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Kyoto protocol


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Kyoto protocol

  1. 1. ASSIGNMENT ON Kyoto Protocol SUBMITTED TO SUBMITTED BY Department: Law and justiceThe department of law and Batch: justice Section: Southeast university
  2. 2. Kyoto ProtocolKyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Kyoto Protocol participation map as of February, 2012 Green indicates countries that have ratified the treaty (Annex I & II countries in dark green) Brown = No intention to ratify Red = Countries which have withdrawn from the Protocol.Grey = no position taken or position unknownSigned : 11 December 1997Location : KyotoEffective : 16 February 2005Condition : Ratification by 55 States to the Convention, incorporating States included inAnnex I which accounted in total for at least 55 per cent of the total carbon dioxideemissions for 1990 of the Parties included in Annex ISignatories : 83Ratifiers : 191Depositary : Secretary-General of the United NationsLanguages : Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian and SpanishKyoto ProtocolThe Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention onClimate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The UNFCCCis an international environmental treaty with the goal of achieving the "stabilisation ofgreenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerousanthropogenic interference with the climate system."The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, and enteredinto force on 16 February 2005. As of September 2011, 191 states have signed andratified the protocol. The only remaining signatory not to have ratified the protocol is theUnited States. Other United Nations member states which did not ratify the protocol are
  3. 3. Afghanistan, Andorra and South Sudan. In December 2011, Canada renounced theProtocol.The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United NationsFramework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol isthat it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European communityfor reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of five percent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while theConvention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocolcommits them to do so.Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current highlevels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years ofindustrial activity, the Protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under theprinciple of “common but differentiated responsibilities.”The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, on 11 December 1997 and entered intoforce on 16 February 2005. The detailed rules for the implementation of the Protocolwere adopted at COP 7 in Marrakesh in 2001, and are called the “Marrakesh Accords.”BackgroundMain article: Global warmingSee also: global climate model#Projections of future climate change and Scientificopinion on climate changeThe view that human activities are likely responsible for most of the observed increase inglobal mean temperature ("global warming") since the mid-20th century is an accuratereflection of current scientific thinking. Human-induced warming of the climate isexpected to continue throughout the 21st century and beyond.The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC, 2007) have produced a range ofprojections of what the future increase in global mean temperature might be. The IPCCsprojections are "baseline" projections, meaning that they assume no future efforts aremade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The IPCC projections cover the time periodfrom the beginning of the 21st century to the end of the 21st century. The "likely" range(as assessed to have a greater than 66% probability of being correct, based on the IPCCsexpert judgement) is a projected increased in global mean temperature over the 21stcentury of between 1.1 and 6.4 °C.The range in temperature projections partly reflects different projections of futuregreenhouse gas emissions. Different projections contain different assumptions of future
  4. 4. social and economic development (e.g., economic growth, population level, energypolicies), which in turn affects projections of future greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.The range also reflects uncertainty in the response of the climate system to past andfuture GHG emissions (measured by the climate sensitivity).ObjectivesThe main aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to contain emissions of the main anthropogenic(i.e., human-emitted) greenhouse gases (GHGs) in ways that reflect underlying nationaldifferences in GHG emissions, wealth, and capacity to make the reductions. The treatyfollows the main principles agreed in the original 1992 UN Framework Convention.According to the treaty, in 2012, Annex I Parties who have ratified the treaty must havefulfilled their obligations of greenhouse gas emissions limitations established for theKyoto Protocols first commitment period (2008–2012). These emissions limitationcommitments are listed in Annex B of the Protocol.The Kyoto Protocols first round commitments are the first detailed step of the UNFramework Convention on Climate Change (Gupta et al., 2007). The Protocol establishesa structure of rolling emission reduction commitment periods, with negotiations onsecond period commitments that were scheduled to start in 2005 (see KyotoProtocol#Successor for details). The first period emission reduction commitments expireat the end of 2012.The ultimate objective of the UNFCCC is the "stabilization of greenhouse gasconcentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenicinterference with the climate system." Even if Annex I Parties succeed in meeting theirfirst-round commitments, much greater emission reductions will be required in future tostabilize atmospheric GHG concentrations.For each of the different anthropogenic GHGs, different levels of emissions reductionswould be required to meet the objective of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations (seeUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change#Stabilization of greenhousegas concentrations). Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the most important anthropogenic GHGStabilizing the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere would ultimately require theeffective elimination of anthropogenic CO2 emissions.The five principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are: • Commitments for the Annex I Parties. The main feature of the Protocol lies in establishing commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases that are legally binding for Annex I Parties. The Annex I Parties took on legally binding commitments based on the Berlin Mandate, which was a part of UNFCCC negotiations leading up to the Protocol. • Implementation. In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, Annex I Parties are required to prepare policies and measures for the reduction of greenhouse gases in their respective countries. In addition, they are required to increase the
  5. 5. absorption of these gases and utilize all mechanisms available, such as joint implementation, the clean development mechanism and emissions trading, in order to be rewarded with credits that would allow more greenhouse gas emissions at home. • Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change. • Accounting, Reporting and Review in order to ensure the integrity of the Protocol. • Compliance. Establishing a Compliance Committee to enforce compliance with the commitments under the Protocol.The Kyoto mechanismsUnder the Treaty, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures.However, the Kyoto Protocol offers them an additional means of meeting their targets byway of three market-based mechanisms.The Kyoto mechanisms are: • Emissions trading – known as “the carbon market" • Clean development mechanism (CDM) • Joint implementation (JI).The mechanisms help stimulate green investment and help Parties meet their emissiontargets in a cost-effective way.Flexible mechanismsThe Protocol defines three "flexibility mechanisms" that can be used by Annex I Partiesin meeting their emission limitation commitments. The flexibility mechanisms areInternational Emissions Trading (IET), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), andJoint Implementation (JI). IET allows Annex I Parties to "trade" their emissions(Assigned Amount Units, AAUs, or "allowances" for short).The economic basis for providing this flexibility is that the marginal cost of reducing (orabating) emissions differs among countries. "Marginal cost" is the cost of abating the lasttonne of CO2-eq for an Annex I/non-Annex I Party. At the time of the original Kyototargets, studies suggested that the flexibility mechanisms could reduce the overall(aggregate) cost of meeting the targets. Studies also showed that national losses in AnnexI gross domestic product (GDP) could be reduced by use of the flexibility mechanisms.The CDM and JI are called "project-based mechanisms," in that they generate emissionreductions from projects. The difference between IET and the project-based mechanismsis that IET is based on the setting of a quantitative restriction of emissions, while theCDM and JI are based on the idea of "production" of emission reductions. The CDM isdesigned to encourage production of emission reductions in non-Annex I Parties, while JIencourages production of emission reductions in Annex I Parties.
  6. 6. The production of emission reductions generated by the CDM and JI can be used byAnnex I Parties in meeting their emission limitation commitments. The emissionreductions produced by the CDM and JI are both measured against a hypotheticalbaseline of emissions that would have occurred in the absence of a particular emissionreduction project. The emission reductions produced by the CDM are called CertifiedEmission Reductions (CERs); reductions produced by JI are called Emission ReductionUnits (ERUs). The reductions are called "credits" because they are emission reductionscredited against a hypothetical baseline of emissions.Monitoring emission targetsUnder the Protocol, countries’actual emissions have to be monitored and precise recordshave to be kept of the trades carried out.Registry systems track and record transactions by Parties under the mechanisms. The UNClimate Change Secretariat, based in Bonn, Germany, keeps an international transactionlog to verify that transactions are consistent with the rules of the Protocol.Reporting is done by Parties by way of submitting annual emission inventories andnational reports under the Protocol at regular intervals.A compliance system ensures that Parties are meeting their commitments and helps themto meet their commitments if they have problems doing so.AdaptationThe Kyoto Protocol, like the Convention, is also designed to assist countries in adaptingto the adverse effects of climate change. It facilitates the development and deployment oftechniques that can help increase resilience to the impacts of climate change.The Adaptation Fund was established to finance adaptation projects and programmes indeveloping countries that are Parties to the Kyoto Protocol. The Fund is financed mainlywith a share of proceeds from CDM project activities.The road aheadThe Kyoto Protocol is generally seen as an important first step towards a truly globalemission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and provides the essentialarchitecture for any future international agreement on climate change.By the end of the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012, a newinternational framework needs to have been negotiated and ratified that can deliver thestringent emission reductions the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hasclearly indicated are needed.Targets
  7. 7. The targets cover emissions of the six main greenhouse gases, namely:• Carbon dioxide (CO2);• Methane (CH4);• Nitrous oxide (N2O);• Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs);• Perfluorocarbons (PFCs); and• Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)The maximum amount of emissions (measured as the equivalent in carbon dioxide) that aParty may emit over the commitment period in order to comply with its emissions targetis known as a Party’s assigned amount. The individual targets for Annex I Parties arelisted in the Kyoto Protocols Annex B.Countries included in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol and their emissionstargets Target (1990** -Country 2008/2012)EU-15*, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia,Liechtenstein, -8%Lithuania, Monaco, Romania,Slovakia,Slovenia, SwitzerlandUS*** -7%Canada, Hungary, Japan, Poland -6%Croatia -5%New Zealand, Russian Federation, Ukraine 0Norway +1%Australia +8%Iceland +10%* The 15 States who were EU members in 1997 when the Kyoto Protocol wasadopted, took on that 8% target that will be redistributed among themselves, takingadvantage of a scheme under the Protocol known as a “bubble”, whereby countries havedifferent individual targets, but which combined make an overall target for that group ofcountries. The EU has already reached agreement on how its targets will be redistributed.** Some EITs have a baseline other than 1990.*** The US has indicated its intention not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol.Note: Although they are listed in the Convention’s Annex I, Belarus and Turkey are notincluded in the Protocol’s Annex B as they were not Parties to the Convention when theProtocol was adopted.
  8. 8. Upon entry into force, Kazakhstan, which has declared that it wishes to be bound by thecommitments of Annex I Parties under the Convention, will become an Annex I Partyunder the Protocol. As it had not made this declaration when the Protocol was adopted,Kazakhstan does not have an emissions target listed for it in Annex B.Common but differentiated responsibilityThe notion of “common but differentiated responsibilities”, which was written down inArticle 3 of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, is thekey principle of the Kyoto Protocol. According to the article, the Parties recognized thedirect responsibility of developed countries in global climate change as well as the“special needs and special circumstances of developing countries” with the emphasis onsustainable development.In general, the parties agreed that: 1. the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases originated in developed countries; 2. per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low; 3. the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet social and development needs.The principle, which put the emphasis on the leading role of developed countries, can beincreasingly less relevant as global context is changing. According to InternationalEnergy Agency (IEA) 2011 statistics, starting from 2008, carbon emissions from non-Annex I countries have surpassed those of Annex I countries. By 2009, while CO2emissions from Annex I countries were back at 1990 levels, those from non-Annex Icountries kept growing. Therefore, to make the regime work successfully, emissionreductions from developing countries such as China and India needs to be wellconsidered and included as well.EmissionsPer-capita emissions are a countrys total emissions divided by its population (Banuri etal.., 1996, p. 95). Per-capita emissions in the industrialized countries are typically asmuch as ten times the average in developing countries (Grubb, 2003, p. 144). This is onereason industrialized countries accepted responsibility for leading climate change effortsin the Kyoto negotiations. In Kyoto, the countries that took on quantified commitmentsfor the first period (2008–12) corresponded roughly to those with per-capita emissions in1990 of two tonnes of carbon or higher. In 2005, the top-20 emitters comprised 80% oftotal GHG emissions (PBL, 2010. See also the notes in the following section on the top-ten emitters in 2005). Countries with a Kyoto target made up 20% of total GHGemissions.Another way of measuring GHG emissions is to measure the total emissions that haveaccumulated in the atmosphere over time (IEA, 2007, p. 199). Over a long time period,
  9. 9. cumulative emissions provide an indication of a countrys total contribution to GHGconcentrations in the atmosphere. The International Energy Agency (IEA, 2007, p. 201)compared cumulative energy-related CO2 emissions for several countries andregions.Over the time period 1900–2005, the US accounted for 30% of total cumulativeemissions; the EU, 23%; China, 8%; Japan, 4%; and India, 2%. The rest of the worldaccounted for 33% of global, cumulative, energy-related CO2 emissions.