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UPDATED: 19:59, March 13, 2007
Kyoto Protocol could cause huge financial requirements for Turkey: officials
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Turkish environmental officials have said that the Kyoto Protocol, which limits global greenhouse gas emissions, could cause huge financial requirements for Ankara, the semi-official Anatolia news agency reported Tuesday.

Becoming a direct party to the protocol and making a commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emission, which is a condition of the protocol, could "affect Turkey's development negatively", officials from the Ministry of Environment and Forestry were quoted as saying.

They said that Turkey became a party to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2004 and prepared a national declaration on the matter, as it was demanded by such agreement.

Referring to the declaration, the officials said that there had been a continuous rise in the greenhouse gas emission rates between 1990 and 2004, depending on the economic growth, adding that they predicted such increase to continue.

Speaking of Kyoto Protocol, an amendment to the UNFCCC, which laid down conditions for signatory parties to make commitments regarding the reduction of greenhouse gas emission, officials underscored it would cause huge financial requirements for Turkey.

"The issue needs to be analyzed in a healthy way by all sectors, particularly by the energy sector," the officials added.

Recently, Turkey is under increasing internal pressure to sign the Kyoto Protocol. The government's refusal to sign the protocol has triggered debate in the country.

The Ministry of Environment and Forestry has noted that at least 20 billion U.S. dollars is required for an adjustment to the protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol is negotiated in Kyoto, Japan in December 1997. It was opened for signature on March 16, 1998, and closed on March 15, 1999. The agreement came into force on Feb. 16, 2005.

Countries that ratify this protocol are committed to reducing their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases.

The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.

Source: Xinhua

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