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It Takes Two to Tango – Climate Policy at COP 10 in Buenos Aires and Beyond

Positive moments in international climate diplomacy generally do not last very long. On 18 November 2004, Russia finally completed its ratification of the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In accordance with Article 25.1, Russia’s ratification was the last one needed for the Protocol to enter into force, which took place amid worldwide celebrations on 16 February 2005.

by Dr. Hermann Ott, Bernd Brouns, Wolfgang Sterk, Bettina Wittneben

International climate policy has thus entered into a new era: For the first time, industrialised countries are legally committed to reducing their overall greenhouse gas emissions. It was against this background that the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UNFCCC convened in Buenos Aires from 6 to 17 December 2004 with more than 6000 participants. And at first the good news did not stop there. Almost simultaneously with Russia, Nigeria had also announced its ratification of the Protocol. Because Nigeria is a member of the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) and one of the most populous countries in the world, its ratification was of considerable strategic significance. Other countries – among them Indonesia – announced their ratification as well, raising the total number of Parties to 132. In addition, on the first day of the COP, Canada dropped its demand to be accorded a special emission discount for its export of hydro energy to the United States, which had consumed considerable energy in the negotiations for some time.

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published: Lexxion Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, JEEPL 2/2005 (April 2005), 4|2005
Keywords: Environmental Policy, Policy of European Union, Canada, Indonesia, Nigeria, Russian Federation, United States of America
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