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Kyoto Protocol Starts Today

The Kyoto Protocol comes into force today for 140 countries plus the European Community, which have either "Ratified", given "Acceptance", "Accession" or "Approval" (R,A,A or A). Australia is not one of these but we are one of 81 countries which have "signed" it.

The Protocol is all about reducing emissions of the following 6 "Greenhouse" gases - Carbon dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous oxide (N2O), Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), Perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6). Emission of these gases have been linked to global warming. If the Kyoto Protocol is fully implemented and successful, it is predicted to reduce the average global temperature with estimated reductions from between 0.02C and 0.28C by the year 2050.

There seems to be quite a fuss about Australia not doing R,A,A or A but a biref read the Protocol (at http://unfccc.int/essential_background/kyoto_protocol/items/1678.php ) suggests Australia is committed to doing something by signing it. In the in the list of 39 countries in Annex B with emission limitation of redcution commitments, we are one of three countries (plus Iceland and Norway) to have "increased" (by 8%) emission targets allowed, relative to the base year 1990, for the "reduction" commitment period 2008 to 2012.

Posted Wednesday, 16 February 2005

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