The Kyoto Protocol

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The Kyoto Protocol

The Protocol:

In December of 1997 the industrial nations of the world met in Kyoto, Japan to discuss a protocol that would require each nation to reduce their emission levels of greenhouse gases. On average the protocol required a 5.2% reduction on emission of greenhouse gases, mainly carbon-dioxide, in each signatory nation. 1 However some nations, like the U.S. who were obligated to reduce emissions by 7% of their 1990 levels by 2012, were required to reduce emission levels more or less than the average of 5.2% based on the current levels the nation emits. By March 16, 1997 the protocol was opened for signature and the first nations to sign were Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Maldives, Western Samoa, Switzerland and St. Lucia. Today 84 nations have signed the protocol and 104 have ratified it, accepted it, approved it, or come to an accession. 2 Although the United States under the Clinton Administration did originally sign the protocol; under the Bush Administration, in March of 2001, the U.S officially backed out of the Kyoto Protocol.3

According to President Bush the Kyoto Protocol "makes no economic sense, it makes no common sense." 4 Economically he was worried about the effects of the California energy crisis along with the threat of a recession. 5 In addition President Bush rejected the Kyoto Protocol because of its failure to include developing countries like China which is the second largest producer of greenhouse gases. 6 However, other nations of the world and our own nation saw it as "a moral lapse by the world's biggest polluter." 7 The United States, which only has 4% of the world's population, creates 25% of the pollution. 8 In an article written for the Seattle Times, Eric Sorensen f...

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...February 9, 2003)

14. Shogren, Elizabeth. "Bush Pushes to Cut U.S. Greenhouse Emissions." June 10, 2001. Los Angeles Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com (accessed February 9, 2003)

15. Pianin, Eric. "Bush Offers No Alternative to Kyoto Treaty." Washington Post. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com (accessed February 9, 2003)

16. Shogren, Elizabeth. "Bush Pushes to Cut U.S. Greenhouse Emissions." June 10, 2001. Los Angeles Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com (accessed February 9, 2003)

17. Brodeur, Nicole. "City Thinks Global, Skips Things Local." July 24, 2001. Seattle Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com (accessed February 9, 2003)

18. Forgrave, Reid. "Resolution Sent to Council for Global-Warming Action." July 20,2001. Seattle Times. http://archives.seattletimes.nwsource.com (accessed February 9, 2003)
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