Friday, January 01, 2010

Kyoto has failed - Meet "Pledge & Review"

By the ruthless demonstration of its ability to disrupt the Copenhagen Conference and its refusal to be part of an international system of audited emissions reductions to any time, China may have put the stake into Kyoto. This is how the Sierra Club reported it:
"Pledge and review... repeals any notion of a legally binding deal, allowing countries to instead pledge the level of ambition they deem fit – rather than that determined by climate science... It also breaches the Bali "firewall" – the differentiation between industrialized and developing countries that exempts the developing world from binding emissions reductions targets. Differentiation was agreed to... under the tenet of common but differentiated responsibility... The U.S. and Australia are pushing this system to address the problem of differentiation of advanced developing countries like China and India to ensure an international agreement that can be ratified by the Senate."

Weaknesses of the Kyoto Protocol

"The Kyoto Protocol embodies several concepts of distributional equity, but it boils down to this: the rich and responsible are expected to lead. In other words, it calls for action by those with higher per capita emissions and higher per capita contributions to the build up of anthropogenic greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and it also targets those with a much greater ability to pay for emissions mitigation," said Joseph E. Aldy and Robert N. Stavins in their paper Climate Policy Architectures for the Post-Kyoto World. 'The downfall of this approach is that it has contributed to the Kyoto Protocol’s primary weakness: the agreement has failed to promote more substantial participation among the world’s largest emitters. Three of the five largest do not face binding emissions constraints, despite the fact that they have ratified the Kyoto Protocol: China and India do not have quantitative emissions targets, and Russia’s Kyoto commitment is so lax that it likely will not necessitate any abatement for Russian compliance. In addition, the largest greenhouse gas contributor, the United States, has not ratified the agreement. These four countries represented half of global CO2 emissions in 2004, and their share is expected to grow without efforts to limit their emissions."

Why Threats to the Kyoto Protocol Endangers Copenhagen & Our Climate
Posted by: Guay on November 4, 2009 at 11:59AM PST
By Justin Guay, apprentice for the Sierra Club Global Warming and Energy Team

No comments: