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Posted on on March 3rd, 2009
by Pincas Jawetz (

Kazakh parliament approves Kyoto Protocol

AFP/File  â€“  Close up of a melting glacier. The Kazakh parliament Thursday approved the Kyoto Protocol on fighting  â€¦

ASTANA, Kazakhstan (AFP) – The Kazakh parliament Thursday approved the Kyoto Protocol on fighting global warming, making it the last signatory to the UN-led treaty to ratify the measures other than the United States.

Kazakhstan, whose economic growth over the past decade had been the strongest in Central Asia, had resisted ratifying the landmark climate change conventions.

“This is an important step for Kazakhstan. For ten years we couldn’t reach a decision, because for the past ten years the government had more important things to consider, like the financial code,” Environment Minister Nurlan Iskakov said.

“But these ten years didn’t pass in vain. Now the document will be sent to the president for him to sign, and if he passes it into law it will attract more investment to the country.”

Kazakhstan signed the treaty in 1998, but had not signed it into effect until Thursday.

The US administration of then president Bill Clinton signed the Protocol but never ratified it and his successor George W. Bush in 2001 withdrew the United States from the Protocol, saying it would cripple the US economy.

The Turkish parliament had on February 5 overwhelmingly approved the Kyoto Protocol.

The Kyoto Protocol requires signatory countries to reduce or stabilise their emissions of six “greenhouse” gases blamed for heating up the planet, the principal of which is carbon dioxide.

The protocol expires in 2012. On average it requires nations to reduce their emissions 5.2 percent below their 1990 level between 2008 and 2012. This would represent a 29 percent cut in overall emissions compared to levels expected by 2010.

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