One proposal to answer to the problem of global warming is a lot simpler in theory than it is in practice. Given the rate of economic growth of many of the developing countries and the shift of production to the lesser developed countries, the implementation of any global protocols is easier to imagine than to implement (Torn and Harte, 2006). Greenhouse gases, which are cited as one of the main causes of global warming, are most commonly emitted from the highly industrialized countries and the less developed countries which rely heavily on industrial machinery for production.
The problem in this scenario is that by cutting back on the emission of greenhouse gases, a majority of the world’s production of most major goods will be affected. The economic costs not to mention the technological impediments that preventing the shift to more environmentally friendly methods make the reduction of these greenhouse gases extremely difficult (Rudiman, 2005). There have been steps that have been taken to reduce the levels of greenhouse gases.
In order to address the situation of global warming, many countries have participated in the world’s primary international agreement on combating global warming which is the Kyoto Protocol. An amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol binds signatory countries to reduce their emissions of CO2 and five other greenhouse gases. In the alternative, it allows these countries to engage in emissions trading if they are able to maintain or increase emissions of these gases (Wigley, 2007).
The problem with this protocol, however, is that it exempts developing countries from meeting emission standards in Kyoto (Choi and Fisher, 2003). Some of the countries that have been excluded from this list are China and India, who are ranked as the second and third largest emitters of CO2, behind the United States. In addition, the United States and other Asian countries such as South Korea, China, Australia, Japan and India created a coalition named Asia-Pacific Partnership for Clean Development and Climate which upholds the objective of fostering technical partnership in the taking measures in order to prevent global warming (WMO, 2005).
This coalition aims to design new procedures that will facilitate the growth of each country without inflicting any harm to the environment. One of the coalition’s programs in the Methane to Market initiative which reduces the amount of methane gas produced by industries through the employment of equipment that captures methane gas as soon as it is produced. South Korea and its partner countries are still searching for a protocol that would help determine the allowable concentration of gas emissions in each country.
However, there is still strong criticism on whether this protocol reflects the current economic standards of South Korea because it has been observed that developing countries often aim to achieve the same standards as that of developed countries, even if it entails some form of circumvention of gas emission laws of the country. In the United States, energy guidelines have been designed in order to foster energy efficiency and environmental cleanliness.
One of the most visible programs in Energy Star which is a diversification of appliances that would promote emissions that contain less radiation and gases. Energy Star logos are often observed in appliances such as refrigerators, televisions and microwave ovens. In addition, the Department of Transported has initiated the annual monitoring of gas emissions from all types of vehicles.
This directive has successfully been followed because the requirement of gas emission checking was linked to the annual registration of vehicles. Should a vehicle be determined to be excessively emitting gases, the owner of the vehicle is required to fix this technical problem with his vehicle first before the vehicle is issued any registration documents. This stringent law is thus difficult to be ignored and all vehicle operators are then educated in terms of the importance of checking their vehicle’s gas emissions regularly.
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