February 11, 2005 09:24 ET

Kyoto – First of ten steps towards a CO2 free future

WWF, the global conservation organisation, says countries need to take another nine steps to make the Protocol the success that the world needs to avoid dangerous levels of climate change. Attention: Environment Editor, Energy Editor, News Editor, Science Editor, World News Editor GLAND, SWITZERLAND --(CCNMatthews - Feb. 11, 2005) - As the Kyoto Protocol enters into force, WWF, the global conservation organisation, says countries need to take another nine steps to make the Protocol the success that the world needs to avoid dangerous levels of climate change.

This danger level is recognized by the EU and other key players as a rise of the average global temperature of 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

According to WWF, to keep global warming beneath that 2°C ceiling industrialised countries must slash CO2 emissions by 80% by mid-century, with global emissions cut by 50% over the same period. Currently the Kyoto Protocol asks industrialised countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to at least 5% below 1990 levels by 2012.

"While it is a big step forward, the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol is just the first step in containing the threat of climate change," said Jennifer Morgan, Director of WWF's Global Climate Change Programme. "To make the intentions of the Kyoto Protocol come true much more effort will have to go into reducing emissions - and governments will have to take the lead."

WWF has drawn up nine steps that governments need to take for Kyoto to be a success. These include more ambitious policies to ensure countries meet their Kyoto targets, particularly in the power sector, as well as making the right investment and policy decisions now to set the world on a downward emissions trend.¹

WWF also believes that the Kyoto Protocol must provide the basis for agreements beyond 2012, the end of the agreement's current period.

"The entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol starts a new market revolution - the carbon market," said Morgan. "Gone are the days when companies and countries could emit CO2 and not think about it. From now on the switch from coal to clean power should become the norm."

"During the next commitment period beginning in 2012 the Kyoto Club must be the driving force and set even more ambitious targets. The Kyoto Protocol must mark the beginning of the transformation needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change, building upon its momentum and not the irresponsible approaches of the Bush administration. The European Union must proactively work with developing countries to create new alliances for change."

WWF supports parties to the Kyoto Protocol, such as the EU, in increasing pressure on the private sector to further invest in clean energy. WWF's recently launched PowerSwitch! campaign promotes energy efficiency and encourages electricity companies to make the switch from polluting fuels to renewable energy sources. The global power sector accounts for 37% of all energy-related CO2 emissions.


1. The nine steps recommended by the WWF to governments for Kyoto to be a success include: more ambitious policies to reduce CO2 emissions; the power sector, the largest industrial polluter, must be targeted to reduce its share of CO2 emissions; the EU must strengthen its emissions trading system through stronger limits on CO2 emissions and better incentives for clean energy; developing nations should be encouraged to use clean technology solutions; all countries must develop renewable energy sources and energy efficient solutions; increased pressure on US and Australia to cut CO2 emissions, even though they remain outside of Kyoto; industrialised countries must offer support to poorer countries in dealing with the impact of climate change; all governments and international bodies must commit to the 2°C ceiling on global warming compared to pre-industrial times; and, the Kyoto Club needs to plan for what comes after the initial commitment period, which ends in 2012. The document, Nine Steps to Make Kyoto a Success can be found at http://www.panda.org/downloads/climate_change/9stepsfinal.doc.

2. The Kyoto Treaty implements the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Kyoto Protocol sets binding targets for reductions in greenhouse gas emissions for industrialized countries; its text was adopted at the Kyoto conference of the Parties to the Climate Treaty in December 1997 in Japan.

3. A study commissioned by WWF- Arctic Climate Change with a 2 degree Celsius Global Warming" by Dr. Mark New of Oxford University - shows that dangerous levels of climate change could be reached in just over 20 years time. The review of global climate simulations suggests that if nothing is done, the earth will have warmed by 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels (c. 1750) by some time between 2026 and 2060. In the Arctic this could lead to a loss of summer sea ice, species, and some types of tundra vegetation as well as to a fundamental change in the ways of life of Inuit and other arctic residents.

4. For more information on WWF's Global Climate Change Programme go to www.panda.org/climate.

5. For more information on WWF's PowerSwitch! Campaign go to www.panda.org/campaign/powerswitch/index.cfm.

6. For climate change B-roll footage contact Claire Doole, Head of Press, WWF International, t +41 22 364 9550, email cdoole@wwfint.org

For further information:

Martin Hiller, Communications Manager, WWF Global Climate Change Programme, t + 41 79 347 2256, email mhiller@wwfint.org

Brian Thomson, Press Officer, WWF International, t +41 22 364 9562, email bthomson@wwfint.org

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