rebel groups being financed by diamond sales. The certification scheme aims at preventing these "blood
diamonds" from entering the mainstream rough diamond market. It was set up to assure consumers that
by purchasing diamonds they were not financing war and human rights abuses.
is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCC is an
international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving "stabilization of greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would minimize dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system."
The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and entered into force on 16
February 2005. As of November 2009, 187 states have signed and ratified the protocol.
Under the Protocol, 37 industrialized countries (called "Annex I countries") commit themselves to a
reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride)
and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons andperfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member
countries give general commitments. Annex I countries agreed to reduce their collective greenhouse gas
emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level. Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation
and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt
with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
The benchmark 1990 emission levels were accepted by the Conference of the Parties of UNFCCC
(decision 2/CP.3) were the values of "global warming potential" calculated for the IPCC Second
These figures are used for converting the various greenhouse gas emissions into
equivalents when computing overall sources and sinks.
The Protocol allows for several "flexible mechanisms", such as emissions trading, the clean development
mechanism (CDM) and joint implementation to allow Annex I countries to meet their GHG emission
limitations by purchasing GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial exchanges,
projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I countries, from other Annex I countries, or from annex I
countries with excess allowances.
Each Annex I country is required to submit an annual report of inventories of all anthropogenic
greenhouse gas emissions from sources and removals from sinks under UNFCCC and the Kyoto
Protocol. These countries nominate a person (called a "designated national authority") to create and
manage its greenhouse gas inventory. Countries including Japan, Canada, Italy,
the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spainand others are actively promoting government carbon funds,
supporting multilateral carbon funds intent on purchasing carbon credits from non-Annex I countries,
and are working closely with their major utility, energy, oil and gas and chemicals conglomerates to