Kyoto Process and National Programs Kyoto Protocol

The Kyoto protocol and its instruments will be discussed in detail in Chapter 2.

The Kyoto Protocol [23] is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change [24]. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European Community for reducing GHG( emissions. This amounts to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.

The major distinction between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialized countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.

Recognizing that developed countries are principally responsible for the current high levels of GHG emissions in the atmosphere as a result of more than 150 years of industrial activity, the Kyoto protocol places a heavier burden on developed nations under the principle of 'common but differentiated responsibilities.'

Under the treaty, countries must meet their targets primarily through national measures. However, the Kyoto Protocol offers them an additional means of meeting their targets by way of three market- based mechanisms.

1) emissions trading (ET)

2) clean development mechanism (CDM)

3) joint implementation (JI).

The mechanisms help stimulate green investment and help parties meet their emission targets in a cost-effective way.

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