The Kyoto Protocol received just enough support today at a UN conference on climate change in Doha, Qatar, to remain alive until 2020.
Delegates from 200 nations agreed to back the world’s only legally binding global warming initiative despite all sides offering criticisms, BBC said.
The successful vote came at the 11th hour with the protocol set to expire this year and negotiations continuing beyond the final schedule at the two-week conference.
Kyoto – named after the Japanese city where nations first signed in 1997 – attempts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the world’s wealthiest nations, The Associated Press said.
It immediately had its detractors, with the United States refusing to sign because the accord didn’t include China or other fast-growing economies, the AP said.
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Canada, Japan, New Zealand and Russia have all backed out of their commitments since then, meaning Kyoto only includes about 15 percent of the world’s greenhouse game emissions.
The only hope for climate advocates is keeping Kyoto until nations can agree upon a wider-ranging global initiative.
The greatest support for Kyoto comes from Europe, the AP said.
“This is not where we wanted to be at the end of the meeting, I assure you,” Kieren Keke told the news service.
Keke is Foreign Minister of Nauru in Micronesia and heads a coalition of island states, which say global warming threatens to put their countries under water.
The new phase continues the UN’s push to reduce greenhouse gasses to pre-1990 levels, Reuters said, but doesn’t go far enough for some.
It also postpones a decision until 2013 on how to help smaller nations financially with their reduction plans.