Climate change was a topic developed by a Swedish scientist as far back as 1896 due to the combustion of fossil fuel. The first predicted global warming was in 1976. In 1988, the theory was finally acknowledged when the climate became the hottest within the century (Maslin, 2008). The greenhouse effect became a concern and Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was founded. Damages from greenhouse gases could include severe climate changes, altered ecosystem, extinction and loss of biodiversity (Shogren, 2004). The Kyoto Protocol was introduced to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The main six chemicals that needed to be reduced were CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, and SF6 (Parker & Blodgett, 2010). The goal was to reduce the total emissions by 5% below 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012.
Targeting the reduction of greenhouse gases was particularly challenging because many variables are factored in when calculating the emissions. Back in 2000, the United states had the most greenhouse gas emissions emitting 19% of the world total, followed by China at 14% (Parker & Blodgett, 2010). When the land-use effect is taken into consideration, the developing nations tend to rise for the emissions compared to other countries. Oil and gas states have the highest per capita of GHG emissions, such as Australia, United States and Canada) whereas developing countries are ranked lower (Parker & Blodgett, 2010). The problem of Kyoto Protocol is that strict regulations on emissions of GHG applied to industrialized nation only (Cooper, 2001). Developing countries such as India and China were not required to commit to reductions, as the GHG emissions per capita were much lower. Most of the develop...
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Overall, the Kyoto Protocol was not successful in reducing the climate change effect. The approach was taken to lower the emissions of the six main chemicals. The protocol was flawed in the beginning as Richard Cooper states. Greenhouse gases are a global phenomenon and not enforcing all the countries to reduce their emission serves no purpose. In consequence, developing countries such as China and India will emit just as much greenhouse gases and the United States in the long run. In the study conducted by Fang, we saw that China emissions of SF6 rose since the 1990’s. The protocol may have succeeded for some countries in Europe, but it is not enough for significant changes. In order for it to be successful, at least the top seven emitting countries should have joined the protocol as they account for about 52% of the global emissions.
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