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The Kyoto Protocol


									 The Kyoto Protocol

Reaching Global Agreements 1997

       What is the Kyoto Protocol?
   A global Agreement that set targets for
    reducing greenhouse gas emissions
   175 countries signed up

   Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as of June 2009,
    where dark green indicates the countries that have
    signed and ratified the treaty, grey is not yet
    decided and red is no intention to ratify

           Kyoto Protocol Aims:
   Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United
    Nations Framework Convention on Climate
    Change (UNFCCC), aimed at combating global
   The aim of the treaty was "stabilization of
    greenhouse gas concentrations in the
    atmosphere at a level that would prevent
    dangerous human interference with the climate
   The Protocol was initially adopted on 11
    December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and entered
    into force on 16 February 2005
   Under the Protocol, 37 industrialized
    countries (called "Annex I countries") commit
    themselves to a reduction of four greenhouse
    gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide,
    sulphur hexafluoride) and also fluorine gas
   Annex I countries agreed to reduce their
    collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2%
    from the 1990 level. Emission limits do not
    include emissions by international aviation and
    shipping (in the too-hard box)

    There were a number of ‘Articles’ that
           set out to achieve this
   Article 2: ways to fight GHG
   2.1.a.i Enhance energy efficiency
   2.1.a.ii Protect and enhance the sinks
       A carbon sink is anything that absorbs more carbon
        that it releases whilst a carbon source is anything that
        releases more carbon than they absorb.
   2.1.a.iii Promote sustainable agriculture – by
    promoting farming methods that produce less
    GHG, especially in developing countries
   2.1.a.iv Research and promote renewable energy
           Sustainable Energy
   Wave Power

           Sustainable Energy
   Wind Power

            Sustainable Energy
   Hydro Electric Power

           Sustainable Energy
   Solar Power

Biomass energy production includes power stations running
on wood chips and the like - assuming it is run completely on
such waste products it can be a useful option in limiting total
GHG emissions.                                             11
                                Article 2.1.a.v
                         Phase out any incentives for ‘bad
In some countries government policies or loopholes in subsidy regulations
actually promote 'bad practice' in GHG emissions. Phase these out will push
business and industry towards less polluting practices.

                    Article 2.1.a.vii
                    Limit GHG from transport
GHG from transport is a big problem and getting bigger. Several
government initiatives around the world have already arisen from Kyoto to
cut transport GHG emissions.
 The development of dual fuel and electric
 vehicle technologies holds a great
 potential for cutting down this source of
 GHG. Some American states have set
 targets for clean fuel vehicles.
                      Article 2.1.a.viii
                           Limit methane emissions
                          through recovery and use
Methane is a powerful greenhouse gas, having about 20 times the climate
forcing effect of carbon dioxide. Big man-made producers of methane are
landfill sites
                                         Large landfill sites now
                                         commonly have these methane
                                         power stations which have the
                                         double attraction of producing
                                         energy and getting rid of the
                                         methane, albeit a carbon
                                         dioxide. Solid waste energy
                                         plants already operate
                                         successfully in the UK, using the
                                         methane generated from
                                         chicken manure to create power
                                 Article 2.1.b
A theme which runs through much of the Kyoto protocol is for countries to
cooperate. Sharing both advances in GHG technology and science. the
greatest achievement of the protocol so far is to get so many countries
together and talking on a central issue.

                           Article 2.2.
                    Cut GHG from aviation
 This one was never implemented as no-one could decide who would
 monitor it as international travel made an agreement to hard to reach.

                                     Article 2.3.
                       Be careful of wider impact - avoid adverse
A cautionary note in Kyoto is to be careful of the wider impacts GHG
reduction schemes may have. Some may be too costly to maintain for the
benefit they provide, others may cause an unreasonable degree of disruption
to the populace, industry etc.
                        Hydroelectric dams are a good example of this. At
                        first sight they seem to be all to the good as far as
                        reducing GHG goes. However, not only does their
                        construction often mean the loss of much land,and
                        the displacement of its animals and humans, it can
                        also end it up to be quite a big GHG emitter. Much of
                        the organic matter washed into the lake behind the
                        dam decays anaerobically in the depths, rather than
                        aerobically as it would have done in the original river.
                        This anaerobic break down produces lots of
                        methane, a more powerful greenhouse gas than the      15
                        normal CO2.
                                       Article 3.1
                       Keep to assigned amounts of GHG
                      with overall worldwide reduction by
                       at least 5% below 1990 levels by
This article states that countries will stick to their agreed commitments, but
does not specify what the penalties will be if you don’t. The EU and others
wanted real penalties for failure, but other countries disagreed. This was
one of the sources of contention over which the EU finally gave in to at the
Bonn conference.

