Targets and timetables

After long discussions, it was agreed that developing countries would not take on a specific commitment for emission reductions. It was further agreed that a comprehensive approach would be adopted, in that all key greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal Protocol on the protection of the ozone layer would be included, i.e. carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluoride (HF6), perfluorocarbons (PFCs) and sulfurhexafluoride (SF6). The increase in carbon dioxide accounted then for about 70% of the total increase of radiative forcing. Few measures to decrease emissions of methane and nitrous oxide were available, however. The three other compounds contributed only a small percentage of the total. Nevertheless these was rational decisions.

According to the Protocol, Annex-I parties would take on specific targets, for the reductions of emissions, to be achieved by about 2010. These were given in terms of changes of equivalent CO2 emissions (Tables 10.1 and 10.2). If parties were able to limit emissions of other greenhouse gases, restrictions on the use of fossil fuels would correspondingly be relaxed. From 1990 to 1995, the EU decreased its carbon dioxide emissions by about 1%, while the other OECD countries together had increased their emissions by about 8% (Table 10.2) and of these Australia, Canada, Japan and the USA had all increased their emissions by 7-9%. Annex-I countries undergoing the transition to a market economy (the Russian Federation and the former Soviet republics), on the other hand, had decreased their emissions by almost 30%. This meant that total emissions of carbon dioxide by all Annex-I parties had already decreased by about 5% from 1990 to 1995.

The targets agreed in Kyoto for Annex-I parties actually added up to a decrease in greenhouse gas emissions to just about 5% below 1990 values (in terms of carbon dioxide equivalents) by 2010. The EU's target was to reduce its emissions from 1% to 8% below 1990 levels, while the other OECD countries were to go from a 7% increase to a 7% reduction, but countries in economic transition were allowed to increase their greatly decreased 1995 emissions by 22-30%,

10.1 Central themes of the Protocol 149

Table 10.1. Country commitments for reductions of greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2010 as a percentage of the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions in 1990; observed changes during the years 1990—1995

Allowed 1990-2010 Observed

Table 10.1. Country commitments for reductions of greenhouse emissions between 1990 and 2010 as a percentage of the equivalent carbon dioxide emissions in 1990; observed changes during the years 1990—1995

Allowed 1990-2010 Observed

Party

(percentage)

1990-

European Union

-8

-1

Austria

-8

-3

Belgium/Luxemburg

-8

+1

Denmark

-8

+18

Finland

-8

+3

France

-8

-4

Germany

-8

-9

Greece

-8

+7

Ireland

-8

-1

Italy

-8

-1

Netherlands

-8

+7

Portugal

-8

+49

Spain

-8

+14

Sweden

-8

+7

UK and N. Ireland

-8

-4

Australia

(-6)

+8

Canada

-6

+9

Iceland

+ 10

-4

Japan

-6

+8

New Zealand

0

+18

Norway

+1

+9

USA

-7

+7

Bulgaria

-8

n.a.

Croatia

-8

n.a.

Czech Republic

-8

-23

Estonia

-8

n.a.

Hungary

-8

-15

Latvia

-8

n.a.

Poland

-8

n.a.

Romania

-8

n.a.

Russian Federation

0

n.a.

Slovakia

-8

n.a.

Slovenia

-8

n.a.

Ukraine

0

n.a.

Non-Annex-I countries

+25

i.e. to return to 1990 emissions. The Russian Federation and the Ukraine were particularly favoured, and special allowances were also given to Australia, Iceland, New Zealand and Norway. The Protocol thus essentially required a redistribution of emissions between the Annex-I countries.

150 The Kyoto Protocol is agreed and the third assessment begun

Table 10.2. Emissions of carbon dioxide (Mt C per year)

Parties 1990 1995

EU 949 936

OECD, except EU 2086 2254

Countries in transition 1311 925

Non-Annex-I countries 1774 2225

Total emissions 6120 6340

From 1990 to 1995, emissions from developing countries had increased by ~25%.* Although emissions might not continue to increase at that mean pace, (an increase of 4% per year, which was the average growth rate for emissions in OECD countries in the 1960s), would mean that in 2010 Annex-I and Non-Annex-I parties would each contribute ~50% to the total emissions of about 8.3 Gt of carbon, provided that the Annex-I parties complied with the Kyoto agreement. The world population was expected at that time to reach about 7 billion people in 2010 of which about 80% would live in developing countries. Emissions by the developing countries would by then be ~0.74 metric tons of carbon per capita versus about 0.5 metric tons in 1990. On the other hand, the Kyoto agreement meant that per capita emissions in developed countries should decrease from about 3.05 to about 2.85 metric tons of carbon per capita.

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