Several European countries have ratified the Kyoto Treaty. Have the made any efforts to impliment it or are they just paying lip service to the idea?
Germany has almost reached its goal for 2012 (CO2 emissions -21% rel. to 1990) but we were cheating. Most of the reduction came from the collapse of the East German industry after unification.
The EU, on the overall must have reduced its emission by 8% by 2010 (the basis are the emission in 1990) . However, not all countries have the same goals. The efforts have been distributed amongst the members countries on the basis of the importance of their emissions in 1990 (the countries with the largest emissions had to reduce them much more than those with lower emissions, and some countries are even allowed to raise them). For instance the planned reduction was something like -20% for Germany, 0% for France and +25% for Greece.
So, actually, though the previous poster mentionned that Germany “cheated”, due to the closing of polluting industries in east-Germany, actually she had much more drastic objectives to achieve than other EU countries precisely due to the existence of these highly polluting industries.
In fact all 15 pre-2004 EU members had ratified by 2002. Cannot find data on the new members at a quick search.
As for implementation, there is an emissions-right trading scheme that seems to already be in operation - according to a June press release (German language) by the federal environmental agency there were emissions right registers in 25 member countries (i.e. in all EU countries), and in Germany and six other member countries they were already operating and connected to each other via the European mechanism.
But due to the fact that those industries would have been closed down anyway, reaching the target level was quite easy for Germany.
I believe that a couple of Eastern European countries have reached their targets as well by exactly the same method. The old former state owned heavy polluters were closing down due to not being able to survive financially and thus it was quite easy for them as well to reach their targets. I recall reading somewhere that some of these countries had their base level set to years before 1990 because their former state sector collapsed earlier than 1990.
At the risk of turning this into a political thread, I’ll point out that several countries that ratified the Kyoto treaty were already in compliance at the time that it was drafted (i.e. they had negative emissions growth during the 90’s, and the Kyoto Protocol called on nations to return to a ~1990’s level).
I’d imagine that you’ll find a strong correlation between the estimated amount of reduction required to comply and the ease at which the treaty was ratified.
Of course they would have been closed down anyway. But since the bar was set much higher for Germany, it doesn’t mean that just closing them has been sufficient. We would need more accurate datas to make such a statement.