Kyoto Protocol Comes Into Force

The Kyoto protocol of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) became a piece of international law today.  

The full text is available online from the UNFCCC. While the biggest impact is likely to be on the energy sector of the economies of parties to the treaty, the protocol deals with farming (release of methane, for example) and other economic activities as well. Penalties for non-compliance are not yet established - that is scheduled to be done at the next meeting of the parties.

Kyoto may be one of those "inadequate goals" that have the danger of lulling people into thinking a problem is being addressed, when the full scope is not. However, it is also a "first step" that introduces carbon emissions trading to the world, and market incentives to start the reduction of economic carbon intensity. Renewable energy technologies could greatly benefit - the protocol specifically states that parties may conduct:

Research on, and promotion, development and increased use of, new and renewable forms of energy, of carbon dioxide sequestration technologies and of advanced and innovative environmentally sound technologies;
(Article 2, paragraph 1.iv)

Perhaps these developments will be enough to move economies to real alternatives; a more drastic approach that has potential to achieve the full needed reductions is the Contraction and Convergence proposal.

Created: 2005-02-16 19:36:13 by Arthur Smith
Modified: 2005-02-22 02:39:17 by Arthur Smith