Turkish government decides to approve Kyoto Protocol
ANKARA (Reuters) - The Turkish government has decided to approve the Kyoto Protocol. the U.N.-led global climate pact, and will send a bill on the issue to parliament shortly, a government spokesman said on Monday.
The Kyoto Protocol binds 37 industrialized countries to limits on their greenhouse gases compared to 1990 levels.
More than 170 nations have ratified the pact, which came into force in 2005 and Turkey is one of the few countries to have failed to do so.
"The government has decided as of today to approve this protocol. In a short period of time it will be sent to parliament," Deputy Prime Minister Cemil Cicek said after a cabinet meeting.
The government has a large majority in parliament and should have no difficulty in pushing the decision through.
"Turkey had not signed this protocol for its own reasons but not signing it means that it was excluded from the discussions," he said.
Most countries in the world are in UN talks to agree a broader climate deal from 2013, and developing countries have said rich countries must prove they can meet their targets under the first round of talks which end in 2012.
Turkey had already completed the process of preparing to sign the protocol but had until now declined to do so because of concerns about the costs.
The Kyoto Protocol is a pact agreed by governments at a 1997 U.N. conference in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce greenhouse gases emitted by developed countries to at least 5 percent below 1990 levels by 2008-12.
The United States, long the world's biggest source of emissions but which is being surpassed by China, came out against the pact in 2001.
(Reporting by Hidir Goktas; Editing by Giles Elgood)