The Kyoto Protocol


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  • Note: Emission limits do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol
  • Example: China, India and other developing countries were not included in any numerical limitation of the Protocol, because they were not main contributors to the GHG in the pre-treaty industrialization period. China has since become the largest GHG emitter;
  • The Kyoto Protocol

    1. 1. The Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto Protocol Professor Hector R Rodriguez School of Business Mount Ida College Business, Society & Environment
    2. 2. <ul><li>Society </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The Corporation and Its Stakeholders </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Social Responsibility of Business </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Shareholder Primacy Norm </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CSR, Citizenship and Sustainability Reporting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible Investing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Community and the Corporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taxation and Corporate Citizenship </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Corporate Philanthropy Programs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employees and the Corporation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Managing a Diverse Workforce </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Environment </li></ul><ul><ul><li>A Balanced Look at Climate Change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Non-anthropogenic Causes of Climate Change </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sulfates, Urban Warming and Permafrost </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Conventional Energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The Kyoto Protocol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green Building </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green Information Technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Transportation, Electric Vehicles and the Environment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Geo-Engineering </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Carbon Capture and Storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Renewable Energy </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Solid, Toxic and Hazardous Waste </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Forests, Paper and Carbon Sinks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Life Cycle Analysis </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Use and Management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Water Pollution </li></ul></ul>Course Map – Topics Covered in Course
    3. 3. <ul><li>- The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), aimed at combating global warming </li></ul><ul><li>- GOAL : stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system </li></ul><ul><li>- INCLUDES : a set of country-specific reductions of emissions of &quot;greenhouse&quot; gases that absorb and re-emit infrared radiation </li></ul>Introduction
    4. 4. <ul><li>Initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto; </li></ul><ul><ul><li>1998 - opened for signature by parties to UNFCCC </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>1998 – US signs Kyoto protocol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2001 – US withdraws </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2002 - EU and its Member States ratified the Protocol </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2005 - entered into force </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>2007 - G8 leaders agreed that G8 nations would 'aim to at least halve global CO 2 emissions by 2050 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As of October 2009 - 184 states have signed and ratified the protocol </li></ul></ul><ul><li>The target agreed upon was an average GHG reduction of 5.2% from 1990 levels by the year 2012 </li></ul><ul><li>KYOTO plus set a national target to cut GHG emissions at least 25 % from 1990 levels by 2020 </li></ul>History and Objectives
    5. 5. <ul><li>The most notable non-member of the Protocol is the US , which is responsible for 36.1% of the 1990 emission levels </li></ul><ul><ul><li>USA initially signed but then withdrew in 2001 following GW Bush’s election; Bush claimed reducing carbon emissions would be too costly for the U.S. </li></ul></ul>History and Objectives <ul><ul><ul><li>In 2007, the CEOs of the 10 largest business conglomerates in the U.S. called for legislation to reduce greenhouse gases. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>A single national standard would be better for business than a mix of state and local rules. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Companies engaged in international business will have to modify their products anyway to compete abroad. </li></ul></ul></ul>green - signed and ratified grey - not yet decided red - no intention of xratifying
    6. 6. <ul><li>Commitments to reduce GHG - legally binding for annex I countries (industrialized or in transition, currently 40 countries), general commitments for all member countries </li></ul><ul><li>Implementation to meet the Protocol objectives - to prepare policies and measures which reduce GHG; increasing absorption of these gases and use all mechanisms available (joint implementation, clean development and emissions trading, etc) </li></ul><ul><li>Minimizing impacts on developing countries - by establishing an adaptation fund for climate change </li></ul><ul><li>Accounting, reporting and review - to ensure the integrity of the Protocol </li></ul><ul><li>Compliance - by establishing a compliance committee to enforce commitment to the Protocol </li></ul>Five Principal Concepts
    7. 7. <ul><li>The largest share of historical and current global emissions of GHG originated in developed countries </li></ul><ul><li>Per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low (Australia has the highest) </li></ul><ul><li>Share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet social and development needs </li></ul>“ Common but Different Responsibilities” Emissions Per Capita Total Emissions
    8. 8. <ul><li>The choice of 1990 &quot;gave the Europeans a massive advantage relative to other countries,&quot; said Michael B. McElroy, because &quot;reunification of Germany led to the elimination (for economic reasons) of a lot of dirty, polluting industry in what was formerly East Germany.&quot; </li></ul>Perceived Equity Problems <ul><li>Similarly, in the United Kingdom, the discovery of natural gas in the North Sea facilitated Margaret Thatcher’s phase-out of the coal industry, which had been a major source of fuel.&quot; </li></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><li>Collapse of former USSR also affects current performance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The targets are based on 1990 emissions levels. Historical data from the UNFCCC show that greenhouse gas emissions in Eastern Europe dropped dramatically after the Soviet Union dissolved in 1991. For example, Ukraine's annual carbon dioxide emissions dropped from 715 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 1990 to 426 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent in 1994. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emissions from other high emitters actually rose 8% </li></ul><ul><li>UN reckons it will emit 10% ABOVE 1990 levels by 2010 </li></ul>Perceived Equity Problems
    10. 10. <ul><li>The Kyoto Protocol did not set a long-term goal for atmospheric concentrations of CO 2 , so there is no objective reason for either the overall reductions or the particular reductions by individual nations that it proposes. </li></ul><ul><li>The effects on climate change will be limited in the absence of hard CO 2 targets. </li></ul>Another Problem
    11. 11. <ul><li>Does this mean that International agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol do not work? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Hardly, the process has at a minimum served to inform and educate the international community on the potential impacts of unmitigated GHG emissions; at most it has served to drive up specific actions of those concerned (see US business concerns). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It does mean that a Protocol is not a replacement for a comprehensive strategy. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>A comprehensive emissions reduction strategy must set a long-term goal for atmospheric concentrations of CO 2, combining International Protocols with efficiency initiatives, financial markets intervention (Cap & Trade) and engineering ingenuity if it is to work. </li></ul>Conclusion