February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1997
reached a last-minute agreement on targets and timetables for reducing
emissions of six greenhouse gases at the climate summit in Japan in
December 1997. Differing targets apply to different developed countries
for reducing CO2 emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2012.
The European Union is committed to an eight percent reduction, the U.S.
seven percent, and Japan six percent. Standing at the other extreme is
Australia, which may increase emissions eight percent. Overall, the
decrease required from developed countries represents a 30 percent
reduction from the expected level around 2012 under a "business as
usual" scenario. Developing countries are not committed to any
reductions. Many details are yet to be settled, such as how developed
countries will be able to trade emission credits.
Further details on the agreement will appear in the January 1998 News
section, along with references. Following is some of the extensive
background material published just before the start of the meeting:
Nov. 20, 1997, and the November issue of Environment have
background and opinion pieces on Kyoto and climate change; several of the
papers in Professional Publications are also from those issues.
Sci. & Technol. (November) and Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys Union
(Dec. 2) both have background features on Kyoto.
Eng. News (Nov. 17) has a major background article (pp. 8-16) and an
editorial (p. 3); an editorial in the Nov. 20 issue discusses objectivity
in covering the views of climate skeptics.
Scientist has opinion and news articles Dec. 6 (pp. 4 and 51), Nov. 29
(pp. 22-23), and Nov. 15 (p. 54).
has a summit preview Dec. 8 (pp. 79-80), and a related feature on
renewable energy Dec. 15 (pp. 60-65).
the official U.N. Web site (http://www.unfccc.de),
or Global Change Electronic Edition (http://www.globalchange.org/).
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