The Kyoto Protocol entered into force 16 February 2005
The entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol (See http://unfccc.int/2860.php)is an important milestone in international actions to combat climate change. It was welcomed by governments and many other interested parties around the world (See for example the European Commission: http://europa.eu.int/rapid/pressReleasesAction.do?reference=IP/05/187)The EU believes climate change is a serious challenge to mankind and likely to have significant negative global environmental, economic and social implications. According to the UNFCCC, to avoid dangerous climate change, greenhouse gas concentration levels should be stabilised in future. To achieve stabilisation substantial reductions in global emissions of greenhouse gases are needed, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The emission reductions to be delivered by the implementaton of the Kyoto Protocol are an important first step. The recent EEA report on greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe shows that the pre-2004 EU Member States (EU-15) could cut their total emissions to 7.7% below 1990 levels by 2010. Plans by six EU-15 Member States to use credits from emissions-saving projects in third countries through the Kyoto Protocol's "flexible mechanisms" would contribute a further reduction of around 1.1%, taking the total to 8.8%, sufficient to achieve the EU-15 target.
See full report http://reports.eea.eu.int/eea_report_2004_5/en
The European Commission adopted on 9 February 2005 a communication setting out future EU policies on climate change, reaffirming the EU's overall goal to keep human-induced global temperature rise to within two degrees Celsius. It includes a set of proposals designed to structure the future negotiations of the EU with its global partners over climate change policies after 2012 when the first commitment period under the Kyoto protocol ends. (European Commission press release)
The recent climate change conference under UNFCCC, held in December 2004 in Buenos Aires, addressed the need to prepare for and adapt to the consequences of some inevitable climate change, complementary to mitigation policies aimed at reducing emissions. Such consequences are expected even with significant emission reductions over the coming decades, in both developing and developed countries. A recent EEA report shows current and projected climate change and its impacts in Europe. Examples are more frequent and more economically costly floods, droughts and other extreme weather; wetter conditions in northern Europe but drier weather in the south that could threaten agriculture in some areas; more frequent and more intense heatwaves, posing a potentially lethal threat to the elderly and frail; and, rising sea levels for centuries to come. The report concludes that also Europe needs adaptation strategies to limit impacts of climate change.
See full report http://reports.eea.eu.int/climate_report_2_2004/en
EEA has produced a video on climate change, see: mms://mms.eea.eu.int/climatechange/climatechange.wmv