The International Agreement Made In Kyoto To Cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions
S. Yeo, “Timeline: the Paris agreement`s `ratchet mechanism`, Carbon Brief, January 2016. The range of temperature projections partly reflects different projections of future greenhouse gas emissions. 22-24 Divergent projections contain different assumptions for future social and economic development (economic growth, population level, energy policy), which affects projections of future greenhouse gas emissions. 22-24 The sector also reflects uncertainty in the climate system`s response to past and future ThG emissions (measured in terms of climate sensitivity). 22-24 Gupta et al. (2007) described the Kyoto commitments as “modest” in the first round and said they were underestimated in the effectiveness of the treaty. It was suggested that subsequent Kyoto commitments could be made more effective by measures to reduce emissions more, as well as by implementing policies to a greater share of global emissions.  In 2008, countries with a Kyoto ceiling accounted for less than one-third of annual global carbon dioxide emissions from fuel combustion.  Although the Kyoto Protocol was a diplomatic breakthrough, its success was far from certain. Indeed, reports published in the first two years after the treaty came into force indicated that most participants would not meet their emissions targets. However, even if the goals were met, the ultimate environmental benefits would not matter, according to some critics, since China, the world`s largest emitter of greenhouse gases, and the United States, the world`s second largest emitter, were not bound by the protocol (China because of its status as a developing country and the United States because it had not ratified the protocol).
Other critics argued that the emission reductions required by the protocol were too modest to make a demonstrable difference in terms of global temperatures in the following decades, even if they were fully achieved with the participation of the United States. At the same time, some developing countries have argued that better adaptation to climate change and variations is as important as reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Each party has identified an emissions reduction target. Australia has proposed a target of 26-28% in 2005 by 2030. By comparison, the European Union has committed to a target of 40% lower than in 1990 by 2030. The United States has set a target of 26-28% lower than in 2005 by 2025. Most countries are parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).  Article 2 of the Convention sets out its ultimate objective of stabilizing the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere “at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic (human) interventions in the climate system.”  Since May 2013, 191 countries and a regional economic organisation (EC) have ratified the agreement, representing more than 61.6% of Schedule I emissions for 1990.  One of the 191 ratifying countries, Canada, has relinquished the protocol.