GLOBAL POLICY PROCESS. THE KYOTO PROTOCOL
At the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit in 1992, countries from all over the world committed themselves to reducing greenhouse gases emissions to a level “not leading to dangerous climate change”. These commitments are stated in the United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change and The Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto protocal was signed in Kyoto, Japan in 1997. In this protocol, industrialised countries commited themselves
to reduceing their greenhouse gas emissions by a few percent in 2008-2012
compared to the 1990 base year. The exact percentage for each country is
noted in the Annex 1 of the Protocol. The reduction is partly to be done
domestically, but can also be reached by investing in other countries or
trading emission allowances. These possibilities for countries with a
Kyoto commitment are called the Kyoto mechanisms.
- The Clean Development Mechanism is a mechanism, which allows
developing countries to receive investments for the construction of new
facilities in order to replace old ones.
- Joint Implementation is a mechanism that permits the
industrialised countries, which are unable to reach their reduction
target solely by domestic means, to reduce their greenhouse gases
emissions through investing in the economies of the countries in
transition. The donors receive a share of the reduced emissions.
- International Emission Trading is a mechanism that allows
trading the parts of the reduced emissions, which exceed the
commitments. Countries who fail to diminish their emissions can buy
these 'credits' from countries, which have reduced their greenhouse gases
below the committed level. Environmentalists protest against this
emission carbon credit trading as it does not contribute to alleviating
One major requirement of the UN Convention and the Kyoto Protocol is that
each country is obliged to inform the other parties of the national
actions on climate change through a special report called National
The Kyoto Protocol will work if countries responsible for 55 percent of
nations' emissions approve it. The document has been ratified by 120
nations but has been weakened by a US pullout withdrawing its 36 percent
in 2001. Countries accounting for 44 percent of emissions have so far
signed up. International efforts now are focused on persuading
Russia to ratify the Protocol. Russia is responsible 17 percent of global emmissions and
has, potentially, a casting vote to enforce the protocol.
Read more about:
CLIMATE CHANGE. THE PROBLEM
CLIMATE CHANGE AND BULGARIA