Post-Kyoto Protocol base year for measuring greenhouse gas emission cuts against

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One of the key issues in the negotiation of a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol is the selection of the base year for measuring greenhouse gas emission cuts against. Under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the base year was 1990. However, some national governments are lobbying for changing the base year or incorporating other base years that are more favourable to their emissions profile.

In September 2008, the Japanese government flagged that it would propose the inclusion of more than one base year in a new agreement. It reported that measured against the 1990 base year, by 2005 Japan's greenhouse gas emissions had increased by 7.7 percent. "But if 1995 is used as a base year, emissions for 2005 were up 1.1 percent. If 2000 is used as a base year, the 2005 figure would be an 0.8 percent increase," the newspaper reported.[1]

The paper noted that the European Union "have seen their overall 2005 gas emissions fall 11 percent from the 1990 base year. This would only be a 1.4 percent drop if 1995 was the base year. If 2000 was used as the base year, emissions have actually increased 1.5 percent. In light of this, negotiations on setting different base years are expected to run into rough waters."[1]

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  1. 1.0 1.1 Govt to seek several post-Kyoto base years", Yomiuri Shimbun (Japan), September 27, 2008.

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