The Kyoto Protocol and European and Italian Regulations in Agriculture

Davide Savy, Antonio Nebbioso, Rocío Danica Condor, and Marina Vitullo

Abstract Climate change represents the most important challenge for the international scientific community, for the inherent and irreversible modification brought about in natural ecosystems. International institutions increasingly adopt measures to promote preservation of ecosystems and counteract the social and economical consequences of environmental decline. Here we review the actions undertaken by both the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aimed to stabilize and reduce concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHG) in atmosphere, including the Kyoto Protocol that obliges developed countries to provide the political and legal framework to meet the Protocol's expectations. Moreover, it is mandatory for national policies to reduce the occurrence of main risky events, such as landslides, floods, and desertification processes, whose frequency have rapidly risen in the Mediterranean regions mostly susceptible to climatic changes. According to the Kyoto Protocol, each signed party should include, in its annual GHG inventory, information on GHG possibly removed by means of carbon sinks activities such as land use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF). Italian laws encompass the National System for the Italian Greenhouse Gas Inventory and the National Registry for Carbon sinks. The latter estimates GHG emissions by sources and accounts for their net removal based on sinks of the LULUCF sector that includes forest land, cropland, grassland, wetlands, and settlements. These compartments in 2008 removed 87.3 Mt of CO2 from atmosphere while, from 1990 to 2008, the total removal as CO2 equivalent increased by 34.8%, CO2 accounting for more than 99% of both total emissions and removals of the sector. Within this frame, carbon

Dipartimento di Scienza del Suolo, della Pianta, dell'Ambiente e delle Produzioni Animali, Universita di Napoli Federico II, Naples, Italy e-mail: [email protected]

Istituto Superiore per la Protezione e la Ricerca Ambientale (ISPRA), Roma, Italy

A. Piccolo (ed.), Carbon Sequestration in Agricultural Soils,

DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-23385-2_2, © Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2012

sequestration in cultivated soils has become important to add new carbon sinks other than LULUCF. The relation of soil management practices to the increase in soil organic matter is a basic requirement to develop a solid methodology to assess carbon stock changes in soil pool and provide a useful database over the national territory.

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