Kyoto Protocol is an attempt of global community to encourage industrialized countries to lower on emissions of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions was signed in 1997 and till date there are multiple debates going on whether or not it was a step to foster a global cooperation to address current environmental issues or just a governmental endeavor to take under control a free market spot.
First, the protocol is seen as a starting point for effective collaboration aiming to achieve global good and face climate change (Hamish McRae). The journalist is sure that the deal has shown the commitment of countries to sacrifice their short-term needs at micro level in order to follow the “long-term global environmental aims”. In contrast, Kyoto Protocol is poorly designed and does not have any clear influences in perspective “unlike the Montreal Protocol, which had a clear objective and clear benefits”, notes the author. All things considered can help to draw a conclusion that the Protocol is rather controversial in its future perspectives but is a significant leap of “a wider global process of conservation” (Hamish McRae).
Second, carbon is traded like any other commodity: the treaty expects the countries that do not exceed their carbon emissions limits to sell the surplus to the countries which due to their industrial needs are beyond the allocated quotas. On the other hand, “carbon market” has plenty of opponents ready to state that even though the carbon trading is being constantly advertized as a key solution to coping with climate change, it is just a small part of the dilemma.
Tamra Gilbertson and Oscar Reyes are sure that “today’s climate challenges require a paradigm shift in our thinking and approaches” (3). The Carbon Trade Watch researchers state that the adoption of proposed schema was a way to “make climate problems fit market solutions” (9). In any case, despite its bright perspectives in reality Kyoto Protocol leaves very less room for adequate decisions in environment pollution control and gives a way to corporations and governments to speculate on their emissions targets.
Third, it is worthy to take a look at nowadays situation and whether or not “Son of Kyoto” can be considered a success reaching its initial targets and objectives. The recent United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP18/CMP8) prolonged the lifeline of “of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012 keeps it alive as the sole legally binding plan for combating global warming” for eight more years (Alister Doyle and Barbara Lewis).
This can be seen as a constant struggle of humanity to overcome or at least control the situation with growing GHG emissions in spite of all the imperfection and criticism of the Kyoto initiative. Some of Doha decisions were questioned by Russia as well as neighboring Ukraine and Belarus asking to “be allowed extra credit for the emissions cuts they made when their industries collapsed” (Roger Harrabin). However, the query was not given a credit which left Russia no room for objection. This fact claims that there is still no unity in common decisions and universal outlook on the problem of climate change preventive measures.
On the whole, Kyoto Protocol is rather controversial instrument in global climate change arena. The deal should be taken as a serious step toward improving the future generations living conditions as well as preventing possible natural disasters. At the same time its coherence should be periodically reviewed and corrective actions taken based on the comprehensive scientific and environmental research not only on pure calculation and monetary estimates.
Doyle, Alyster and Barbara Lewis. UN climate conference throws Kyoto Protocol a lifeline. http://www.theglobeandmail.com. 08 Dec 2012. Web. 20 Jan 2013
Gilbertson, Tamra and Oscar Reyes. “Carbon Trading – How it works and why it fails”. Critical Currents no.7 (2009): 3-9. http://www.tni.org/. Web. Jan 20 2013
Harrabin, Roger. UN climate talks extend Kyoto Protocol, promise
08 Dec 2012. Web. 20 Jan 2013
McRae, Hamish. Can Kyoto really save the world? http://www.independent.co.uk. 16 Feb 2005. Web. 20 Jan 2013
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