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UNDP welcomes Belarus' decision to accede to Kyoto Protocol
UNDP has welcomes today the decision of Belarus to accede to the Kyoto Protocol Ц a key international mechanism to mitigate global climate change. A decree to this effect was signed by the President of Belarus on Friday 13, 2005. The protocol will enter into force for Belarus on the ninetieth day following the date of deposit of its instrument of accession with the UN Secretary-General.
"The accession comes at a timely moment as it enables Belarus to fully enjoy all the benefits offered by the protocol, including its flexibility mechanisms and related financial instruments, like the World Bank's Prototype Carbon Fund", stressed Levan Bouadze, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Belarus, at a joint press conference held today with the Ministry of Environment and the State Committee on Energy Efficiency.
"UNDP has long advocated the advantages for Belarus of accession to the Kyoto protocol, amongst others by supporting a respective feasibility study completed in 2004," said Mr. Bouadze. The study, implemented jointly with UN Economic Commission for Europe and the State Energy Efficiency Committee, concluded that, aside from straightforward global climate change mitigation and financial advantages for Belarus related to availability of free tradable greenhouse gas emission quota (estimated at around 65-70 million tons of CO2 equivalent worth at least US$ 325 million a year), other benefits from accession would include improved investment climate, increased efficiency of energy use, additional opportunities for solving local environmental and social problems.
"UNDP's environmental agenda worldwide has been emphasizing the need to promote renewable energy and energy efficiency as an effective means of mitigating global climate change. In view of the considerable potential and the highly positive experience of our cooperation, such initiatives will continue to be a priority in our work with the Government of Belarus," stressed Mr. Bouadze.
While sharing the objectives, principles and institutions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, Kyoto Protocol goes a step further by committing Annex I Parties (which includes Belarus) to individual, legally-binding targets to limit or reduce their greenhouse gas emissions. These add up to a worldwide cut in greenhouse-gas emissions of at least 5% from 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008-2012. To help the member states meet these challenging targets, the protocol offers three innovative "flexibility mechanisms" Ц Joint Implementation, Clean Development Mechanism, and Emission Trading.
The text of the Protocol to the UNFCCC was adopted at the third session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997; it was open for signature from 16 March 1998 to 15 March 1999 at United Nations Headquarters, New York. By that date the Protocol had received 84 signatures. Those Parties that have not yet signed the Kyoto Protocol may accede to it at any time.
The Protocol entered into force on February 16, 2005. As of August 2, 2005, a total of 153 state and regional economic integration organizations have deposited their instruments of ratifications, accessions, approvals or acceptances.
For further information, please contact Dmitry Goloubovsky, UNDP Programme Officer on Energy and Environment at 227 48 76.
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