The Government of Japan today formally ratified the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, giving greater momentum to international efforts to reduce global warming.
Negotiated in 1997 in the Japanese city from which it takes its name, the Kyoto Protocol seeks to stabilize concentrations in the atmosphere of greenhouse gases, a leading cause of global warming. The accord establishes quantified commitments to reduce the release of these gases, requiring that from 2008 to 2012, worldwide emissions be cut by 5 per cent compared with 1990 levels.
To enter into force, the Kyoto Protocol will need to be ratified by at least 55 States parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, including specified industrialized countries representing at least 55 per cent of the total 1990 carbon dioxide emissions from this group.
On 31 May, 15 members of the European Union plus the European Commission ratified the pact.