Belarus was allowed to take on emissions reduction commitments under Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol as a result of the series of climate change meetings at the UN Office in Nairobi, Kenya. Attending the forum were over 100 ministers from all continents and almost 6,000 delegates and representatives of international organizations.
Annex B lists the countries with assigned amounts of emissions. The countries can implement the economic mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol. Being part of Annex B, Belarus will be able to attract funds for joint projects and take part in international emission trading. In future Belarus will be able to use emission credit trade revenues to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
According to the deputy minister of natural resources and environmental protection, Alexander Apatsky, the negotiations were very tense. “We were imposed less profitable and stricter conditions than other countries. During the negotiations we stated that if the amendment regarding Belarus’ participation were not passed, our country would quit the protocol seeing no sense in being its signatory”, he stressed.
Alexander Apatskiy said the Belarusian delegation managed to persuade the delegates to pass the amendment, as the country had complied with all requirements and procedures of the Protocol. India, Russia, South Africa, Ukraine, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Cuba were especially vigorous voicing their support for Belarus.
Specialists say over the last 15 years Belarus halved greenhouse emissions in CO2 terms. At present the country uses only half of the amount the Protocol assigned. It was no accident Kenya was chosen to host the forum. Scientists predict the climate changes will hit the poorest countries the worst, especially African countries. The expected climatic zone shift will deprive a third of African animals and plants of their natural habitat by 2085. In some areas the rising sea level can destroy up to 30% of the shore infrastructure. Experts advise reducing the world’s greenhouse exhausts by a half by the middle of the century.
The Kyoto Protocol, which aims to slow down global warming, came into effect on February 16, 2005 for 128 countries. The document demands a 5.2% cut in greenhouse gas emissions from the industrialized world as a whole, by 2012. Each country has been set its own individual targets according to its pollution levels.