The Kyoto protocol in Romania By : Angela Popa Ilie Szasz
The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change aimed at combating global warming.
The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and in November 2009, 187 states have signed and ratified it .
Under the Protocol, 37 industrialized countries commit themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse gases and two groups of gases by 5.2% from the 1990 level
Kyoto Protocol in Romania - general information
Romania signed the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1992 at the Rio Earth Summit, being the first country included in the Annex I of the UNFCCC which ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
By ratifying the Kyoto Protocol in 2001, Romania not only committed to reduce GHG emissions but also showed the political will to engage in solving a global problem.
The economic decline after 1989 induced by the transition from a planned economy to a market based economy resulted in a relevant decrease of the GHG emissions
Kyoto Protocol in Romania
Romania as an Annex I Party undergoing the process of transition to a market economy and taking into account the flexibility provided by UNFCCC, has requested a different base year to better reflect its economic potential and it was agreed that Romania will use 1989 as a base year, instead of 1990.
Romania has been preparing and submitting national GHG inventories in the requested format, annually starting with 2002.
The aggregated GHG emissions trends reflect the main characteristics of the country’s economic development. The period 1989-2004 was characterized by a restructuring process of the industry and a transition to the market economy.
In the same time, the first reactor at the Cernavoda nuclear power plant started to operate in full capacity in 1996 having also an effect on reducing overall GHG emissions.
After 1999, the improvement of the economic indicators and the starting of the EU accession process have been reflected in a slight increase of the overall GHG emissions
Romania’s GHG emissions
Energy is the most important sector for total GHG emissions of Romania.
Industrial processes sector contributes with 11.7% to the total GHG emissions.
The main reason for this important decrease of GHG emissions is the decline or phase out of certain productions and the restructuring of main industrial branches
In 2005 Romania managed for the fourth time to submit to the national greenhouse gas inventory with all its components, meeting also the requested deadline
According to the latest national inventory of GHG emissions, finalised in March 2009 the level of this kind of emissions is 37% lower than the average target set by the Kyoto Protocol for the period 2008-2012.
Romania could earn at least 2 billion euros until 2015, from the sale of emission rights for 200 million tonnes of CO2 of the approximately 350 million tonnes of CO2 as deriving from the Kyoto Protocol.
Romania must use the cash from these carbon credits for green projects that help the environment to reduce gas emissions by:
rehabilitating central heating systems of Communist-era blocks
promoting renewable energy development, including solar, wind, biomass and small hydro power