The Kyoto Protocol

The response to climate change by the international community was established in 1992; this took place at the Earth Summit which is in Rio Janeiro (Schofield, 2007, p. 246). At the convention the international communities signed the Convention on Climate Change; the United Nation’s framework on combating climate change. The commitment by the international communities was to act voluntarily. However, it was later realized that a rigid action was necessary. As a result the Kyoto Protocol was established and signed by the international community.

The Kyoto protocol is an agreement amongst the international communities; it is associated with the framework by the United Nations to combat climate change (Bartelmus, 2008, p. 8). The fundamental feature of the protocol is that it constitutes a binding obligation for thirty seven industrialized nations and the European community to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol was accepted in Kyoto, Japan, in December 11, 1997 and was brought into legal operation in February 16, 2005.

The rules that brought the Kyoto Protocol into operation were approved in 2001 at CP-7, Marrakesh; the rules are referred to as “Marrakesh Accord. ” In the Kyoto Protocol required the developed nations to commit to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% as a mandatory obligation (Sands, 2003, p. 377). When it was ratified in 1997, Clinton administration committed the U. S. A to the Kyoto Protocol and also accepted to participate in the negotiations for its implementation. In 2001, the new U. S. president, George Bush, changed announced that the U. S.

would no longer be directly committed to the Kyoto Protocol but agreed with the principle of climate change and the need for actions to combat it (Deutch, 2004, pp. 104-117). There have also been some arguments that the Protocol will would have negative effects on the economies of developed nations since corporations have to spend heavily in adopting new technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Besides, there has been growing concern that some developed and developing nations like India and China are not committed yet they significantly contribute to greenhouse gas emissions.

Accomplishments of the Kyoto Protocol One of the few achievements that the Protocol has made is that some developed countries have used it to formulate their climate change policies (Oberthur & Ott, 1999, p. 257). The policies are in consistence with reporting strategies laid down in the Protocol. The adoption of the Protocol by developed nations has achieved some level of reduced emissions. However, this reduction has not had any significant impact on the overall global target to reduce the emissions.

What the Kyoto Protocol is not accomplishing The Kyoto Protocol has not accomplished anything significant since its ratification. It has suffered major set backs which started when the United States of America withdrew its commitment from the implementation of the Protocol. It does not accomplish the goals that were set when it was adopted in 1997 in Kyoto. Opponents have posited that the Protocol has had too much demand from the signatories yet have achieved very little in line with its goals.

Besides, the withdrawal by the United States from the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol had a major impact on the achievability of its goals; this is due to the fact that the United State is one of the major contributors to global warming by producing a significant amount of greenhouse gas. Again, the fact that it did not set clear targets to be met by developing nations in combating the climate change is also contributory to its general failure; the developing nations have their substantial contribution to global warming (Deutch, 2004, pp. 104-117).

It is evident the Kyoto Protocol has not managed to bring the major contributors to global warming to one accord. So, inspite of the signing of the protocol, since 1997 there have never been major changes in terms of combating the global warming. More activities that lead to greenhouse emissions have continued to be carried out. Should the United States of America sign the Kyoto Protocol? It is important to note that the Kyoto Protocol has failed in many ways that are not only linked to the refusal by the United States to participate in its implementation.

The protocol never included the developing nations despite the fact that they also contribute significantly to the problem of climate change (Salinger, 2005, 361). In fact, this is one of the grounds on which the United States withdrew its commitments. Therefore, it will not be necessary for the United States to sign the Kyoto Protocol or restore its commitment to its principle demands; if the protocol is not going to include all the stakeholders then in the long-run there will not be significant achievements as the developing world are relatively fast advancing in terms of productions.

At this particular time, it is not necessary to talk about whether the United States should sign it or not, instead, the failures of the Kyoto Protocols should be acknowledged and the world should establish a new set of all inclusive strategies that will effectively reduce the problems of climate change. In this case, a new debate should be initiated towards converging ideas on how to stop or reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Reference Bartelmus, P. (2008). Quantitative eco-nomics: how sustainable are our economies? Japan: RINGER HUT Japan Co. , Ltd. Deutch, J.

(2004). Making technology work: applications in energy and the environment. London: Cambridge University Press. Oberthur, S. & Ott, H. (1999). The Kyoto Protocol: international climate policy for the 21st century. New York: Springer. Salinger, L. (2005). Encyclopedia of white-collar & corporate crime: A – I, Volume 1. New York: SAGE. Sands, P. (2003). (2003). Principles of international environmental law. London: Cambridge University Press. Schofield, N. (2007). Commodity derivatives: markets and applications Wiley finance series: New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons.