Kyoto Protocol And Its Effect On Climate Change

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In 1997, the Kyoto Protocol attempted to achieve the results that had been sought out when most of the nations of the world agreed to the terms set forth in the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1992. The new treaty put enforcement mechanisms in place, including the idea of carbon trading, that would reinforce the importance of lowering the amount of CO2 being released into our atmosphere. Looking back to that decision made eighteen years ago, I do not believe that the concept of carbon trading should have been introduced in lieu of a carbon tax as it is now a crutch used by corporations, both big and small, to either improve the profitability of their company by selling their unused carbon permits or to…show more content…
This is not the case for carbon trading as, “the protocol, most of the world’s wealthy countries agreed to reduce their GHG emissions by fixed percentage” (Weeks, 6), states Weeks. Weeks explains, “if they can’t reach the required reductions, rich nations can also “offset” some of their GHG emissions by buying credits from energy saving projects” (Weeks, 6). Buying and selling credits is nothing more than a crutch used to support a pollution-dependent economy and just a band-aid to an ever growing problem. Carbon credits do nothing more than give polluters a lawful way to continue releasing excessive amounts of CO2 into the atmosphere, which is a reason why the Kyoto treaty does not work, rather it allows climate change to continue spiraling out of control. Carbon’s Hasselknippe states, “Some offset projects in North America [where companies are experimenting with emission reductions and trading] are even more questionable than CDM projects. Without a regulated market anything goes” (Weeks, 32). With the aforementioned, it is vividly clear that carbon trading is a problem and not a solution as it was destined to fail from the start given the lack of government oversight. There are more direct ways to put a price on carbon emissions that would potentially cause the American businesses the fear of losing profit. One example of this is carbon tax. In Weeks article she shares, “Others say curbing climate change will require both taxes and trading, plus
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