Canada and New Zealand ratify Kyoto Protocol

Despite criticism from industry and a variety of other sources both the Canadian and New Zealand governments ratified the Kyoto Protocol on 10 December.

New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark signed her country’s instrument of ratification for the Protocol, despite criticism from opposition politicians and industry, the New Zealand Herald has reported. New Zealand will now have to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels from 2008-12. New Zealand accounts for 0.2% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

The New Zealand government has already proposed an unpopular carbon tax (see related story).

On the same day that Clark was signing up New Zealand to the Kyoto Protocol, the Canadian parliament voted that they too should join the international agreement. The government has also faced opposition from industry and a number of states over its support for the Kyoto Protocol (see related story).

Canada represents 3% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions.

It is hoped that the Protocol will come into force in June 2003, when Russia, which represents 17% of the world’s emissions, is expected to ratify.

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