The Kyoto Protocol In 1997 world leaders adopted the Kyoto Protocol requiring rich countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to 5.2% below the 1990 level, calculated as an average over the period 2008-2012. Under the Kyoto Protocol the rich countries have different targets, that in sum adds up to a reduction of 5.2%. For example, the European Union aims for an 8% cut in total, Germany committed to a 21% cut and the United Kingdom to 12.5%, while Greece is allowed to increase their emissions by 25% and Spain an increase by 15%. For the treaty to take effect, it had to be ratified by developed countries whose carbon dioxide emissions represented 55% of the 1990 total. Late in 2004, Russia decided to ratify it, and it will now enter into force in 2005. Some countries, including Australia and the United States have not ratified the Protocol. However, a large number of climate specialists believe that even if the 5.2% Kyoto reduction target is reached, it will not have a great impact on global warming. But the Kyoto Protocol is a very important first step for the world in fighting climate change. In 2005, the climate change negotiators will have to start talking about what will happen after the first Kyoto period. (Please note that this graphic has not been revised since 2005, and depict the situation then).
From collection: Vital Climate Change Graphics Update
Philippe Rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GRID-Arendal