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Doha was not supposed to throw up any surprises, and it didn't. The Kyoto Protocol, for all practical purposes, is dead. The only binding global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions was to expire this year anyway. It's just that the UN climate change conference in Doha has given it an unceremonious burial before it could fulfill most of its promises.
On paper, the climate talks, which ended late on Saturday, may have extended a plan to combat global warming until 2020. But in reality, the deal will not be able to slow rising temperatures or prevent floods, droughts, heat waves and rising sea levels.
The extended Kyoto Protocol is expected to compel about 35 industrialized nations to reduce GHG emissions. But the 15-year-old protocol has been weakened by the withdrawal of Russia, Japan and Canada. The fact that the US never ratified the protocol means its remaining backers, led by the European Union and Australia, now account for only 15 percent of world's GHG emissions. So we can see how much emission would be reduced.