UN Climate Conference Extends Kyoto Protocal

The Kyoto Protocol has been extended at the conclusion of the UN’s climate conference in Doha, Qatar. The Kyoto agreement was extended, despite an objection from the Russian Federation.

The Protocol extension comes after 36 hours of direct negotiations between almost 200 nations in the capital of Qatar, reports Al Jazeera.

The result means that greenhouse gas emissions will be limited by the countries that signed the Kyoto agreement until 2020. Immediately after the agreement was announced by Qatar’s energy minister, Russia stated that it had objections. The Kyoto Protocol’s extension makes the agreement, established in 1997, the only legally binding global plan to combat global warming.

The office of UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon released a statement about the agreement, saying that, while the UN leader supports the outcome of the conference, he “believes that far more needs to be done and he calls on governments, along with businesses, civil society and citizens, to accelerate action on the ground so that the global temperature rise can be limited to 2 degrees Celsius.”

The Huffington Post notes that expectations for the conference have been low and many developing countries have rejected the Kyoto Protocol, saying that it isn’t enough to put the world on track to prevent global warming. Nauru’s Foreign Minister Kieren Keke, who leads an alliance of small island states, noted that they see the lack of action by the world as a threat to their existence. Keke added:

“This is not where we wanted to be at the end of the meeting, I assure you. It certainly isn’t where we need to be in order to prevent islands from going under and other unimaginable impacts.”

The US is among other objectors to the Kyoto Protocol, because it doesn’t limit China and other developing countries who are growing quickly and contributing a lot of pollution to the atmosphere.