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Kyoto agreement on greenhouse gases receives mixed response

BMJ 1998; 316 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.316.7124.7 (Published 03 January 1998) Cite this as: BMJ 1998;316:7
  1. Tessa Richards
  1. BMJ

    The eleventh hour agreement that industrialised countries must reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% has received a mixed reaction.

    On the face of it, the deal—reached at the third United Nations convention on climate change in Kyoto—looks good. After 10 days of wrangling by the 2200 official delegates and thousands of observers and lobbyists from 160 countries, a legally binding agreement was finally reached on 11 December. The agreement aims to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases by 2008-12. Cuts in the three most important greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide – will be measured against 1990 values.

    Assuming that the agreement is ratified by national governments and that the 38 countries that have agreed to curb emissions do so, then the overall reduction of greenhouse gas emissions should be nearer 10% because many industrialised countries have not yet met their 1992 (non-legally binding) targets. If the cuts are compared to …

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