Croatia Ratifies Kyoto Protocol
ZAGREB, Croatia - Croatia's parliament on Friday ratified the Kyoto Protocol, which commits nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to try to slow global warming. The former Yugoslav nation that signed the Kyoto treaty in 1999, but held off ratification until getting approval last year for a higher limit of annual carbon dioxide emissions. Without the higher limit, "our economic progress would be slowed down significantly," said Nikola Ruzinski, a state secretary in the Environmental Ministry.
Instead of 31.1 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year, the limit for Croatia - as a transitional country whose economy is still recovering after the war in the 1990s, was set at 34.6 million tons. Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, 35 nations and the European Community pledged to cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming to 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2012. Ruzinski said Croatia is expected to become a European Union member by 2012 - and it would therefore join the EU plan, approved in February, to trim gas emissions by at least 20 percent from 1990 levels by 2020. Some parliament deputies warned, however, that despite its pledges, Croatia has failed to develop the production of biofuel despite being a largely agricultural country and thus having the ability to do so. Among industrialized nations, only Australia and the United States - which is responsible for about one quarter of the world's greenhouse emissions, have not ratified the Kyoto treaty. Washington claims it would hurt its industries.
Formatted for CROWN by Marko Puljić
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