4 march 2002
eu ratifies kyoto, others must
Friends of the Earth welcomed the decision
by EU Environment Ministers to ratify the
Kyoto Protocol, announced at the meeting of
EU Environment Ministers in Brussels
But the group warned that diplomatic
efforts to ensure full ratification must not
subside if the Protocol is to come into
force, as agreed, before the Earth Summit in
Johannesburg this August. And countries must
speed up negotiations over future emissions
targets if they are serious about tackling
dangerous climate change.
European Environment Ministers today took
the necessary legal steps to ratify the Kyoto
Protocol, the only international treaty aimed
at curbing greenhouse gas emissions,
following the agreement by heads of
government in Gothenburg last year. Japan,
Russia and Central and Eastern Europe
countries must also ratify before the end of
May for the Kyoto Protocol to enter into
force in time for the Earth Summit .
The EU has played a central role in
safeguarding the Kyoto Protocol since the
rejection of the treaty by President George W
Bush last March, pushing for agreement at
last year's pivotal UN climate talks in
Marrakech and Bonn.
Tony Juniper, Vice Chair of Friends of the
Earth International, said:
"We are relieved that EU governments have
finally fulfilled their modest promise and
ratified the Kyoto climate treaty. But they
must keep up the pressure on Japan, Russia
and Eastern Europe to make sure it becomes
"The EU must also move ahead with the
major shifts in policy needed to reduce
greenhouse gas pollution. And it must step
up its criticism of the US and Australia.
By refusing to ratify the Protocol, these
countries are putting the world at serious
risk. The Protocol is only the beginning.
All countries must now agree to a second
round of emissions reductions if dangerous
climate change is to be avoided."
 The treaty's rules stipulate that 55
countries and countries representing 55 per
cent of industrialised countries' emissions
must ratify the Protocol in order for it to
become international law. This must happen 90
days before the Earth Summit if the target
for ratification is to be met.
Tony Juniper Mobile: 07712 843 207
Kate Hampton 020 7566 1723 Mobile: 0774 896