The European Commission today proposed the legislation necessary for the European Union to formally ratify the second commitment period (2013-2020) of the Kyoto Protocol.
The EU, the Member States and Iceland have committed to jointly achieve a 20% reduction in their combined greenhouse gas emissions over the second period compared to the level in 1990 or their other chosen base years. This reduction commitment is consistent with the 2009 'climate and energy package' of legislation and mirrors the package's reduction measures at EU and Member State level.
Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, said: "Ratification of the second phase of the Kyoto Protocol underlines the EU’s commitment to a legally binding and rules-based approach to international action on climate change. Our determination to implement our commitments is reflected in the fact that, in practice, the EU has already been applying the targets and rules of Kyoto's second commitment period since it started in January this year."
She added: "By formally ratifying the second phase, Europe will help to bring it into force at international level as soon as possible. I am confident that the European Parliament, Council, Member States and Iceland will complete the respective ratification procedures as soon as feasible."
The ratification Decision enables the EU, as a Party to the Kyoto Protocol, to ratify the Doha Amendment which establishes the second commitment period. The proposal also sets out the terms according to which the EU, its Member States and Iceland will fulfil the 20% emissions reduction commitment jointly.
The Commission has also proposed a Regulation on technical issues related to implementation of the second period. This provides the basis for legal acts to address a number of technical issues arising from ratification.