ANKARA - Parliament yesterday ratified an agreement to sign the Kyoto Protocol after intense pressure from both the European Union and international environmental organizations. Three voted against as 243 lawmakers voted in favor of the protocol.
"I thank you all. Everyone should embrace this protocol," Veysel Eroğlu, the minister of environment, said to the deputies while addressing Parliament after the vote. He said the government was taking necessary precautions for a better environment in the country.
Analysts said Turkey was late in participating in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and in ratifying the Kyoto Protocol. Turkey missed the possibility of becoming a "party" to the protocol, so now instead "acceded" to it. Signing the Kyoto Protocol does not put an additional burden on Turkey until 2012, analysts said. Turkey was not a party to the convention adopted in 1992 when the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, and it is not currently included in the agreement's Annex-B, which includes 39 countries that are obliged to reduce their greenhouse emissions to 1990 levels between 2008-12.
The Kyoto Protocol was open for signatures in 1998, and entered into force in 2005 with the accession of Russia. More than 170 countries have signed the protocol. Governments around the world are trying to shape the next term by holding international meetings and work will be concluded in 2009, analysts said.