Blow to protocol

Blow to protocol

At the 2012 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Qatar, agreement was reached to extend the Kyoto Protocol until 2020, although without Russia and Japan.

This treaty established legally-binding obligations for nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But Canada became the first nation to withdraw from the protocol, with a member of parliament describing it as a case of "the emperor with no clothes".

The protocol has had limited effect. The United States, one of the biggest emitters, never ratified it, while developing countries, such as China and India, are exempt from emission reductions. Therefore, the extended protocol now only covers 15 per cent of the global carbon dioxide emissions.

Even assuming that the emission targets are met, it would be difficult to limit global warming to less than 2 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial level.

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