Climate Decade in Review Post 15: Russia Ratifies Kyoto

November 18, 2004 - Russia ratifies the Kyoto Protocol, which provides sufficient support to allow it to come into force in early 2005.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on December 11, 1997 at the third Conference of the Parties (COP3) held in Kyoto, Japan (hence the name). The language developed regarding its coming into force reads:
"on the ninetieth day after the date on which not less than 55 Parties to the Convention, incorporating Parties included in Annex I which accounted in total for at least 55% of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 of the Annex I countries, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession."

In plainer English that means that at least 55 countries were needed to ratify it AND, of the developed countries (called Annex 1), enough of them to account for 55% of the total emissions from all Annex 1 countries were also needed. Ninety days after those hurdles were met, the Protocol would go into force.

Once the United States (representing 34% of the Annex 1 emissions) made it plain that we were not going to ratify Kyoto, it was necessary to get Russia (16%) to ratify in order to meet the 55% requirement. After months of mixed signals from Russia, President Vladimir Putin threw his support behind ratification in September 2004. The rest of the pieces fell into place shortly afterward for Russian ratification.

This is one in the series of "Climate Decade in Review" posts on this blog that began in January 2010. These posts present climate-change-related events that occurred during the 00's, the warmest decade in recorded history.

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