Kyoto protocol

Windmills and a powerstation (Photo: Notat)

Kyoto protocol 

The United Nations climate summit in Japan in 1997 agreed the “Kyoto protocol” to limit the emissions of gas and other materials into the atmosphere by 5% a year, in order to counter global warming.

A UN conference in Copenhagen in December 2009 shall discuss a new protocol. The EU negotiators got a mandate in a summit in Brussels 29-30 November 2009.

The EU accepted a target reduction of 8% a year by 2008-12. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA) emissions of greenhouse gases were 1 per cent higher in 2001 than in 2000 – making it highly unlikely that the EU can now keep its promises set by the Kyoto Protocol.

Denmark and Austria have restrictions on the so-called F-gases. The EU would initially remove these restrictions, but after pressure from the EU-Parliament on the Council and the Commission, Denmark and Austria has kept their restrictions.

The Lisbon Treaty includes efforts against climate change as a purpose for environmental agreements with third countries and international organisations. Combatting climate change is not a horizontal principle binding in relation to all other policies of the EU.