What is the Kyoto Protocol all about? Basically, it’s an agreement negotiated by a number of countries in 1997, and it came into its force after the ratification of Russia in 2005. The main reason for this long timespan between its agreement and engagement is that more than 50 parties needed to ratify it due to the fact that they are responsible for the emission of over 50% of greenhouse gases in the world.
This important protocol was developed under the UNFCCC, and those parties that took part in its ratification and discussion agreed to cut their carbon emissions and the emissions of other greenhouse gases, including methane, nitrous oxide, etc.
If they keep emitting these harmful gases above the decided targets, they will be responsible and take part in emissions trading, which means buying credits from other countries that can exceed specific reduction targets to offset.
The main goal of the Kyoto Protocol is to force participants to collectively decrease their emission of greenhouse gases, and the current result of this effort is more than 5% below the emission levels in the past. This number is a collective one, and this means that some countries have higher targets, while others have the lower ones. As an example, the US is expected to decrease its emissions by 7%. There is a special chart that can provide you with a better understanding why different participants have different targets.
When it comes to China and India, the countries that also ratified this protocol, they are not required to decrease their greenhouse gases emissions according to the fact that they are developing regions. They were not the main culprits for increased emissions during industrialization so that they are not considered as the main cause for global warming.
Take into consideration major differences in the populations of participants and you will understand why the West decided to outsource a big part of its greenhouse emissions to such countries as India and China. This aspect is a hole in the Kyoto Protocol, regardless of whether it was coincidental or intended.
Finally, it’s true that many countries in the world signed this protocol, but their signatures alone remain symbolic and is considered just as a gesture of supporting. They need to ratify it to start carrying legal obligations and responsibilities while making it a contractual arrangement. Hopefully, this incentive won’t be doomed to fail its main objectives.
What is the Kyoto Protocol all about? Basically, it’s an agreement negotiated by a number of countries in 1997, and it came into its force after the ratification of Russia in 2005.