(New Scientist) Fifteen years after its painful birth in Kyoto, Japan, the world's first legally binding agreement to limit emissions of greenhouse gases ended this week.
For some it is a victorious conclusion. The 37 industrial nations that stuck with the protocol after the US pulled out in 2005 say they exceeded their promises, cutting their emissions for the period from 2008 to 2012 to an average of 16 per cent below 1990 levels, compared with the 4.7 per cent promised in the agreement.
But the protocol only ever applied to rich industrialised nations. Most of the cuts came from Eastern European countries when their economies collapsed after the fall of the Berlin Wall - reductions that would have happened anyway.
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