Three Streams Theory And Implementation Of The Kyoto Protocol

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Three Streams Theory and Implementation of the Kyoto Protocol

Introduction This semester we have explored different theories and frameworks that impact the complex nature of policymaking. The process itself is very interesting and flexible, since one can select any issue and track it through the complete policy cycle or be more specific by looking at a single aspect of the process. Regardless of the approach, various theoretical frameworks may be applied to empirically ground the issue of interest. While attempting to find a suitable theory that applies to international political issues, I considered the Three Streams Theory, the Punctuated Equilibrium Theory (PET) and the Advocacy Coalition Framework. I was especially drawn to the
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Background to the Kyoto Protocol The Kyoto protocol to the United Nations was a legally binding policy that establishes limits for industrialized countries on emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and other gases such as methane, nitrous oxides, hydrofluorocarbons and other chlorofluorocarbons that exhibit greenhouse characteristics to the environment (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephrams, 1990). Kyoto was a multi-faceted and very complicated policy which attempted to mold together political, socio-economic and legal issues associated with climate change. It was an effort to address climate change from a global scale, barring least economically able nations. (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephrams 1990). The decision to barr developing nations was highly debated but justified since they were new to industrial development. To date, they have lower levels of GHGs emissions, compared to developed nations who are primarily responsible for the high GHG levels and have more than 150 years of industrial activity. (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephrams 1990). The protocol was enforced in February 2005, with over 160 nation states adopting it, hoping to see 5.2% in reductions of GHGs from 1990-2012. While the 5.2% was to be collectively achieved, individual nations were ascribed, depending on their emission levels, individual targets, with the U.S leading at an ascribed target of 7% (Houghton, Jenkins and Ephrams 1990).

Applying Three Streams Theory to Kyoto The three

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