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On February 16th 2005, the first international treaty to cut carbon dioxide emissions came into effect. The treaty is known as 'the Kyoto Protocol', named after the Japanese city where negotiations began in 1997. The protocol seeks to controls emissions of six heat-trapping gases: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride. With only 4% of the world's population, the USA now releases 6.7 billion metric tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere every year - nearly a quarter of the world's total. Read more