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The Kyoto Protocol

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Danielle "Kyoto" Haley

on 15 December 2013

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Transcript of The Kyoto Protocol

Obstacles to Successful (International) Ratification
The Kyoto Protocol: Morally Flawed?
-The Kyoto Protocol placed its heaviest requirements on those responsible for the most emissions.

-This would give industrializing countries a clear advantage over the US.

Was the US Justified in denying the Kyoto Protocol?
: The US's decision to refuse the Kyoto Protocol crippled it.
: The US would have suffered economically if it ratified the Kyoto Protocol.

-Environmental benefits are intangible in the short term.

-Its immediate expenses overshadow long term benefits.

-There was ambiguity regarding carbon sink credits and tradability of emissions rights.
The Kyoto Protocol
Basics of the Kyoto Protocol
Important Dates: 11 Dec 1997, 2005, 2008-2012, and 2013-2020
Main Goal: to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Systems: Registry, National Reporting, Compliance, Adaptation
Mechanisms (3): Emissions Trading, Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation
Unfair Advantage?
It is immoral, unfair and is inherently unequal.

: It allows developing nations to develop economically so that they may have a fair shot at contributing just like the developed nations.
Carbon Market Corruption?

Morality of the Kyoto Protocol
Right of Poor Countries to Develop Economically
THESIS: Kyoto Protocol ideally does recognize these values, but has provided a balance between recognizing these values in an ideal setting and functioning in a practical economic environment.
Three arguments against the morality of the Kyoto Protocol:
1. Developing nations are not required to limit their emissions
2. CDM's use of offset credits have caused an unequal distribution of “help” given by developed countries amongst the world’s developing nations.
3. Developing countries are affected by climate change the most, but weren't included in the drafting of the protocol.
developing nations, such as China and India, are currently not required to limit their carbon emissions

Inequality in Representation
developing nations do not have a big say in decision-making in the Kyoto Protocol.
developed countries are allowed to buy "emissions reduction credits" from developing nations; they pay by funding sustainability projects in the developing country.
As a result of making emission reduction credits a commodity through mechanisms such as the CDM, developed nations are focusing on reducing less costly gases aside from CO2

Developed nations get the flexibility in obtaining more emissions reduction credits, while developing nations get sustainability projects, which will help them lower their emissions in the long term.

The Kyoto Protocol should closely monitor how much developed nations are reducing of certain gases aside from CO2.
The voices and interests of developing nations were not heard and because of this the Protocol is unethical and unjust.

Even though developing nations did not have a major say in the drafting of the Kyoto Protocol, their interests were not lost in the process. Developing nations gain many benefits.
It was proposed as either an alternate or an addition to the Kyoto Protocol but wound up being its own section when it was rejected
The ultimate goal is to have everyone move towards zero per capita emissions
Equal Per Capita and Carbon Markets
The C&C Model promotes Equal Per Capita shares of carbon emissions, however, it permits Carbon Markets and Emissions Trading
Moral Issues
This project doesn't satisfy the idea of "historic wrongs", so there may be a moral failure
America, Australia, and Canada have expressed interest in the Contraction and Convergence model
Proposed in 1989 by the Global Commons Institute, based in London, England.
Contraction is simply the reduction of carbon emissions in our atmosphere
Every country would be expected to undergo some reduction of carbon emissions
Some less developed countries would actually have more time to lower their emissions, giving them them both a chance to develop and still placing restrictions.
The current example is 450 ppm of carbon in our atmosphere by the year 2100, and although that is not a reduction at the moment, it will be if we continue debating climate change actions for several more years.
Carbon Markets

Market-based approach aimed at decreasing carbon dioxide emissions

Operates on a Cap-and-Trade Basis

Cap: Amount of CO2 emissions allowed by the market is set by a governing authority.

Trade: Permits distributed. Participants may buy and sell permits.

Participants are encouraged to minimize their emissions to avoid having to purchase additional permits.
Where are Current and Future Markets?
European Union Emission Trading Scheme is the oldest and largest ongoing market.

China launched first of many markets in Shenzen on June 2013.

South Korea and Thailand plan to develop their own markets by 2015.
Why Is a Market Better than a Tax?
A carbon tax implements a rate per ton of carbon emitted. Corporations may increase their prices to offset costs of the tax.

A tax merely discourages the release of emissions. A market uses a cap to ensure an actual limit on the total emissions.

People hate taxes.
How Can Markets be Exploited?
The emission caps are not set small enough.

Caps are "leaky"
Corporations can move their polluting operations to areas outside the cap.

Offset credits are counterproductive
Corporations can exceed the limit by paying others to reduce their emissions instead.
This is not a short term goal, but a long term ideal.
Developed countries will have less time than undeveloped countries, giving them the opportunity to experience the growth the developed countries had.
Each country will have a set amount of time, but they will each have their own timeline.
How do you take into account:
1. Needs of the Environments?
Someone who lives in Siberia may need more energy for heat than others
2. Commercial Users?
How do you decide if commerical or residential energy consumers get energy first?
Who would:
1. Collect the payments for the Emissions Trading?
How can you find a person who is respected by all countries?
2. Enforce the emissions limits?
Would it be globally enforced, nationally, or on individual levels?
It doesn't give guidance as to how to go about these changes
Equal per capita emissions are impractical and easily corrupted
Carbon Markets (As will be expounded on by Alvin) are flawed and easily corruptible.
Contraction and Convergence
The United States and The Kyoto Protocol
The Kyoto Protocol: Economically Damaging?
-Businesses will leave the US and set up in less regulated countries.

-The US is dependent on fossil fuels, so a shift away from their use will hurt the economy.

Garvey: The Ethics of Climate Change
Moral Adequacy
Historical responsibilities
Present capacities
Relative wealth and "burden sharing"

First commitment period: average 5%
Second commitment period: averge 18%
Competing Interests
Politics (political feasibility)
Full transcript