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Kyoto Protocol Bill Menke, December 6, 2005. Summary. Milestones 1972 Stockholm Declaration 1988 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 1992 UN Framewor Convention on Climate Change 1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution 1997 Kyoto Protocol 2005 Kyoto Rulebook Statistics Reactions.

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Kyoto protocol bill menke december 6 2005 l.jpg

Kyoto ProtocolBill Menke, December 6, 2005

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1972 Stockholm Declaration

1988 Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change

1992 UN Framewor Convention on Climate Change

1997 Byrd-Hagel Resolution

1997 Kyoto Protocol

2005 Kyoto Rulebook



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United Nations Conference on the Human EnvironmentStockholm Declaration of 1972

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Some Highlights

  • protection and improvement of the human environment is a major issue

  • developing countries must direct their efforts to development, bearing in mind their priorities and the need to safeguard and improve the environment

  • natural growth of population continuously presents problems for the preservation of the environment

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Intergovernmental Panel onClimate Changeestablished 1988joint program of theWorld Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme

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Assess scientific, technical and socio- economic information relevant for the understanding of climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation

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This group publishes the IPCC Reportrs that we have used

previously in this class

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United Nations FrameworkConvention on Climate Change1992

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  • Ultimate objective: stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous interference with the climate system

  • Commitments of states

    • publish inventories of sources & sinks

    • formulate & implement mitigation plans

    • promote scientific exchanges

  • United States is a signatory

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Byrd-Hagel ResolutionUS Senate, 1997(non-binding, but passed 95-0)

  • The U.S. will not enter into an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that will be detrimental to the economy of the U.S.

  • The U.S. will not enter into an agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that does not require "meaningful involvement" on the part of developing nations.

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Kyoto Protocolto the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Changenegotiated in 1997open for signature in 1998came into force February 16, 2005

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  • The Kyoto Protocol is a agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5.2% compared to the year 1990

  • Compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol, this target represents a 29% cut.

  • The goal is to lower overall emissions from six greenhouse gases - carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs - calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12.

  • National targets range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland.“

  • Sinks can be used to offset emission and emission credits can be traded.

  • IPPC analyses used in assessments of sources and sinks

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Why 10% increase for Iceland?

  • In October, 2000 I (B. Menke) participated in a discussion with President Grimsson of Iceland, who was visiting LDEO. He said that because of Iceland’s heavy reliance on geothermal and hydroelectric energy, its per-capita emissions were low. Even opening one new factory would represent an increase that would be hard to offset.

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US and Kyoto

US signed in 1998 (Clinton) but withdrew in in 2001

"The Kyoto Protocol was fatally flawed in fundamental ways, but the process used to bring nations together to discuss our joint response to climate change is an important one …“

George W. Bush

June 11, 2001

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Bush’s Criticisms

emissions targets arbitrary and not based on science

protocol's binding limits on emissions could harm the U.S. economy

Several big emitter countries, such as China (the number 2 emitter) and India (number 6) are totally exempt.

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Kyoto Rule BookDecember 2, 2005

  • Defines how each country’s emissions and sinks (e.g. reforestation) are accounted

  • Developed countries can invest in other developed countries and earn carbon allowances

  • Establishes the Clean Development Mechanism which allows developed countries to invest in sustainable development projects (excl. nukes) in developing countries

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Status and Projections

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Various Reactions to Kyoto

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Although every European country says that it supports ratification of Kyoto, none have explained what ratification means for their citizens and their economies. If they were so confident that these targets could be achieved at low cost with no serious economic consequences, they would be more forthcoming with their plans and analyses.

William O'Keefe

Marshall Institute

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The arguments for and against nuclear power have changed somewhat over the years. Finland’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Ms Sinikka Mönkäre, who is a Social Democrat and a physician, argues for the building of a new nuclear power plant because of Finland's climate commitments under the Kyoto protocol, and the price and availability of energy.

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Why Greenpeace supports Kyoto

The Kyoto Protocol is the only global action plan against climate change. It's just the first step but the way forward is for countries to get on board and negotiate the next round of emissions reduction targets.

From the GreenPeace website

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The president's decision to pull out of the Kyoto Protocol is going to cost U.S. energy technology companies millions of dollars. The international agreement will create a multibillion dollar market in the developing world for renewable energy technologies, and the Germans and the Japanese, participants in Kyoto, are going to have a leg up in that market.

Philip Clapp

National Environment Trust

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Independent of politics, going after reducing CO2 makes real business sense because it usually means going after energy use.

Kristen Zimmerman

Spokesperson for

General Motors Corporation

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The expansion of palm oil production* is one of the leading causes of rainforest destruction in south-east Asia. It is one of the most environmentally damaging commodities on the planet. Once again it appears we are trying to solve our environmental problems by dumping them in developing countries, where they have devastating effects on local people.

Simon Counsell

Rainforest Foundation

* due to a European Union laws requiring conventional fuels to be blended with biofuels

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