20/04/2022

Why Are India and China Exempted from Kyoto Protocol

As of October 19, 2006, 320 U.S. cities in 46 states representing more than 50 million Americans were supporting Kyoto after Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels made a national effort to get cities to accept the protocol. To date (October 2006), there is no legal framework in the UNITED Kingdom to ensure an annual reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. To date, about 413 MPs, or about two-thirds of the total, have signed Early Day Motion 178, which calls for the introduction of a climate change law that will address this issue and make legally binding a proposal for a 3% annual reduction in carbon dioxide emissions. Despite strong lobbying from environmental organizations such as Friends of the Earth`s Big Ask climate campaign and broad bipartisan support, the bill did not pass second reading. However, it looks like the government will include climate change legislation in the Queen`s opening speech to parliament in November, but it should ignore intense pressure from its own and opposition parties, as well as environmental groups, to include the annual commitment to cut 3% in the bill. The protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, when greenhouse gases quickly threatened our climate, life on Earth and the planet itself. Today, the Kyoto Protocol continues in other forms and its issues are still under discussion. The Treaty was negotiated in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997, opened for signature on 16 March 1998 and opened for signature on 15 March 1998. Closed in March 1999. The agreement entered into force on 16 February 2005 after its ratification by Russia on 18 November 2004. As of October 2006, 166 countries and other Governments had ratified the agreement (representing more than 61.6 per cent of Emissions from Annex I countries).

Notable exceptions are the United States and Australia. Other countries, such as India and China, which have ratified the protocol, despite their relatively large populations, are not obliged to reduce carbon emissions under the current agreement. The goals of these opposing groups are very different. Schedule 1 companies want carbon credits to be as cheap as possible, while non-Schedule 1 companies want to maximize the value of carbon credits generated by their national greenhouse gas projects. President Putin, together with the Russian cabinet, had already decided in September 2004 against the declaration of the Russian Academy of Sciences, the Ministry of Industry and Energy and the economic adviser to the then President, Andrei Illarionov, and in exchange for the EU`s support for Russia`s admission to the WTO, in favour of the protocol. As subsequently planned, ratification by the House of Commons (22 October 2004) and the House of Lords of Parliament did not encounter any obstacles. The two main countries currently opposed to the treaty are the United States and Australia. Some public policy experts skeptical of global warming see Kyoto as a program to either slow the growth of the world`s industrial democracies or transfer wealth to the Third World, which they call an initiative of global socialism. Others argue that the protocol does not go far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Niue, cook Islands and Nauru added notes to this effect when the protocol was signed). I could talk at length about how we learned at the time that without developing countries, Kyoto would not have a significant impact on global climate change.

The most important thing now – before the signing of the Paris Agreement – is to hold the Obama administration accountable for the lessons learned from the consequences of Kyoto. The government`s position is not uniformly accepted in the United States. For example, Paul Krugman notes that the goal of reducing carbon intensity by 18% is still an increase in overall emissions. The White House has also been criticized for downplaying reports linking human activities and greenhouse gas emissions to climate change, and that a White House official and former oil industry advocate, Philip Cooney, watered down descriptions of climate research that had already been approved by government scientists. Critics point to the government`s close ties to the oil and gas industry. In June 2005, State Department documents showed that the government thanked Exxon executives for their “active participation” in setting climate policy, including the U.S. position on Kyoto. The contribution of the global climate coalition was also a factor. The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Countries ratifying this Protocol shall undertake to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases or to participate in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. On 31 May 2002, the fifteen former members of the European Union deposited the relevant ratification documents with the United Nations. The EU accounts for around 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions and has agreed to reduce 1990 emissions by an average of 8%.

The EU has always been one of the main supporters of the Kyoto Protocol, negotiating hard to bring hesitant countries on board. The UK currently appears to be on track to meet its Kyoto target for the greenhouse gas basket, provided the government is able to curb the increase in carbon dioxide emissions by now (2006) and the period 2008-2012. However, annual net carbon dioxide emissions in the UK have increased by around 2% since Tony Blair`s Labour Party came to power in 1997. Moreover, it currently seems highly unlikely that the government will be able to deliver on its clear promise to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 20% by 2010 compared to 1990 levels, unless a climate change law is passed in 2006-2007 and the government takes immediate and drastic action to reduce emissions in the coming years. The United Kingdom has set up its own voluntary apprenticeship programme, the UNITED Kingdom ETS, which runs from 2002 to 2006. This market will coexist with the EU system and participants in the UK system will have the possibility to apply for a derogation from the first phase of the EU ETS, which will last until 2007. If the enforcement agency finds that an Annex I country is not meeting its emission targets, that country shall compensate for the difference plus an additional 30%. In addition, that country is excluded from the making of transfers under an emissions trading programme. The Protocol left open several issues that could be decided at a later stage by the Conference of the Parties (COP). COP6 tried to resolve these issues at its meeting in The Hague at the end of 2000, but was unable to reach an agreement due to disputes between the European Union on the one hand (which favoured a tougher agreement) on the one hand and the United States, Canada, Japan and Australia on the other (who wanted to make the agreement less ambitious and more flexible). The Clinton administration published an economic analysis prepared by the Council of Economic Advisers in July 1998, which concluded that emissions trading between Annex B/Annex I countries and the participation of major developing countries in the Clean Development Mechanism – which grants BAU emission rates to them until 2012 – could reduce the cost of implementing the Kyoto Protocol until 60% compared to many estimates. However, other economic analyses prepared by the Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Energy Energy Information Administration (EIA) and others have shown a potentially sharp decline in GDP due to the implementation of the protocol.

In Australia, with more than 22,500 signatures for Greenpeace petitions, the protocol enjoys considerable support. In addition, Kyoto supporters have taken action outside the auspices of the Bush administration. .

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