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Tuesday, 24 July, 2001, 14:21 GMT 15:21 UK
Bonn deal at a glance
Protesters at the climate conference
Delegates were under great pressure to reach a deal
After long hours of intense negotiation, delegates at the Bonn climate conference finally reached an agreement to tackle global warming.

The result is a revised version of the Kyoto Protocol, with 178 participating countries.

The United States - the world's biggest polluter - has refused to ratify the protocol.

These are the key points of the Bonn agreement:


The delegates agreed to establish a number of new funds, with a total estimated worth of $530m (374m) per year.

Two climate change funds will be set up to help countries limit their emissions, switch to cleaner technologies and adapt to the impacts of climate change. One of these funds is specifically for "least-developed countries".

The "Kyoto Protocol Adaptation Fund" will finance specific adaptation programmes, such as training scientists to measure emissions.

Further cash is earmarked for oil-producing Opec countries, to encourage diversification away from economies dominated by fossil fuels.

Reduction mechanisms

The deal includes a number of mechanisms that allow countries to use financial incentives to reduce carbon pollution.

  • Emissions trading: Countries that expect to meet their targets can sell their spare emission rights to other signatory countries. There are limitations on emissions trading for all countries under the agreement except Russia and the Ukraine.

  • Clean development: Industrialised countries can claim emissions credits for climate-friendly technology projects in the developing world. This will include the use of carbon sinks, but not nuclear power.

  • Joint implementation: Industrialised countries can invest in clean technology projects in other countries whose economies are in transition, such as India. Again, nuclear power is excluded.

    The agreement specifies that all of the above mechanisms should be "supplementary" to domestic action, although it fails to specify exactly what supplementary means.

    The European Union failed in its bid to ensure all countries made at least 50% of their cuts at home, but it was victorious in the exclusion of nuclear power, which Canada, Japan and Russia had proposed.

    Carbon sinks

    Trees absorb carbon from the atmosphere through photosynthesis
    One of the most difficult issues to resolve was how much credit countries could receive through the use of "sinks" - areas of forest and farmland, which absorb carbon through photosynthesis.

    Heavily forested countries such as Japan, Russia, Canada and Australia wanted to use their sinks to offset greenhouse gas emissions, but the EU was against such proposals.

    A compromise was reached, with the EU making big concessions. Countries will be allowed to take credit for forestry management schemes, but with strict limitations. Canada and Japan have also negotiated special allowances until 2010.

    Future compliance

    These are the rules which penalise countries that fail to meet their Kyoto targets. A "compliance committee" will be set up to monitor performance.

    Two sanctions have been agreed upon. Firstly, for every tonne of carbon a country emits over its limit, it will be required to reduce an additional 1.3 tonnes during the second protocol commitment period, which starts in 2012.

    Secondly, the offending country will be banned from using mechanisms such as emissions trading.

    These rules are not yet enshrined in law. Japan objects to them being legally binding, and claims this would be an affront to its national sovereignty.

    However, all signatory countries are obliged to abide by the rules, and face strong international pressure to do so.

  • See also:

    23 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    The Bonn deal: Winners and losers
    23 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    Compromise saves climate treaty
    23 Jul 01 | UK Politics
    Beckett hails new Kyoto deal
    22 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    Climate compromise hangs in balance
    22 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    'Time running out' at climate talks
    20 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    Researchers have hot expectations
    19 Jul 01 | Sci/Tech
    Ministers bid to save climate treaty
    15 Jul 01 | Europe
    Storm clouds over climate talks
    09 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
    Japan to press US on Kyoto
    30 Mar 01 | Americas
    Kyoto: Why did the US pull out?
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