Under the terms of the Protocol, which entered into force in February this year, over 30 industrialised countries are bound by legally binding emissions reduction targets covering the period 2008 – 2012.

In the decisions adopted this week, the Parties to the protocol established the Joint Implementation Supervisory Board for overseeing JI projects – whereby developed countries can invest in other developed countries, in particular central and eastern European transition economies and thereby earn carbon allowances – and, in addition, fully established the clean development mechanism which allows developed countries to invest in sustainable development projects in developing countries.

Richard Kinley, acting head of the UNCC Secretariat said: “The adoption of the Marrakech accords formally launches emissions trading and the other two mechanisms under the Kyoto Protocol.”

Other decisions define a wide range of operational considerations for running the Protocol including how the emissions of countries are accounted for; precise guidelines on the data systems that have to be set up; and the rules governing how absorption of carbon dioxide by agricultural soils and forest is measured.

“With these decisions in place, we now have the infrastructure to move ahead with the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. It sets a solid basis for future steps to bring emissions down,” Kinley added.

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