The Kyoto Protocol will enter into force February 16, 2005

With Russia's official ratification of the Kyoto climate treaty on Thursday November 18, 2004, the Kyoto Protocol can, 7 years after its signature, enter in to force. The Russian permanent representative to the UN, Andrey Denisov, formally handed over the accession papers to Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United-Nations, in Nairobi, in Kenya, where the UN Security Council was meeting to discuss the situation in Darfur, Sudan. In a statement, Mr Annan said: "I congratulate President Putin and the Russian Federation for their leadership in making it possible for the Protocol to enter into force, as it will, 90 days from tomorrow, on 16 February 2005." He added: "Those countries that have ratified the Protocol, and which have been trying to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases even before its entry into force, now have a legally binding obligation to do so. […] All countries must now do their utmost to combat climate change and to keep it from undermining our efforts to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. I therefore take this opportunity to urge those developed countries that have not ratified the Protocol to ratify it and limit their emissions. The Parties to the Climate Change Convention will have their next major meeting in Buenos Aires from 6 to 17 December 2004, and I hope they will use that occasion to seize the promising possibilities that have been opened up by this major development." Russian President, Vladimir Putin said, "Russia had not taken the decision to ratify lightly, acknowledging that it will have consequences on social and economic development but thorough analysis concluded that the treaty was vital for the promotion of international cooperation." The Protocol's entry into force means that from February 16, 2005. 1) Thirty industrialized countries will be legally bound to meet quantitative targets for reducing or limiting their greenhouse gas emissions. 2) The international carbon trading market will become a legal and practical reality. The Protocol's "emissions trading" regime enables industrialized countries to buy and sell emissions credits amongst themselves; this market-based approach will improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of emissions cuts. 3) The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) will move from an early implementation phase to full operations. The CDM will encourage investments in developing-country projects that limit emissions while promoting sustainable development. 4) The Protocol's Adaptation Fund, established in 2001, will start preparing itself for assisting developing countries to cope with the negative effects of climate change.