A meaningful TREATY?

The Kyoto Protocol to the Climate Change Convention is the first step towards defining the emissions reduction targets of industralised countries. However, as a first step it falls short of expectations.

Published: Saturday 15 August 1998

A meaningful TREATY?

-- (Credit: Nikhat Jamal  Qayum /CSE)" Under the protocol, between the years 2008 and 2012, industralised countries are expected to cut their overall carbon emissions by only 5.2 per cent below their 1990 levels. Moreover, large loophooles in the protocol mean it is "business as usual" for the world's polluters.

To understand the shortcomings of the protocol. Down To Earth sought the opinion of five environmentalists who have been closely monitoring the post-Kyoto developments. They were posed a set of five questions:
Were the Kyoto negotiations successful? What are the major flaws in the protocol?

Are the targets adopted by the protocol adequate?

What do we mean by "meaningful participation" of developing countries?

What are the issues involved in emissions trading?

What is to be an equitable framework for determining rights to the atmosphere?

Most of the answers suggest that from the North-South point of view, the protocol was not a success as it does not define the criteria for allocation of environmental burdens. It is time developing nations got together and looked for a suitable way to enhance their presence at the negotiating table and fight back pressure from the fossil fuel-dependent North.

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