The conference, which was held in Marrakech, Morocco, also elected a CDM executive board of 10 voting members, four of which include representatives of the Russian Federation, Brazil, France and Japan: all countries with domestic nuclear power programmes. A further committee member, Iran is in the process of building its first nuclear unit at Bushehr.

The International Nuclear Forum said it was “disappointed” by the meeting’s failure to recognise the role that nuclear power could play in the CDM and JI, as nuclear power was an “essential part of any practical strategy to stabilise greenhouse gases concentration and address climate change.” The finalised Kyoto rulebook specifies how to measure emissions and reductions, the extent to which carbon dioxide absorbed by carbon sinks can be counted towards Kyoto targets, how the joint implementation and emissions trading systems will work, and the rules for ensuring compliance with commitments.

Meanwhile, the USA is drawing up an “alternative” to the existing Kyoto Protocol. White House spokesman Ari Fleischer said that a US cabinet-level working group was “continuing its efforts” on the alternative, but “there is no hard deadline.”