Greece rapped over gases

The United Nations has thrown Greece out of the system that allows countries to trade emissions under the Kyoto Protocol and has given Athens three months to come up with a reliable way of testing its pollution levels after deeming its current methods unsatisfactory. Kathimerini has learnt that the UN’s Compliance Committee on the Kyoto Protocol has decided that Greece does not have a reliable way of measuring and observing greenhouse gas emissions. It has decided that the explanations given by Greece in March were not good enough. In an unprecedented move, the panel has now barred Greece from being able to trade emissions with less industrialized countries so that it can meet its air pollution targets. As no other country has yet been banned from taking part in the scheme, the impact this development will have is not clear. «Greece is unfortunately the only country in the world that has been singled out for the inefficiency of its system for measuring emissions,» said the head of WWF Hellas Dimitris Karavellas. In January, WWF issued a report that questioned the way data was being collected but the government rebuffed the environmental group’s claims. «Apart from meaning that Greece cannot take part in the Kyoto mechanisms, this decision has also shamed Greece on an international level.» The UN committee has demanded that it develop a new system of measuring emissions and submit it to the panel within three months. If approved, Greece will then effectively be under the supervision of a team of experts picked by the compliance committee to ensure that it sticks to the scheme. In March, Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis insisted that Greece was on track to meet its Kyoto target of reducing its emissions by 8 percent by 2012.

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