over 1990 levels. (Earlier post.)



"The most recent report by the US Department of Energy shows that US emissions of greenhouse gases have increased by 15.8% over 1990 levels."

On positive note: tax credits for this year's residential, energy efficient appliances, insulation and most importatly solar power and solar heating increased.

I see tide slowly reversing. You cannot deny global warming for ever.


We Europeans have for years chosen to heavily tax gasoline, thereby reducing consumption (and CO2 emissions) and leaving oil at a lower price for US consumers. Isn't it time for a global agreement on gasoline tax levels?


We Americans have for years choosen to drive gas guzzlers thereby increasing consumption and prices for everybody else. We also work hard trying to keep gasoline prices low(even if it will require our sons and doughters to be killed in a process)so we can drive those gas guzzlers to our suburbs. Because of that we are driving force of world economy.

But seriously, Europeans choose to heavily tax gasoline in order to decrease their dependence on foreign oil. They partially succeeded in this task. But it is not true that they decreased total consumption. They only slowed down increases of consumption. Don't get me wrong, it is still better than US.



It is interesteing that Mr. Kinley did not provide the current emissions and goals for each signatory nation. I have a feeling that most of that reduction is due the collapse of Soviet Bloc economies in the 1990's. Especially since we have learned that Canada, Spain and others have increased their GHG emissions at a far greater rate than the US since 1990.


I'd really like to know how these countries are cutting back on the coal based emissions. Are any of these countries sequestering the CO2?

Harvey D

Quintupling Alberta's Tar Sand activities to increase fossil Oil exports to USA, China and India will boost Canada's GHG to record highs in the next 10-15 years. Canada cannot meet Kyoto's commitments while increasing Tar Sands activities. Using coal (as planned) to produce heat/steam to switch to In-Situ extraction will not help. Short of a hefty carbon tax ($25/barrel or more) to limit this type of Oil production, Canada will quickly become the number one country for GHG per capita. Kyoto becomes meaningless and Canada will pull out of the treaty signed a few months ago. Since Tar Sand major products are not used in Canada but are part of the 2 million barrels/day exported to USA, huge amount of GHG are effectively transfered from USA to Canada.


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