Kyoto Accord Ratification In Sight
Japan and the European Union have now ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change on global warming. The accord is aimed at reducing industrialized countries' emissions of greenhouse gases an average of 5% below the 1990 level by the period 200812.
On May 31, at UN headquarters in New York City, the 15 members of the EU and the European Commission ratified the Kyoto accord as a bloc. At a press conference following ratification, EC Environment Commissioner Margot Wallström said: "The U.S. is the only nation to have spoken out against and rejected the global framework for addressing climate change. The European Union urges the U.S. to reconsider its position." The EU has pledged to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 5% below the 1990 level.
Japan ratified the protocol on June 4. "The Kyoto protocol is an extremely significant first step in strengthening international actions against climate change. I strongly hope that other countries will also expeditiously become parties to the Kyoto protocol and thereby promptly bring it into force," Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi said.
Fifty-five countries responsible for 55% of the 1990 CO2 emissions from industrialized nations must ratify the pact before it becomes binding. So far, 74 countries with 35.8% of emissions have adopted it. If Russia, with 17.4% of emissions, and Poland, with 3%, fulfill their promises to ratify the pact, the conditions for entry into force will have been met.