Sunday, February 8, 2009

Turkey Ratifies Kyoto

From TDZ:
Parliament approved on Thursday its membership of the Kyoto protocol, the U.N.-led pact to combat global warming.

Turkey had announced in June its intention to sign the accord, which was first agreed by world governments in 1997. The government had postponed signing it for more than a decade because of its concerns about the cost on its economy.

Parliament’s ratification comes after intense pressure from both the European Union and international environmental organizations. Three voted against as 243 lawmakers voted in favor of the protocol.

Environment Minister Veysel Eroğlu in a brief speech he made after Thursday’s vote to ratify the protocol said, "I thank you all. Everyone should embrace this protocol," He said the government was taking necessary precautions for a better environment in the country.

Environmentalists say Turkey has been late in participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Turkey can no longer become a "party" to the protocol, so it has now "acceded" to it. Signing the Kyoto Protocol does not put an additional burden on Turkey until 2012, analysts said. Turkey was not a party to the convention adopted in 1992 when the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, and it is not currently included in the agreement's Annex-B, which includes 39 countries that are obliged to reduce their greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.

The Kyoto Protocol was open for signatures in 1998, and entered into force in 2005 with the accession of Russia. More than 170 countries have signed the protocol. Governments around the world are trying to shape the next term by holding international meetings and work will be concluded in 2009, analysts said.
According to Environment and Forestry Minister Veysel Eroğlu, the cost of readying Turkey for compliance after 2012 is 58 billion euros, 15 billion of which is expected to be carried by the private sector. The Turkey Industrialists and Businessmen's Association (TÜSİAD) has endorsed ratification on grounds that it will enhance Turkey's role in energy negotiations to come and bring Turkey closer to entering the EU. For additional news analysis from TDZ, click here.

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