NEWS

1997 Kyoto Treaty now ratified

While Parliament yesterday ratified the Kyoto Treaty on gas emissions control, the government admitted that Greece has already far exceeded the limits imposed by the UN, and will produce 40 percent more «greenhouse gases» than it should by 2010 unless corrective action is taken. Environment Minister Vasso Papandreou told the house’s Financial Affairs Committee that Athens was obliged – having ratified a UN convention on climate change in 1994 – to increase emissions of gases suspected of increasing global temperatures by no more than 18 percent in 2002, as compared to 1990. The actual increase, however, reached 23 percent in 2000, which she blamed on that summer’s destructive forest fires. Under the 1997 Kyoto Treaty ratified by the European Union, Greece’s emissions must rise no more than 25 percent (over 1990) by 2010. But Papandreou said that, if unchecked, the increase could reach 35 percent in 2010 and 55 percent in 2020. If necessary, she added, Greece might «buy the right to gas emissions» from Eastern European countries with less industrial growth.