The United States Government

The United States of America should ratify the Kyoto Protocol and save the earth from global warming. The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations framework convention on Climate Change and was conceived to work towards reducing the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is the first official legally binding contract that places the burden of the depleting natural resources on the industrial activities of the developed countries, thus targeting these nations to keep a check on the harmful emissions. The Kyoto Protocol is generally seen as an important first step towards a truly global emission reduction regime that will stabilize GHG emissions, and provides the essential architecture for any future international agreement on climate change.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in Kyoto, Japan on 11 December 1997 and entered into force in 2005. 73 of the developed countries around Europe and Asia ratified the Kyoto Protocol. However, the United States of America and Australia denied the agreement and have been working secretly to find an alternative to the Kyoto Protocol. Under the protocol, the countries actual emissions have to be monitored and precise records have to be kept of the trades carried out.

According to BBC, the US is the world’s largest greenhouse gas polluter. The American government believes that signing up the Kyoto Protocol would ruin the US economy and so they have been claiming of working to find an alternative. The US has been keeping away from the Kyoto protocol and has always blamed the developing countries.

The efforts of the US Government to design a special task force, to get advice on efficient domestic policy options to reduce the GHG emissions have not been effective. The persistent efforts of the business community, the carbon club and the US government have only been insisting on the developing countries commitments demanding meaningful participation from them. The actual physical rise in the emissions from the US has been a cause of concern for the world. An awareness of the issue and quick, effective check needs to be implemented as soon as possible, without any more delay. The Kyoto Protocol offers the immediate and instant step that the US government must ratify to start with.

The actual figures prove the effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol. The developed countries that have ratified the protocol have outperformed countries that haven’t. The data proves that the overall greenhouse emissions from the developed countries have declined between 1990 and 2005 by 4.9 %, which has been in line with the initial Kyoto protocol 5 % target.  indicate, however, that the countries who The trade agreements in the Kyoto protocol allowed developed countries, and companies in them, to export clean technologies to developing countries and make money by claiming carbon credits. These credits are the notional tonnes of carbon saved by using low-carbon technologies and renewables to generate electricity rather than dirty coal or other fossil fuel plants. These deals are not open to the US and Australia because they repudiated the treaty.

In an article titled ‘US plan to bypass Kyoto Protocol’, Brown and Wilson, captured America’s intentions of claiming to find a better alternative and declaring the protocol as ineffective. The US has always identified the developing countries as the cause of the GHG emissions and has ignored the considerable 4.5 % reduction in harmful emissions, which has been achieved by the countries under the Kyoto Protocol.

According to Dizard (1999), the language of responsibility is conditional. By contrast, the language of rights is universal. Responsibility means deciding when to act and when not to. If nature takes care and we agree to respect its right to be left alone, we are absolved of the responsibility for the outcome. But, we must be answerable for the consequences. Nature is benign, self healing, paradoxically ever changing and ever constant.

In the book Going Wild, Dizard comments that,

Humans are interlopers, arrogant, clumsy, ignorant intruders, who have been transforming the nature to suit the needs, thus resulting into a series of disasters and general calamities. The threats are growing and palpable, acid rains, ozone depletion, loss of rain forests and global warming.

Greenhouse pollution in Australia and US has increased by 5 per cent and 21 per cent respectively. The belief of the US that the ‘Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol is a foolish cause and would demand unethical sacrifices of the American people’ needs to be transformed lest the world suffers. The country accounts for about 25 percent of Earth’s greenhouse gas emissions. The USA has the biggest cars and the biggest roads, where car mass and petrol consumption are immediately equated with pollution and irresponsibility.

America could help itself restore its international reputation for fair play by signing Kyoto and showing the world it really cares about the future of the planet and not just short term financial gain. In fact there is a lot of economic activity available in engaging in non-polluting activities and replacing systems which emit carbon to others. As well the outcome will mean an improvement in living & lifestyle health standards.

Works Cited Dizard, Jan, E, Going Wild Hunting, Animal Rights, and the Contested Meaning of Nature, Univ of Massachusetts Press, 1999, p132, retrieved on 30 Sep. 08, from http://books. google. co. uk/books? id=O97vrEhmRrEC&dq=Going+Wild+by+Jan+E. +Dizard+1999&source=gbs_summary_s&cad=0 http://barry-rutherford. newsvine. com/_news/2007/12/04/1139899-why-america-should-sign-the-kyoto-protocol Oberthur, Sebastian, et al, The Kyoto Protocol, International Climate Policy for the 21st Century, Springer, 1999 retrived on 30 September 2008 from http://books. google. co. uk/books? id=-qp7Wt9GvccC http://www. bbc. co. uk/climate/policies/kyoto. shtml Brown, Paul, Wilson Jamie, US in plan to bypass Kyoto Protocol, July 2005, retrieved on 30 September 2008 from http://www. guardian. co. uk/world/2005/jul/28/environment. usa