Climate: Kyoto Protocol - Introduction


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An overview of the key stats, and the issues behind the soon to expire protocol. There are more detailed discussions on the blog and for you to read about as part of you own research. You should also form an opinion on the effectiveness of the protocol and subsequent COP's especially the COP15 at Copenhagan and the associated Copenhagan Accord

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Climate: Kyoto Protocol - Introduction

  1. 1. Kyoto Protocol Original agreement and updates
  2. 2. What is Kyoto <ul><li>An international agreement setting down targets for industrialised countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions </li></ul><ul><li>Which gases? </li></ul><ul><li>Carbon Dioxide, methane, Hydroflourocarbons, perflourocarbons and sulphur hexaflouride </li></ul>
  3. 3. Kyoto’s targets <ul><li>Industrialised countries - cut combined emissions to 8% below 1990 levels by 2008 </li></ul><ul><li>Each country has a specific target, some very low emission countries were permitted to increase </li></ul>
  4. 4. How it works <ul><li>Would become legally binding once - </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by 55 countries </li></ul><ul><li>Ratified by nations whose emissions total 55% of the gases from Annex 1 (industrialised) </li></ul><ul><li>(Once Russia joined, became a legal document in Feb 2005) </li></ul>
  5. 5. The facts on the USA <ul><li>It has not ratified the agreement (neither has Australia) and is therefore not bound to reduce targets </li></ul><ul><li>It did originally sign up, but pulled out in 2001 (the start of the Bush administration) </li></ul><ul><li>It is responsible for 25% of world emissions </li></ul><ul><li>There was a Bush internal policy to reduce emissions by 18% by 2010 lower than then 8% set by Kyoto </li></ul>
  6. 6. Reasoning??? <ul><li>Pulled out to to “potential damage to the economy” and the fact that the treaty does not require developing countries to sign (a “fatal flaw” </li></ul><ul><li>A fair point considering China and India fall into this category and they are two of the biggest producers (they have both ratified the protocol) </li></ul><ul><li>Mr. Bush prefers to back emissions reduction through the use of newer, greener technology </li></ul><ul><li>Trying to reduce the “carbon intensity” of fossil fuel burning, not actual consumption </li></ul>
  7. 7. Emissions trading <ul><li>Is it ok for MEDC’s to “buy up” the percentage reduction of other countries to add to their reductions </li></ul>
  8. 8. The UK <ul><li>Europe has a collective target of an 8% reduction which the UK has already achieved through switching in the 1990’s from coal to gas </li></ul><ul><li>Tony Blair is keen on developing hydrogen cars and nuclear fuel </li></ul><ul><li>Many other countries haven’t i.e. Spain Portugal and Ireland </li></ul>
  9. 9. LEDC’s <ul><li>Kyoto’s basis is the understanding that LEDC’s produce the least but suffer the most </li></ul><ul><li>I.e. the Maldives, will be uninhabitable in 15 years time </li></ul><ul><li>LEDC’s do not commit, but must monitor and set up national climate change programs </li></ul>
  10. 10. THE WEATHER FORECAST FROM LABRADOR Without the Gulf Stream Britain’s climate would be like that of Labrador on the east coast of Canada. So what would life be like? <ul><li>COLD In winter daytime temperatures often fall as low as -15C near the coast and -30°C inland. Summer is also cold, with July temperatures of around 8-10C </li></ul><ul><li>SNOWY heavy snowfalls and stays covered for up to eight months a year </li></ul><ul><li>SHORT SUMMERS Autumn begins in late August and the first frosts arrive in September. </li></ul><ul><li>NO NEIGHBOURS The harsh climate means Labrador can support only 27,000 people </li></ul><ul><li>POOR TRANSPORT few highways - often impassable through ice or snow. Snowmobiles and planes are needed in winter </li></ul><ul><li>NO FRESH FOOD (EXCEPT FISH) </li></ul><ul><li>SPORTS Mostly skiing. The biggest excitement is the international husky races, which take place in March </li></ul>