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Kyoto Conference: Introduction


Maurice Strong, Under-Secretary-General and Executive Coordinator for United Nations Reform, speaks at the opening session of the Kyoto Conference. Watch the video of the statement: click here
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it established binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amounted to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered into force on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocol were adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords.”

The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention was that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.

Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”

In his capacity as Under-Secretary-General and Executive Coordinator for United Nations Reform, Maurice Strong represented the then Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofi Annan. At the opening session, Maurice Strong delivered the statement, on behalf of the UN Secretary General.

At Kyoto, among other things, Maurice Strong, moderated the first segment of the round table conference, which was guided by the key question: How can we make a big jump in the diffusion of environmentally sound technologies to developing countries? What can corporations do? What should governments do?