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

Conflicts Engulf Christians in Mideast

Research finds an increase in faith-based hostilities, and Christians are facing persecution in a growing number of countries in the region More

Chinese Americans: Don’t Call Us 'Model Minority'

Label points to collective achievement, but some say it triggers resentment, unrealistic expectations More

Iran Bolsters Phone, Internet Surveillance

Does increased monitoring suggest the government is nervous? 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.
West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015i
X
Carol Pearson
August 30, 2014 7:14 PM
A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video West Africa Ebola Vaccine Trials Possible by Early 2015

A U.S. health agency is speeding up clinical trials of a possible vaccine against the deadly Ebola virus that so far has killed more than 1,500 people in West Africa. If successful, the next step would be a larger trial in countries where the outbreak is occurring. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
Video

Video Survivors Commemorate 70th Anniversary of Nazi Liquidation of Polish Ghetto

When the Nazi army moved into the Polish city of Lodz in 1939, it marked the beginning of a long nightmare for the Jewish community that once made up one third of the population. Roughly 200,000 people were forced into the Lodz Ghetto. Less than 7,000 survived. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, some survivors gathered in Chicago on the 70th anniversary of the liquidation of the Lodz Ghetto to remember those who suffered at the hands of the Nazi regime.
Video

Video Cost to Raise Child in US Continues to Rise

The cost of raising a child in the United States continues to rise. In its latest annual report, the U.S. Department of Agriculture says middle income families with a child born in 2013 can expect to spend more than $240,000 before that child turns 18. And sending that child to college more than doubles that amount. VOA’s Deborah Block visited with a couple with one child in Alexandria, Virginia, to learn if the report reflects their lifestyle.
Video

Video Chaotic Afghan Vote Recount Threatens Nation’s Future

Afghanistan’s troubled presidential election continues to be rocked by turmoil as an audit of the ballots drags on. The U.N. says the recount will not be completed before September 10. Observers say repeated disputes and delays are threatening the orderly transfer of power and could have dangerous consequences. VOA correspondent Meredith Buel reports.
Video

Video Ukraine Battles Pro-Russia Rebel Assault

After NATO concluded an emergency meeting to discuss the crisis in eastern Ukraine, the country is struggling to contain heavy fighting near the strategic port of Mariupol, on the Azov Sea. Separatist rebels are trying to capture the city, allegedly with Russian military help, and Ukraine's defense forces are digging in. VOA's Daniel Schearf spoke with analysts about what lies ahead for Ukraine.
Video

Video Growing Business Offers Paint with a Twist of Wine

Two New Orleans area women started a small business seven years ago with one thing in mind: to help their neighbors relieve the stress of coping with a hurricane's aftermath. Today their business, which pairs painting and a little bit of wine, has become one of the fastest growing franchises across the U.S. VOA’s June Soh met the entrepreneurs at their newest franchise location in the Washington suburbs.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials To Begin Next Week

The National Institutes of Health says it is launching early stage trials of a vaccine to prevent the Ebola virus, which has infected or killed thousands of people across West Africa. The World Health Organization says Ebola could infect more than 20,000 people across the region by the time the outbreak is over. The epidemic has health experts and governments scrambling to prevent more people from becoming infected. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Asian Bacteria Threatens Florida Orange Trees

Florida's citrus fruit industry is facing a serious threat from a bacteria carried by the Asian insect called psyllid. The widespread infestation again highlights the danger of transferring non-native species to American soil. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Aging Will Reduce Economic Growth Worldwide in Coming Decades

The world is getting older, fast. And as more people retire each year, fewer working-age people will be there to replace them. Bond rating agency Moody’s says that will lead to a decline in household savings; reducing global investments - which in turn, will lead to slower economic growth around the world. But experts say it’s not too late to mitigate the economic impact of the world’s aging populations. Mil Arcega has more.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.

AppleAndroid