News / Science & Technology

Kyoto Protocol Winds Down As Delegates Head To Doha

Kyoto Protocol Winds Down as Delegates Head to Dohai
|| 0:00:00
...    
🔇
X
Henry Ridgwell
November 23, 2012 9:19 PM
The The Kyoto Protocol is set to expire in just a few weeks. Its replacement will be debated in next week's climate talks in Qatar - but expectations are low, and few observers believe a new deal will be struck in Doha. Henry Ridgwell looks back on 15 years of the Kyoto Protocol. is set to expire in just a few weeks. Its replacement will be debated in next week's climate talks in Qatar - but expectations are low, and few observers believe a new deal will be struck in Doha. Henry Ridgwell looks back on 15 years of the Kyoto Protocol.
Kyoto Protocol Winds Down as Delegates Head to Doha
Henry Ridgwell
The Kyoto Protocol is set to expire in just a few weeks, and its replacement will be debated during next week's climate talks in Qatar.  However, few observers believe a new deal will be struck in Doha.  Henry Ridgwell looks back on 15 years of the Kyoto Protocol.

As delegates from 190 countries head for Doha to try to forge a new deal on tackling global warming, the Kyoto Protocol - signed in 1997 - is due to expire at the end of the year.

Facts on Kyoto Protocol
  • Signed in 1997, set to expire this year
  • Set binding targets for industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 5 percent from 1990 levels
  • Developing nations did not have binding emissions targets
  • 193 parties ratified the pact
  • The U.S. did not ratify the protocol
That deal sets binding targets for industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of five percent from 1990 levels.

By most measures, it has failed, says Dieter Helm, Professor of Energy Policy at Oxford University.

“The Kyoto Protocol has made virtually no difference whatsoever to the growth of global emissions. Back in 1990 they were going up at about two parts per million, they’re now going up at about three (parts per million),” Helm said.

Helm says the main flaw of the Kyoto Protocol is that it only covers a fraction of the world’s total emissions, because much of the West is already de-industrializing

 “We should be taxing carbon consumption, including those carbon imports - so putting a price on carbon so we really pay for our carbon footprint in the West, as well as around the world,” Helm said.

Despite the continuing rise in harmful emissions, Ruth Davis of Greenpeace says the Kyoto Protocol remains a vital tool.

“The principles embedded in the Kyoto Protocol are absolutely essential to a workable international treaty.  Those principles are around things like common counting rules and transparency so that one country can see what another country is doing when it makes a commitment,” Davis said.

Key Climate Conference Terms

UNFCCC - U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, which sets the overall framework to address climate change.

COP - Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC that meets annually to assess progress in dealing with climate change.

CMP - Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, which meet at the annual COP.
Kyoto Protocol - 1997 agreement that sets targets for industrialized countries to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Protestors voiced their anger at the last climate summit in Durban in 2011, after delegates failed to reach a new post-Kyoto deal, pledging only to adopt a legal agreement by 2015.

The sheer size of the meetings has made reaching a consensus virtually impossible, says Heike Schroeder of the University of East Anglia.

“Very small countries would come with, let’s say, three delegates: Somalia sent three delegates to Copenhagen, whilst Brazil sent almost 600 delegates.  That’s a huge difference.  And so these small countries just cannot actually be part of all the negotiations that are taking place,” Schroeder said.

Schroeder is pessimistic that much will be achieved this time round.

“Nothing has changed.  And it will be the continuation of what we’ve seen in terms of a lot of talk with very little progress,” Schroeder said.

Dieter Helm of Oxford University paints a similarly bleak picture.

“By 2020 on current growth rates, China and India will be twice their current size, there will be 400 to 600 gigawatts of new coal on the system and we’ll be way beyond 400 parts per million (in terms of global emissions),” Helm said.

Scientists say global warming is already taking effect. The World Bank warned this month that the world is likely to warm by 3 to 4 degrees centigrade by the end of the 21st century. Extreme weather, it warns, will become the "new normal."

You May Like

Missouri Town Braces for Possible Racial Unrest

Situation in Ferguson hinges on whether white police officer will be indicted for August shooting death of unarmed black teen; decision could come Monday More

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of 1930s Deadly Famine

President Poroshenko compares Soviet-era ‘genocide’ to current tactics of pro-Russia rebels in Ukraine's east More

S. Philippines Convictions Elusive 5 Years After Election-related Killings

Officials vowed to deliver justice as the nation marked the anniversary of the country's worst political massacre that left 58 dead, more than half media More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: William from: Argentina
November 27, 2012 1:27 PM
I want to propose on UN Climate Conference in Doha that a alternative measures must to be taken to save Kyoto Protocol, concreativity, the joint of more than a hundred small countries, with delegades in Doha, to reduce their carbon emissions by themselves in a wide and consensuade number of measures in a global efforts, financed for a Credit Institution as World Bank, Thanks Very Much


by: Manda from: South of Osaka
November 23, 2012 6:35 PM
"Nothing has changed'. That's true. That's because most people in the world don't believe reducing CO2 emmision is the measure for the climate change.
We should shift the issue from climate change to simply energy problem not for reducing CO2.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
New Skateboard Defies Gravityi
X
November 21, 2014 5:07 AM
A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Gay Evangelicals Argue That Bible Does Not Condemn Homosexuality

More than 30 U.S. states now recognize same-sex marriages, and an increasing number of mainline American churches are blessing them. But evangelical church members- which account for around 30 percent of the U.S. adult population - believe the Bible unequivocally condemns homosexuality. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports that gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender evangelicals are coming out. Backed by a prominent evangelical scholar, they argue that the traditional reading of the bible is wrong.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Mexico Protests Escalate Over Disappearances

Protests in Mexico over 43 students missing since September continue to escalate, reflecting growing anger among Mexicans about a political system they view as corrupt, and increasingly tainted by the drug trade. Mounting outrage over the disappearances is now focused on the government of President Enrique Pena Nieto, accused of not doing enough to end insecurity in the country. More from VOA's Victoria Macchi.
Video

Video US Senate Votes Down Controversial Oil Pipeline - For Now

The U.S. Senate has rejected construction of a controversial pipeline to transport Canadian oil to American refineries. The $5 billion project still could be approved next year, but it faces a possible veto by President Barack Obama. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, the pipeline has exposed deep divisions in Congress about America’s energy future.
Video

Video Can Minsk Cease-fire Agreement Hold?

Growing tensions between government troops and separatists in eastern Ukraine further threaten a cease-fire agreement reached two months ago in the Belarusian capital of Minsk. Critics of U.S. policy in Ukraine say it is time the Obama administration gives up on that much-violated cease-fire and moves toward a new deal with Russia. VOA's Scott Stearns has more.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Ferguson Church Grapples with Race Relations

Many white residents of Ferguson, Missouri, say they chose to live there because of the American Midwest community's diversity. So, they were shocked when a white police officer killed an unarmed black teenager in August – and shaken by the resulting protests and violence. Some local churches are leading conversations on how to go forward. VOA’s Ayesha Tanzeem reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid