Naturally occurring greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone. Certain human activities, however, add to the levels of most of these naturally occurring gases: Carbon dioxide (CO2): released into the atmosphere when solid waste, fossil fuels (oil, natural gas, and coal), and wood or wood products are burned. Methane (CH4): emitted during production and transport of fossil fuels (coal, natural gas, and oil,) from the decomposition of organic wastes in municipal solid waste landfills, and the raising of livestock. Nitrous oxide (NO2): emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of solid waste and fossil fuels.
The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding international agreement to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change, which was initially negotiated during the CoP-3 meeting held Kyoto, Japan in 1997. The agreement would commit industrialized countries to reduce emissions of six greenhouse gases (excluding 03 and water vapor) by 5% by 2012. Rather than placing a specific target on each of the gases, the overall emissions targets for all six would be combined individual gas reductions would be translated into "CO2 equivalents" used to produce a single figure. The agreement specifies that all Parties to the Protocol must follow a number of steps including:
design and implementation of climate change mitigation and adaptation programs
preparation of a national inventory of emissions removals by carbon sinks
promotion of climate friendly technology transfer
fostering partnerships in research and observation of climate science, impacts and response strategies Developing countries are not legally bound to emissions reduction targets as yet, because these countries have historically been responsible for only a small portion of the global greenhouse gas emissions.
Emissions Reduction Targets:
Requirements to achieve the 5% group target:
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