The Kyoto protocol in a global perspective
The global climate has changed notably since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gasses (GHG) have increased dramatically followed by an increase in global average temperature. In order to avoid negative potential outcomes of global warming, countries have adopted the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change that has so far been ratified by 192 countries. In 1997 the Kyoto Protocol, a binding GHG reduction plan, was adopted and entered into force in 2005. But several countries, including the USA, have had doubts about the potential negative consequences of the planned 5% global joint reduction of GHG. However, studies generally show that on a macroeconomic level: (1) welfare loss in terms of GDP and lost growth in EU is low; (2) it differs among economies; and (3) permit trading and permit price (in either global or regional markets) is highly correlated with the welfare loss. The main objective of the paper is to describe the attitudes and responses to the Kyoto Protocol from a global perspective. The paper has three objectives. First, to provide an overview of global greenhouse gas emissions and the big drivers behind these emissions. Second, to present where different countries, both developed and less developed countries, such as India, China and the countries of South-east Europe currently stand as regards their efforts to achieve the Kyoto Protocol requirements. Third, to analyse the responses and attitudes to the Kyoto Protocol from a country development perspective.
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