The [Kyoto Protocol] permits countries to undertake commitments jointly by forming a so-called bubble'. Under this arrangement, the European Community agreed jointly to an 8% reduction. In June 1998, under the UK Presidency, this target was shared out between Member States. The UK agreed to take on a reduction of 12.5%. In its manifesto, the UK Government also set out a domestic goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.
The [Kyoto Protocol] will come into force after it has been ratified by 55 countries including enough developed countries to account for 55% of Annex I emissions in 1990. It is unlikely that the Protocol will enter into force before 2001. Key to achieving these conditions is the position of the United States who require meaningful participation of developing countries before Congress will ratify.