Future of Kyoto Protocol in Developing Countries

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The Kyoto Protocol is a legally binding, international agreement that sets targets for industrialized countries to limit or reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) by the year 2012. The main aim of this protocol is to protect and enhance the sinks and reservoirs for of green-house gases, promotion of afforestation and reforestation, promotion, research, development and increased use of new and renewable forms of energy, limit or reduce emission of green house gases including methane. Article 3 of the Protocol provides that member nations have to reduce the emissions of green house gases by at least 5%, below 1990 levels in the commitment period of 2008 to 2012. Each of the 38 industrialized countries has its own target. Canada’s target is a 6% reduction from 1990 emission levels by the year 2012. Overall, achieving these targets should reduce GHG emissions in the industrialized world by 5.2%.¬† It also evisages international cooperation in the field of transfer of, or access to environmentally sound technology, known and how, practices and processes pertinent to climate change. Such cooperation includes implementation of environment education programmes, training programmes and public awareness programmes. Annexure A of the Protocol has provided a list of green house gases and source categories such as energy, fugitive emission from fuel, industrial processes, solvent and other product use. Developing countries have contributed least to the sharp rise in GHG concentrations, yet they are among the most vulnerable to its effects. Past GHG emissions were largely a result of industrialization in Europe, North America, and other industrialized nations, and in general, per capita emissions in industrialized countries continue to be higher than emissions in developing countries. Developing countries are home to five out of the six billion people, but historically have contributed only around one quarter of greenhouse gases from energy consumption now accumulated in the atmosphere. Energy use and emissions per person in developing countries on average are still only around a quarter of that in industrialized countries. Resources for economic restructuring are much more limited in developing countries, with average per capita incomes less than one quarter than those in the industrialized world. Moreover, adverse impacts of climate change are likely to affect developing countries particularly badly. There is a requirement of incentives for developing countries to participate.

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Post Contributed by:

Miss Kaushiki  Brahma

Assistant Professor of Law

Indian Institute of Legal Studies

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