The Kyoto Protocol Summary - A Quick Guide To Understanding It

This Kyoto Protocol Summary recognizes that the Protocol is simple in essence but is more complex in its implementation.

This is a quick guide to understanding it.

So you want to have some grasp of the essence of the Kyoto Protocol but don’t have the time to digest it in all its detail? This Kyoto Protocol Summary may be just what you need. You may find more on the Kyoto Treaty here.

Fair enough. Not "having enough time" is a symptom of our age prompting us to find greater alternate energy sources to do work for us. This is in turn a cause of global warming.

President Obama To Sign The Kyoto Treaty?

Before you go on, just pause for a moment... Barack Obama has said his administration will spend $150 Billion on development of renewable energy and technology. The USA is the last to hold out on signing the Kyoto Treaty. The first act of the Australian Rudd Government was to sign it. Will President Obama sign it?

No, not while there is such an uneven commitment to reducing enforceable greenhouse gas emission cuts. Copenhagen failed miserably when India and China did not play ball.

For the moment Kyoto is all we have - till 2014. And it's completely inadequate as a mechanism towards greenhouse gas emission cuts that will save the world from significant effects of global warming.

The Kyoto Protocol tries to stimulate you and I to think more responsibly about that and the fossil fuels we use. What kind of energy we use, how, and how much we use is important for our survival and wellbeing of the planet Earth.

Read this Kyoto Protocol Summary.

Here is the Kyoto Protocol Summary—no frills.

What is the Kyoto Protocol in summary?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement between countries, worldwide, to limit emissions of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases are a major cause of global warming.

And global warming affects everything. Colder climates in some parts. Hotter, drier climates in others. Rising sea levels, water shortages, loss of bio diversity, and so on. The Kyoto Protocol is an effort to curb these, and other, effects.

Of course I cannot tell you more than this in a Kyoto Protocol Summary only.

What greenhouse gases does the Kyoto Prootcol aim to limit?

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2)
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorocarbons (PFCs, and
  • Sulphur hexafluoride (SF6)

Which countries have signed up for the Kyoto Protocol?

At 18th April, 2006, 168 countries have signed the Kyoto Treaty At 3rd December, 2007, 175 countries have signed the Kyoto Treaty.

When was the Kyoto Protocol first open for signature?

The Kyoto Protocol was first open for signature to countries willing to participate, on 11th December, 1997, in Kyoto, Japan.

Of course negotiations began long before that date but this is all that needs to be said in the Kyoto Protocol Summary I think.

When did the Kyoto Protocol come into force?

It came into force on 16th February, 2005.

What are the Kyoto Protocol conditions for it to come into force?

In summary, the Kyoto Protocol knows three categories.

  • Annex I countries – industrialised countries
  • Annex II countries – developed countries
  • Developing countries

The Kyoto Protocol requires 55 industrialised countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions to target levels 5.2% below that of 1990. If unable to, they must buy emission credits from countries that are under these levels.

Further, it provides that developed countries pay for costs of developing countries.

Developing countries have no requirements under the Protocol. They may sell emission credits and receive funds and technology from Annex II countries for climate-related studies and projects. Many Annex I and Annex II countries overlap.

Are the Kyoto Protocol targets across the board?

No. Some targets for some countries are higher than for others, depending on their emission status. For instance, the emission cut target for the European Union is set at 8% and 7% for the USA. Australia and Iceland are permitted to increase their emission by respectively 8% and 10%. Russia has a 0% target, due to its declined industrial output since the collapse of the USSR.

Have all countries signed the Kyoto Protocol?

No. Notable exceptions remains the USA as a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Australia signed the Treaty on the 3rd December 2007, hours after the swearing in of the new Rudd Labor government, as its first governing act.

Is the Kyoto Protocol a success?

Well, not having the USA ratify the Kyoto Protocol is a big problem as the USA also roughly contributes a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gases.

A number of countries have not so far met the Kyoto Protocol emission targets.

Even if it did, current projections call for the need of much bigger cuts in emissions than the Kyoto Protocol requires.

The United Nations now predict a rise of 10% in greenhouse emissions since 1990.

Is there hope that the Kyoto Protocol can do something about global warming?

The Kyoto Protocol is a unique international initiative that recognises the dire environmental straits that we are in. Its processes seem painfully slow and its results small against daily reports of serious global warming effects.

However its symbolic value may be its greatest asset. Any effort is better than none and if governments are slow, people everywhere are doing what they can do. Recycling, green power, wearing a jumper rather than turning up the heater, and so on. Some local governments are not waiting for their national governments to come to the party and introduce their own individual carbon trading schemes or offer incentives for solar heating.

Draw up your own list of what you can do.

But, remember, no amount of recycling, or technological wizardry alone can deliver a sustainable world. Getting on with each other can. Living well within the inevitable limits, dependency and fragility that are part of life, is a

sustainable life.

Appreciate this Kyoto Protocol Summary?

And...

See who lives in your street that you can make a connection with and give someone a hand that needs one. Let that be your personal "Kyoto Protocol Summary". There is much to learn about truly renewable resources.