The Kyoto Protocol: Victory for Planet Earth

Feature story - February 16, 2005
Greenpeace activists, supporters and volunteers around the world celebrated the coming into force of the Kyoto Protocol with banners, windmills and actions against dirty power. After more than 10 years of exhausting negotiations, 35 industrialized countries are now legally bound to reduce or limit their greenhouse gas emissions. The most notable exception to the agreement: the United States.

The Kyoto Protocol: Victory for Planet Earth

Taking Action in Support of the Protocol

Greenpeace New Zealand Occupies a Coal-Fired Power Station for Nine Straight Days!


Greenpeace activists scaled the proposed coal-fired Marsden B power station just south of Whangarei. After scaling the structure, the four activists dropped a giant yellow banner reading "SAVE THE CLIMATE, STOP COAL" and featuring the image of a burning Earth. Amazingly, this occupation lasted for a full nine days! Hear what the activists had to say by visiting their action blog.

Greenpeace UK Shuts Down the International Petroleum Exchange in London!

Individuals and organizations worldwide hosted a variety of events to commemorate this festive occasion...including the oil industry. In an incomprehensible display of arrogance, the oil industry planned its most prestigious annual gathering to coincide with the day the Kyoto Protocol came into effect. Industry bigwigs gathered to enjoy their $500/plate dinners and listen to the lies of ExxonMobil CEO, Lee Raymond. But when the executives arrived at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, they were met by an unexpected sight. Dozens of Greenpeace activists had chained themselves to the entrance and hung a banner reading, "CLIMATE CHANGE KILLS - OIL INDUSTRY PARTIES."

The protest came just hours after 35 Greenpeace volunteers halted trading on the global oil market by occupying the International Petroleum Exchange in London. The London Exchange does one trillion dollars of business each year and trading sets the price for 60 percent of the world's oil. (Scroll down to view more activities from around the world.)

The Kyoto Protocol and the United States

The Bush administration withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in early 2001 but it didn't wash its hands of the negotiations. With the active support (some would say under the instruction) of the American fossil fuel industry and its well-funded front groups, the U.S. government worked tirelessly to derail the treaty.

It is a testament to the commitment and tenacity of the many countries that acted in good faith and steered the agreement through these stormy seas, that we now have a legal framework for protecting the climate.

In the United States, states and regions around the country are refusing to let Bush block efforts to protect the climate, and have moved ahead with strong action to curb global warming despite not being part of the Kyoto Treaty. From limiting global warming pollution to mandating a certain amount of energy needs come from renewable sources like wind and solar - states are moving past the president's inaction. Last week, Senators McCain and Lieberman introduced legislation that would limit pollution across the country.

We have teamed up with Friends of the Earth, and the cities of Boulder, Colorado and Oakland, California to demand two government banks stop financing overseas projects that lead to global warming.

Read more at:

Activities Around the World

Kyoto, Japan

Greenpeace activists flew a hot-air balloon over Kyoto with the message "Kyoto: The new dawn for the climate."

Pulupandan, Negros, Philippines

Madrid, Spain

At the midnight hour in Puerta del Sol, Madrid, Greenpeace celebrates the entry into force of the Kyoto protocol with music, banners and windmills.

Bonn, Germany

Greenpeace youth (JAGs) construct a platform for planet Earth on stones showing the flags of the countries participating in the Kyoto protocol.

Prague, Czech Republic

Greenpeace Czech Republic marks Kyoto coming into force with a large banner reading "Kyoto for the Earth" in front of the famous National Museum in the center of Prague. The museum is a place marking historic and symbolic events in recent Czech history.

Rome, Italy Greenpeace, WWF, Legambiente and other NGOs celebrate the entry into force of the Kyoto protocol in front of the Galleria Colonna.

Athens, Greece Greenpeace activists placed miniatures of all 27 coal and oil power stations in front of the Ministry of Environment, protesting against the current energy policy of the Greek government. The government is refusing to promote renewable energy and reduce greenhouse gases emissions.

Sao Paulo, Brazil

Greenpeace Brazil celebrates the entry into force of the Kyoto protocol in front of the American Consulate. With a lifebuoy symbolizing the planet's weather instability Greenpeace points out that the world cannot be held hostage by the United States. Greenpeace volunteers later delivered a letter to the American Consulate addressed to president George W. Bush, demanding his signature to the Kyoto Protocol.

Geneva, Switzerland

Activists protested at the international Auto Show, "100 Years of Automobile Progress" demanding sharp reductions in CO2 fuel emissions.

Helsinki, Finland

A hotheaded snowman stands guard outside an information booth where activists gathered signatures and distributed information about global warming.


Youth activists in India celebrated the Kyoto Protocol becoming law with music, banners and a giant inflatable Earth.

Mexico City, Mexico

George Bush's "Flaming Earth" vies with the windmills of protestors in this street theater in Mexico City.