Kyoto emissions targets in flux

The greenhouse gas emissions of the 40 industrialised nations which signed the Kyoto Protocol climate agreement have decreased an average of 5% below 1990 levels, the Associated Press reported, citing United Nations officials. This 5% reduction indicates that the countries have reached the treaty’s 2012 emissions targets – for now.


The reported decrease is being attributed mostly to the economic decline during the 1990s in eastern European countries. UN experts warn, however, that the 2.3% rise in emissions from industrial and developing nations that occurred from 2000 and 2006 may negate the previous drop.


A UN climate conference will be held next month in Poznan, Poland, to agree on a broad framework for replacing the Kyoto treaty. The United Nations hopes to negotiate a new global climate treaty in 2009 in Copenhagen, Denmark.


"The figures clearly underscore the urgency for the UN negotiating process to make good progress in Poznan and move forward quickly in designing a new agreement to respond to the challenge of climate change," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the UN’s Bonn-based climate secretariat.