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Kyoto Protocol
Bill Menke, December 6, 2005
1972 Stockholm Declaration
1988 Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change
1992 UN Framewor Convention on Climate Change
1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution
1997 Kyoto Protocol
2005 Kyoto Rulebook
United Nations Conference on
the Human Environment
Stockholm Declaration of 1972
Some Highlights
• protection and improvement of the human
environment is a major issue
• developing countries must direct their
efforts to development, bearing in mind
their priorities and the need to safeguard
and improve the environment
• natural growth of population continuously
presents problems for the preservation of
the environment
Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change
established 1988
joint program of the
World Meteorological Organization
and the United Nations
Environment Programme
Assess scientific, technical and socioeconomic information relevant for the
understanding of climate change, its
potential impacts and options for
adaptation and mitigation
This group publishes the IPCC Reportrs that we have used
previously in this class
United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change
• Ultimate objective: stabilize greenhouse
gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a
level that would prevent dangerous
interference with the climate system
• Commitments of states
– publish inventories of sources & sinks
– formulate & implement mitigation plans
– promote scientific exchanges
• United States is a signatory
Byrd-Hagel Resolution
US Senate, 1997
(non-binding, but passed 95-0)
• The U.S. will not enter into an agreement
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that
will be detrimental to the economy of the
• The U.S. will not enter into an agreement
to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that
does not require "meaningful involvement"
on the part of developing nations.
Kyoto Protocol
to the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change
negotiated in 1997
open for signature in 1998
came into force February 16, 2005
The Kyoto Protocol is a agreement under which industrialized countries will
reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared
to the year 1990
Compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without
the Protocol, this target represents a 29% cut.
The goal is to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases - carbon
dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12.
National targets range from 8% reductions for the European Union and
some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted
increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland.“
Sinks can be used to offset emission and emission credits can be traded.
IPPC analyses used in assessments of sources and sinks
Why 10% increase for Iceland?
• In October, 2000 I (B.
Menke) participated in a
discussion with President
Grimsson of Iceland, who
was visiting LDEO. He
said that because of
Iceland’s heavy reliance
on geothermal and
hydroelectric energy, its
per-capita emissions
were low. Even opening
one new factory would
represent an increase
that would be hard to
US and Kyoto
US signed in 1998 (Clinton) but withdrew in in
"The Kyoto Protocol was fatally flawed in
fundamental ways, but the process used to bring
nations together to discuss our joint response to
climate change is an important one …“
George W. Bush
June 11, 2001
Bush’s Criticisms
emissions targets arbitrary and not based on
protocol's binding limits on emissions could
harm the U.S. economy
Several big emitter countries, such as China
(the number 2 emitter) and India (number
6) are totally exempt.
Kyoto Rule Book
December 2, 2005
• Defines how each country’s emissions and
sinks (e.g. reforestation) are accounted
• Developed countries can invest in other
developed countries and earn carbon
• Establishes the Clean Development
Mechanism which allows developed countries
to invest in sustainable development projects
(excl. nukes) in developing countries
Status and Projections
Various Reactions to Kyoto
Although every European country says
that it supports ratification of Kyoto, none
have explained what ratification means
for their citizens and their economies. If
they were so confident that these targets
could be achieved at low cost with no
serious economic consequences, they
would be more forthcoming with their
plans and analyses.
William O'Keefe
Marshall Institute
The arguments for and against nuclear
power have changed somewhat over the
years. Finland’s Minister of Trade and
Industry, Ms Sinikka Mönkäre, who is a
Social Democrat and a physician, argues
for the building of a new nuclear power
plant because of Finland's climate
commitments under the Kyoto protocol,
and the price and availability of energy.
Why Greenpeace supports Kyoto
The Kyoto Protocol is the only global action plan
against climate change. It's just the first step but
the way forward is for countries to get on board
and negotiate the next round of emissions
reduction targets.
From the GreenPeace website
The president's decision to pull out of the Kyoto
Protocol is going to cost U.S. energy technology
companies millions of dollars. The international
agreement will create a multibillion dollar market
in the developing world for renewable energy
technologies, and the Germans and the
Japanese, participants in Kyoto, are going to
have a leg up in that market.
Philip Clapp
National Environment Trust
Independent of politics, going after reducing
CO2 makes real business sense because
it usually means going after energy use.
Kristen Zimmerman
Spokesperson for
General Motors Corporation
The expansion of palm oil production* is one of the leading
causes of rainforest destruction in south-east Asia. It is
one of the most environmentally damaging commodities
on the planet. Once again it appears we are trying to
solve our environmental problems by dumping them in
developing countries, where they have devastating
effects on local people.
Simon Counsell
Rainforest Foundation
* due to a European Union laws requiring conventional fuels to be
blended with biofuels