sions by source, 62 percent comes from liquid fuels, reflecting the heavy use of privately-owned cars in the country, and 30 percent from gaseous fuels, with the remainder from the use of solid fuels and cement manufacturing. In recent years, the Latvian government has encouraged bicycling in the country to try to reduce dependence on cars for short journeys.
The main effects of global warming and climate change on Latvia have been a rise in the average temperatures in the country, which has allowed more land to be used for arable purposes. However, it has also led to degradation of some coastal lands, and the possibility of flooding in parts of the country. The Latvian government took part in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change signed in Rio de Janeiro in May 1992, and three years later ratified the Vienna Convention.
Latvia signed the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change on December 14, 1998, and ratified it on July 5, 2002. It took effect on February 16, 2005. The Latvian government has undertaken to reduce CO2 emissions by 8 percent by 2012.
sEE ALso: Estonia; Global Warming; Lithuania.
BIBLioGRAPHY. Vera Rich, "Baltic States Struggle for Total Power," New Scientist (v.1818, 1992); World Resources Institute, "Latvia—Climate and Atmosphere," www.earth-trends.wri.org (cited October 2007); Valdis Zakis, Industry and Energy: Republic of Latvia (Ministry of Industry and Energy, Department of Foreign Economic Relations, Riga, 1992).
Robin Corfield Independent Scholar
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