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Overview of emission reductions required by the Kyoto Protocol By S.M. Enzler MSc


According to the Kyoto Protocol countries must reduce total greenhouse gas emissions by 2012, compared to 1990 levels. This is an overview of the contribution of various countries to this total emission reduction.

Australia: rejected Kyoto but would have been allowed an 8% increase by 2012 compared to 1990 levels
Canada: 6% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels

Europe: 8% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels


Western-European countries:
- Austria -> 13% reduction
- Belgium -> 7,5% reduction
- Denmark -> 21% reduction
- Finland -> 0% reduction
- France -> 0% reduction
- Germany -> 21% reduction
- Greece -> allowed increase of 25%
- Ireland -> allowed increase of 13%
- Italy -> 6,5% reduction
- Luxembourg -> 28% reduction
- Netherlands -> 6% reduction
- Portugal -> allowed increase of 27%
- Spain -> allowed increase of 15%
- Sweden -> allowed increase of 4%
- Switzerland -> 8% reduction
- United Kingdom (UK) -> 12,5% reduction

Eastern European countries:
Maximum 8% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels

Japan: 6% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels
New Zealand: 0% total reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels
Ukraine: no obligated reduction
Russia: no obligated reduction
United States: decided in 2001 not to ratify the protocol, but should have achieved a 7% reduction by 2012 compared to 1990 levels


Many countries are threatening to not achieve these goals. If the goals are not met emissions must be reduced by the overload multiplied by 1,3 after 2012.

A country has various options for measures to meet the Kyoto standards. Examples are:
- Plant forests and lower vegetation to remove more CO2 from the air
- Sustainable management practices in forestry and on farms
- Joint Implementation; countries earn credits when they jointly implement emission reduction projects
- Clean Development mechanisms; industrialized nations earn credits for projects implemented in
developing countries
- Buy emissions permits from Kyoto countries which cannot meet their target because of the costs

Related pages

Climate change glossary

Fossil fuels: characteristics and effects

The greenhouse effect mechanism

Emissions and infrared absorption by greenhouse gases

Explanation of the IPCC SRES scenarios

The IPCC SRES scenarios: causes of climate change

The IPCC SRES scenarios: consequences of climate change

Possible policy measures to achieve Kyoto targets

Trading emission permits to achieve Kyoto targets

Discussions of the greenhouse effect

History of global warming

Perspectives on the greenhouse effect

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