                        Article 3.2
    Everyone must have shown progress by 2005
The idea of this target is to get countries actively reducing their emissions
before the first commitment period arrives (2008).

                             Article 3.3
               Verifiable changes since 1990 in GHG
               emissions by sources and removals by
                sinks due to direct human-induced
               land-use change and forestry can be
                    used to meet commitments
The key problem here was how to establish what changes
have occurred, again a source of much wrangling between

                  Although cutting emissions from fossil fuels
                  should be the focus of efforts to limit global
                  warming, forestry and land management activities
                  can provide part of the answer. With their being a
                  recognised part of Kyoto GHG balancing - tree
                  planting schemes like this one in Mexico could
                  become commonplace.                              17
        Article 3.4
Everyone must supply their level
of ‘carbon stocks’ in 1990 so the
 change since can be estimated.
   BUT what sinks, sources and
 ‘additional activities’ which can
  be added or subtracted from
  GHG reduction commitments?

                 Article 4
 Countries can meet their commitments

               Article 5
All countries will have in place, at least a
year before the first commitment period
 (2008), a national system for measuring
          GHG emission changes
The carbon budget for the earth as a whole is extremely complex, but our
best models of the system suggest an increase in carbon in the
atmosphere of about 3Gt per year. These kind of budgets need to be
formulated as accurately as possible for each country               20
                                 Article 6
    Joint implementation - Countries can work
    together to meet their emission reduction
This is one of the so called 'flexibility mechanisms' designed to
help rich (annexe 1) countries meet their Kyoto commitment
other than by directly cutting in their own emissions. It caused
some of the biggest arguments , but it is agreed that without
them the agreed reduction targets would have had to have
been much smaller.
Russia, currently going through economic instability but with a
range of ‘dirty’ technology has been a large recipient of
investment from the west, that then claim the savings made in
emissions to off-set their own
                    Article 7
      All countries will supply the extra
    information needed with the numbers
     it gives i.e. perceived wider impacts

              Article 8
All the information given by each country
will be reviewed by expert, independent,
              review teams

                   Article 9
   The protocol will be regularly reviewed
      in light of the best information
             available at the time

            Article 10
  All countries should develop national
and/or regional programmes to both limit
GHG emissions and improve the quality of
   GHG data via consistent methods.
                    Article 11
The richer countries will provide funds and
technology to developing countries to help
   them better advance towards GHG

                          Article 12
              The Clean Development Mechanism
This is another 'flexibility mechanisms' designed to help rich
(annexe 1) countries meet their Kyoto commitment. The clean
development mechanism allows governments or private entities
in rich countries to set up emission reduction projects in
developing countries. They get credit for these reductions as
'certified emission reductions (CER's). This system is different
form the Joint Implementation as it promotes sustainable
development on developing countries.
CDM can use afforestation (planting somewhere new) and
reforestation (replanting where there once was some), or some
other emissions reduction project like a rural electrification
project using solar panels in a developing country .
[Recall they were also going to pay for not cutting down trees but
that was delayed until the implementation of REDD]
                             Some rules for
       Article 12.5          the CDM are
                             shown above.

 (a) Voluntary participation by
          each country
(b) Real, measurable, and long-
   term benefits related to
   mitigating climate change
     (c) Reductions must be
additional to those which would
          occur anyway
                           Article 17
  Emissions trading - countries can trade in
               ‘emission units’
The final flexibility mechanism. A tradable carbon credit unit
called AAU's (Assigned Amount Units) has been proposed
which would represent one tonne of CO2 emissions. The
advantages of this trading are that it drives countries to better
efficiency in their own greenhouse gas emissions. Bur there is
a worry that some rich countries will simply 'buy off' the GHG
they produce and not take any action themselves. the idea of
a 'cap on the amount of trading has been suggested, but has
produced even more argument'.

