The Kyoto Protocol was agreed to in December 1997 and entered into force in February 2005. It established an international treaty intended to bring countries together to reduce global warming and to cope with effects of temperature increases. 186 of 192 industrialized and developing countries have ratified the agreement to collectively reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 5% compared to a 1990 baseline. The provision of the Kyoto Protocol is that is sets specific, binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and European Union, but excludes developing countries. The gases regulated include carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. These targets include six major greenhouse gases, often referred to as the “Kyoto Six”.
“Internationally, these emissions reductions are accomplished through three flexible mechanisms: International emissions trading, Clean development ...view middle of the document...
The British Labour Party however, in 1997 boldly committed to cut British greenhouse gas emissions 20% by 2010. This is significantly more than the 12.5% required by the Kyoto treaty. The Labour Party made this decision under the leadership of Tony Blair and unfortunately, according to The Guardian, UK exceeded its Kyoto target to cut emissions by 12.5% on 1990 levels, but did not meet the goal of 20% by 2010. The final estimates for the year showed a fall of 1.9% in the group of six greenhouse gases and a drop of 2% for the most common of them, carbon dioxide. According to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the decrease is the result of continuing to switch to coal to natural gas for making electricity, combined with lower consumption of fossil fuels in industry and transport, but emissions from households rose by more than 3%, as people used more fossil fuels to heat their home.
Overall this treaty and other helpful actions to sustained greenhouse gases are crucial to sustain life. Although it is already too late to stop climate change completely, making changes now could prevent it getting much worse. The climate change act commits the UK to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050 across all sectors of the economy. The UK has been a leading factor in putting climate change as a priority and the UK’s Labour government says “ We have led the way internationally on climate change: we were the first to put climate change at the heart of the G8, the first to call a UN Security Coucil meeting on chimate change, and the first to introduce a Climate Change Bill which binds the UK government by law to reduce carbon emissions by a third by 2020 and by 80% by 2050” Although they didn’t reach there ultimate goal the UK strives to do better.
Middlecamp, Catherine. Chemistry in Context: Applying Chemistry to Society. Dubuque: McGraw-Hill, 2012. Print.
"Carbon Emissions Kyoto." Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 02 Feb. 2010. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <www.theguardian.com/environment/2010/feb/02/Fcarbon-emissions-kyoto>.
"Party Policies on the Environment." Theguardian.com. Guardian News and Media, 16 Nov. 2009. Web. 19 Mar. 2014. <www.theguardian.com/climate-change-and-you/party-policies-environment>