What are the pros and cons of the Kyoto Protocol? Do you think it should be followed?
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It is today frequently argued that global climate politics is moving into a new era. With the entry into force of the Kyoto Protocol in February 2005, many years of many-sided discussions resulted in a legally binding covenant with quantitative targets that perpetrate industrialized countries to lessening in national greenhouse gas emissions until 2014. This paper reviews a discursive framework in order to critically analyze the pros and cons of the Kyoto Protocol and future climate governance. Environmental public support groups and agencies have long favored a preliminary strategy for dealing with climate transform, heading probable issues off at the pass through what might be considered a “fast-drive” method. The Kyoto protocol, announced in February 2005 embodies this preliminary method and gives a concrete offer to reckon up as a public policy option. The Kyoto Protocol has such prepositions (Fukasaku, 1999):
▪ Reduced risk of harm from changing weather patterns;
▪ Reduced risk of harm from extreme weather events;
▪ Reduced risk of harm through famine avoidance;
▪ Reduced risk of harm through disease prevention;
▪ Reduction in other proposed climate change hazards;
▪ Reduced risk of harm through avoided economic impacts.
Also the Kyoto Protocol may help to reach other benefits as well, such as eluding loss of human life or illness due to air defilement, and eco-system benefits. Conservative opinions of these auxiliary benefits of greenhouse gas diminution suggest that these may compensate one-third of the estimated costs of national mitigation in OECD countries. In developing countries, where regional air quality is commonly poorer and carbon diminution costs lower, these auxiliary benefits could be even larger. Auxiliary benefits are influential for designing climate policies because of their ingenuousness, compared with the long-term nature of direct advantages from climate mitigation. They can make smaller the cost of achieving climate objectives, thereby making the Kyoto protocol more politically passable. In the longer term, the Kyoto protocol will be essential to help accelerate the growth of technology solutions that can break the link between the increasing demand for energy and transport assistance, and greenhouse gas emissions. This hastening would also be promoted by supplying incentives for private-sector R&D and by assisting to achieve economies of gradation in their production. In some countries, government maintenance to carbon-free renewable technologies has played an influential role in favouring their distribution world-wide, although these interferences have not always been cost-effective from a national perspective.
Nevertheless while the Kyoto Protocol portrayed as a “step in the right way” by many environmental organizations and advocacy groups, the Kyoto Protocol has negative impact. The Kyoto protocol cannot satisfy the interests and values of all countries. For instance, for many developing countries, climate maintenance is not a most important consideration. Thus, sustainable development might be a more constraining issue around which to organize action. The Kyoto protocol has the following issues (Radetzki, 2001):
▪ Restricted political acceptability;
▪ The Protocol does not define the terms afforestation, reforestation and deforestation;
▪ Forests and other carbon sinks may become sources of carbon, due to the predicted increase in droughts and forest fires due to climate change;
▪ Incentives to set weak targets.
The sense of these weaknesses depends on what are being bargained for. If the country is legally binding emission limits, then many developing countries may justifiably request for a more objective framework within which to consult those commitments. Another disadvantage of the Kyoto protocol is complexity. As pointed out by M.Radetzki (Radetzki, 2001), the climate regime is already highly difficult. Complexity, when merged with the weak negotiating faculty of many governments, can lead to protective negotiating postures and a culture of suspicion. At some point, complexity can become the enemy of environmental productiveness. Complexity reduces transparence and admits countries to hide weak negotiating positions in a shroud of numbers, nomenclature, and other obscurities that are beyond the comprehension of all but a few insiders.
I think the Kyoto protocol should be followed because it offers a solid foundation for further developing the climate regime. The Kyoto protocol includes provisions both for developing countries to individually assent to fixed emission targets and for the set of a comprehensive negotiating approach, whose results could resolve some of the disadvantages discussed in this paper.
Fukasaku, Yukiko (1999). Environment Technology Foresight. Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham.
Radetzki, Marian (2001). The Green Myth – Economic Growth and the Quality of the Environment. Multi-Science Publishing, Essex.