The Kyoto protocol is a
contract between many of the countries of the world. It was started in
1997. This contract has the goal of reducing greenhouse gases,
such as CO², that cause global warming.
is produced by cars, factories, and power plants that make electricity
from coal. However, it is reduced by forests and plants.
Different goals for different countries
According to the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries must
reduce the gases in their countries because they make most of the gases
and have little forest land. However, developing countries do not have
to reduce the gasses yet because they don't make very much of the gas
and they have more forest land.
The goal of the developed countries is a reduction of 5% by
2012. However, each of the developed countries has a different goal.
example, Japan must reduce by 6%, but countries in Central and Eastern
Europe must reduce by 8%. Australia, on the other hand, is a
different case. It is
'developed' but it has much more land so they can increase by
Who agreed? Who didn't agree?
More than 122 countries, including Japan
and the EU have agreed, but some of the big countries didn't want
to join because it will be very expensive to reduce the gasses. This is
a problem. The Kyoto Protocol would be meaningless if the big countries
Russia couldn't decide for a long time, but the EU convinced
them to join. The
EU promised to do more trade with Russia if they joined. Russia's
economy will get much better if they trade more with the EU, so they
decided to join the Kyoto Protocol.
The biggest country that didn't join was the U.S. The US is also
the biggest producer of the gasses, so this is a problem. The U.S.
it will be too expensive to reduce the gasses, however, since Russia
has joined, the Kyoto Protocol became international
law as of February, 2005!
The road ahead
The Kyoto Protocol has become
international law because Russia joined. If each
country meets their goals, the countries of the world will reduce
greenhouse gasses like CO² by 5% before 2012. However,
scientists say if we want to completely stop global warming, we must
reduce it by 60%. This will take a long time and we must continue to
work hard. The Kyoto Protocol is
a small step, but it is in the
Emission by Sector