The United Nations annual summit on climate change this week in Nairobi, Kenya, seeks to negotiate a successor to the Kyoto Protocol strategy, which becomes obsolete in 2012, to restrict emissions of heat-trapping gases that drive climate change. ESA joins the activities to share results of its satellite-based Kyoto-supporting services.
More than 6 000 representatives of national governments, international organisations and non-governmental organisations are present at the second meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (COP/MOP 2), held in conjunction with the twelfth session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 12) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). This joint summit is taking place at the UN Office in Nairobi, Gigiri, from 6 to 17 November.
Hot on the summit's agenda is the 'Greenhouse Gas Data 2006' report released on 30 October by the UN Climate Secretariat that found greenhouse emissions by industrialised countries showed a "worrying" upward trend in the 2000-2004 period despite the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. The Protocol requires 35 industrialised nations to reduce levels of greenhouse gas emissions chief among them carbon dioxide by 5 percent compared to reference year 1990 between 2008 and 2012, with the European Union committed to a reduction of 8 percent. The UN report states the overall emissions dropped by 3.3 percent in the 1990-2004 period but mostly because of a 36.8 percent decrease by economies in transition in eastern and central Europe; the other industrialised parties of the UNFCCC increased their emissions by 11 percent.
Around 25 billion tonnes of extra carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere annually by human activities, mainly through wildfires, land clearance and the burning of fossil fuels. The total amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased by a quarter since the start of the Industrial Revolution 150 years ago.