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Introduction

Global warming is the heating of the earth due to greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) which trap heat within the atmosphere.  Over the past few years, increasing global temperatures and greenhouse gas levels have prompted international efforts to reduce environmental pollution.  

The result was the Kyoto Protocol, negotiated in 1997 in Japan.  An agreement was reached between 162 countries to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases (methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs).  In additions, countries are able to engage in emissions trading in order to control greenhouse gases.  The treaty officially went into force on February 16, 2005; three months after Russia ratified the treaty.     

The Kyoto Protocol will encourage development of more environmentally-friendly resources.  Wind, solar, nuclear and other “clean” forms of energy will continue to advance and expand as countries try to meet their targets.  Higher polluting sources of energy such as coal and oil, will also become more environmentally-friendly as cleaning and capturing technology becomes more readily available.

Meeting our huge need for power shouldn't come at the expense of the environment. The Kyoto Protocol is serving as another intiative to continue to develop energy resources and ensure they are clean and efficient.

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