Matthew Walsh's EFL ESL website
The Kyoto Protocol
unfcc  kyotoproto
November 18th, 2004. Russia finally signs the Kyoto Protocol.

The Contract
  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. 
CO² 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. For 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 8%.

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 didn't join.
  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. thinks 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 right direction!

Japan:  Carbon Emission by Sector

The World:  CO2 Per Capita Per Year Per Country

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