The adaptation of the Kyoto Protocol 

Emphasis on understanding what is the Kyoto Protocol and the environmental effects it will have for the foreseeable future.

Kyoto Protocol is a United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It is an international treaty on the environment. Its main goal is to regulate the greenhouse effect in the atmosphere. The entire treaty is structured on scientific recognition that global warming is an imminent threat to mankind.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted on 11 December 1997. It came into force on 16th February 2005. This treaty is being signed by 192 parties at the present. Major greenhouse gases discussed in this treaty are Carbon dioxide, Methane, Nitrous oxide, Hydroflourocarbons, Perfluorocarbons and Sulphur hexafluoride.

Kyoto Protocol 
Image source – Foreign Affairs

In December 2012, following the completion of the first agreement cycle of the Protocol, the participant member countries met in Doha, Qatar to adopt a change to the original Kyoto Protocol. This meeting was recognised as the Doha Amendment, which added new emission reduction goals for these countries during the second charge of 2012-2020. The UNFCCC members signed another agreement, the Paris Climate Agreement in 2015 Paris for a sustainable development that essentially replaced the Kyoto Protocol.

Salient Features of the Kyoto protocol. 

  • The Protocol was accepted by 192 parties, i.e. 191 states and one regional economic integration organization. The United States dropped itself out of this treaty in 2001.

  • On 11 December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, the Kyoto Protocol was adopted and on 16 February 2005, it entered into effect. At COP 7 in Marrakesh, Morocco the detailed rules were adopted in 2001, and they were called the “Marrakesh Accords.”

  • The protocol required a reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in 37 developed nations and the European Community. Developing countries were urged to participate voluntarily.

  • Over 100 developing countries were removed from the Treaty, including China and India.

  • The Treaty has created an international trading mechanism that enables countries to gain support for their emissions by engaging in pollution cleanups abroad.

  • The Global Carbon Atlas estimates that China and the United States were the major sources of greenhouse gases in 2018.

  • Canada withdrew from the Kyoto Protocol in 2012.

  • The first commitment period of this Kyoto Protocol began in 2008 and ended in 2012.

  • New obligations for Annex I Members to the Kyoto Protocol who decided to accept the obligations from 1 January 2013 to 31 December 2020 within the second commitment period.

  • India has ratified the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol.

  • Paris agreement 2015, is not an amendment to the Kyoto Protocol but a separate treaty altogether.

  • In addition to national action, the Agreement has three mechanisms to fulfil the Kyoto objectives:

i)International Emissions Trading

ii)Clean Development Mechanism

iii)Joint Implementation.

Emission Monitoring Process of the Kyoto Protocol.

Member countries must carry out the emission reporting process, and an acceptable track record must be held for the same.

  • Registry system – This is intended to monitor the members’ transactions according to the Kyoto frameworks.

  • Reporting – This is a significant part of the operation as details on annual pollution inventory shall be submitted by the members concerned according to the instructions of the protocol.

  • Compliance system – This assures that the commitments of the members are satisfied even in the event of a concern.

  • Adaptation- This aspect of the process promotes the creation and implementation of technologies to enhance climate change tolerance. There is an adaptation fund set up. To help parties that conduct adaptation initiatives and services.

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