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"I call upon the Millennium Summit to promote the adoption and implementation of the Kyoto Protocol. Specifically, I urge those States whose ratifications are needed to bring it into effect to take the necessary action in time for entry into force by 2002, as a fitting celebration of our progress since Stockholm in 1972 and Rio in 1992."


Secretary-General Kofi Annan in the Millennium Report.


Vital statistics

  • Global mean surface temperatures have increased 0.6-1.2F since the late 19th century.
  • The 20th century's 10 warmest years all occurred within the last 15 years. Of these, 1998 was the warmest year on record.
  • Global mean sea level has already risen by around 10 to 15 centimeters during the past century, and global warming is expected to cause a further rise of 15 to 95 cm by the year 2100 (with a "best estimate" of 50 cm).
  • Precipitation has increased by about 1 percent over the world's continents in the last century.
  • Carbon emissions have quadrupled during the past half-century.

  • The cost of natural disasters in 1998 alone exceeded the cost of all such disasters in the 1980s.
  • Eighty-four Governments have signed the Kyoto Protocol, but only 22 countries have ratified the treaty; none of them from the industrialized world.