            Kyoto Protocol Aims:
   Share of CO2           Industrialised
    Emissions in 1990       countries to cut
                            emissions to 5% below
                            1990 levels by
                           Had varying targets
                            EU by 8% and Japan
                            5% (It is a lower
                           Countries like Iceland
                            were allowed to
                            increase emissions28
        Problems with signing up
   Some delayed in signing up to Kyoto such as
    Russia who signed in 2004
   USA initially signed but then withdrew in
    2001 following GW Bush’s election (USA
    emit 25% of world emissions)

    How big a problem was the American
   The US was the biggest emitter at the time
    (36.1%) - it has since been overtaken by China –
   So if they were going to continue polluting, why
    should other countries bother? Small countries
    efforts would have little overall impact on the
    total GHG.
   George W was even saying that climate change
    was (a) not happening and (b) if there was some
    variation it was natural.
   He did however admit that being dependent on
    foreign (especially Muslim) oil supplies was a
    security issue and so went full tilt into producing
    biofuels from corn and soya, offering big money
    to his farmers to change from food production to
    biofuel production.                            31
    How big a problem was the American
   This forced up the world prices of food and encouraged
    deforestation of the Amazon, to grow soya to feed the
    beef cattle of the developed world.
   Meanwhile GW, whose ascent in politics was largely
    funded by the oil companies, remained friends with the
    oil barons – not an insignificant issue so far as he was
   The Republican Party listened to its other big funders,
    the transnational companies (TNCs) who could not see the
    possibilities of more new business from the new
    technologies, but saw only costs and problems from having
    anything to do with climate change. So they were and still
    are all in favour of the no-change policy that opting out
    of Kyoto allowed them to follow.


          So what for the future?

   Renewable energy can only supply 10-15%
    of the UK’s energy needs
   Must replace coal fired with nuclear power
   Building nuclear power plants takes time

    What is Carbon
   Forests and woodland cover
    10% of the UK and they
    absorb CO2 and store it
   Several UK and EU schemes
    allow businesses to offset
    their emissions by planting
   However there is a limit to
    the amount of CO2 that they
    can hold and therefore are
    limited in viability
   UK woodland removes 4 million
    tonnes a year
   UK emits 150 million tonnes it
    would take a huge increase in
    woodland to offset all of UK

        Biomass fuels
   Wood fuel
   Ethanol and bio diesel
   Alcohol fermented
    from sugar
   Oil extracted from
   Methane Gas coming
    from rubbish dumps

   Unfortunately these rely on removing
    plants from the planet thus removing a
    carbon sink and need to be followed by
    mass replanting schemes
   Growing biofuels reduces the land available
    to grow food and increases food prices as
    well as leaving more people liable to an
    inadequate diet

               And if we don’t?
   Increased global flood risk
   Fall in crop yields especially Africa due to
    climate shifts
   Rising sea levels effecting 200m people
   Extinction of 40% of earth’s species due
    to destruction of coral reefs

            Economic Impacts
   More extreme weather leads to increased
    costs equal to 1% of GDP
   2-3oC rise in temps reducing global
    economic output by 3%
   Poor countries ability to cope would be
    reduced with lack of basics like water

       UK Government Response
   Set targets to reduce emissions by 30% by
    2020 and 60% by 2050
   Pass laws on carbon reduction targets
   Invest in green technology creating 100,00
    new jobs
   Create a $20 billion World Bank Fund to
    help poorer countries
   Increase renewable energy supplies

   It would be very expensive to shift to
    these power sources
   Governments do not like to reduce national
   Growth that is fossil fuel driven needs to

    Copenhagen was supposed to be the
               next step
   But no protocol was signed.
   However, it is not all disaster

       The Americans are on board
       The Chinese and the Indians are both committed to
        reducing the impact of their growth – this does not
        mean they are cutting emissions in total but for each
        unit of production, the emission will be reduced
       The Brazilians have reduced deforestation for the
        first time in many years (partly due to the recession, it
        is true) by 45% on last year but they are committed
        to reducing deforestation by 80% by 2020.

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