strategy

Reducing climate endangering emissions

Context:
At Kyoto in December 1997, developed countries agreed to reduce emissions of a basket of the six main greenhouse gases overall to 5.2% below 1990 levels over the period 2008-2012. The six gases covered by this legally binding target are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulphur hexafluoride.

The [Kyoto Protocol] permits countries to undertake commitments jointly by forming a so-called bubble'. Under this arrangement, the European Community agreed jointly to an 8% reduction. In June 1998, under the UK Presidency, this target was shared out between Member States. The UK agreed to take on a reduction of 12.5%. In its manifesto, the UK Government also set out a domestic goal of reducing carbon dioxide emissions by 20% below 1990 levels by 2010.

The [Kyoto Protocol] will come into force after it has been ratified by 55 countries including enough developed countries to account for 55% of Annex I emissions in 1990. It is unlikely that the Protocol will enter into force before 2001. Key to achieving these conditions is the position of the United States who require meaningful participation of developing countries before Congress will ratify.

Counter Claim:
Greenhouse worries are premature hot air. The extremely pessimistic outcomes are headline-grabbing, but they are not proven. Global emissions strategies should be designed on the basis of likely probabilities not worst case scenarios. A car driver does not determine his speed on the basis of brake failure. In the unlikely event of a high-damage scenario, the world would have to change course abruptly and move to rapid decarbonization. Even after 2020, there would still be enough time to adapt the global economy to sharp decline in greenhouse gas emissions if it was learned that such actions were necessary.
Subjects:
Climatology
Hazards
Effluent
Type Classification:
D: Detailed strategies