Kyoto Protocol

To discuss Kyoto Protocol, first we have to know what its full name is, the full name of Kyoto Protocol is Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations framework convention on climate change. In Simple words, we may define Kyoto Protocol as the plan that tries to reduce the effects of climate changes or Global Warming. First we need to discuss in what Global Warming is? In brief we can say that we may say that it stands for the continuous increase of average temperature of earth near surface air to ocean. The major reason behind Global Warming is the continuous increase of Industrial sector, Pollution, cutting of trees, Jungles, etc.

Kyoto Protocol plan was established by United Nation. This plan was established in Kyoto Japan on 11 Dec 1997, and entered into force on 16 Feb 2005. The countries that are following this plan have the objective to reduce the amount of Greenhouse Gases (like Carbon dioxide) which they release into the air.

The objective of Kyoto protocol is stabilization and reconstruction of Greenhouse Gas concentrations in atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Another objective of this is to minimizing the impacts on developing countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change. Kyoto Protocol states that reducing these emissions is very important as Carbon Dioxide is believe to be causing the earth’s atmosphere to heat up.

This plan was made in Kyoto, Japan; hence it was named as Kyoto Protocol. As of October 2009, there are total 187 countries that are following this plan and signed the agreement of Kyoto Protocol. These countries are doing their best effort in order to stop or reduce the effects of climate change. But still there are 29 countries who are not signing this Kyoto Protocol agreement. Though countries like USA, Croatia and Kazakhstan have signed the treaty but have not ratified it. Some countries are giving the excuses that by signing the treaty and ratify will effects their economy, and make their people lose job. 

After discussing the meaning, history, objective and countries who have signed this agreement, our next step is to discuss the measures which this plan provides to country in order to reduce effects of climate change. These are 3 major measures or mechanisms which are the part of Kyoto Protocol in order to reduce the effect. These are Emission Trading, Joint Implementation and Clean Development Mechanism. Let’s start with Emission trading, this measure is also known as carbon market.

According to the agreement, all countries would try their best to reduce or limiting the Greenhouse Gas emissions over the 2008-2012 (05 years) commitment period. As Carbon Dioxide is the major Greenhouse gas, hence people speak to trade the carbon. This carbon is tracked and trading like any other commodity. Next mechanism or measure of Kyoto Protocol is Joint Implementation, this offers the parties cost efficient and flexible means for fulfilling the part of their Kyoto agreement, and also the host party gets the benefits like technology transfer and foreign investment.

Next major mechanism or measure is Clean Development Mechanism. This act says to reducing or limiting the emission in developing countries. This is the first global environmental investment and credit scheme of its kind. This provides a standardized offset instrument Certified Emission Reduction (CER). I also want to discus that there is a disagreement due to the large uncertainties in economic variables.

Some estimates states that these Kyoto Protocol measures are very expensive than the non observing Kyoto protocol. Critics also say that adoption of this protocol is very expensive and affects the economical growth of the country that would be the only thing for which other countries are signing this agreement. A project named Copenhagen consensus states that Kyoto Protocol slows down the global warming from past few months.

Above I had discussed the Kyoto Protocol, its meaning, history, objective, signing countries, measure and critics. Hope the above discussion would help you people in understanding what benefit this protocol is playing for reducing the effect of climate change.