Along the last five years, the whole world has been beaten by a global economic crisis. This crisis has generated unemployment and the economic and industrial activity has decreased greatly. Ultimately, we are poorer. Every nation is struggling to get over the difficulties this situation brings. However, there’s something which has got advantage from this situation: the environment.
Explaining this phenomenon isn’t a big deal: the crisis makes the people poorer so we don’t buy things (the demand is reduced), industries don’t manufacture as much products as before, so the pollution generated by those manufacturing processes decreases. As a consequence, less energy is needed because the quantity of units to produce is less. This is very important as both activities joint together represent around 40% of the CO2 emissions of US which is the second most pollutant country (surpassed only by China).
To shed light, factual information is needed so that’s what we need to analyze. In 2009, the greenhouse gas emissions from the EU businesses fell a 12% regarding the ones in 2008. Respectively to the US, the CO2 emissions fell a 9% between 2007 and 2009. This was provoked by the fact that oil usage fell 5% (in turn caused by rising oil prices) and that the coal usage fell 1% (which is something consider as half of the US nation gets its power from it).
In conclusion, it is obvious that this crisis is something negative that we have to face and get over of, but along doing it we should see the positive part of it and think that it may be showing us a new path towards a new De-carbonized energetic policy.
On the 11th of december of 2011 the United Nations gathered in Durban (South Africa) to discuss on the climate change. When the conference came to an end, Peter Kent, the Canadian environmental minister, announced that Canada was abandoning the Kyoto Protocol.
The official reason for taking this decision was that the Protocol wasn’t working, but the real reason is that since the Conservative Party government arrived in 2006, led by Stephen Harper, Canada has been increasingly explotting its oilfields located in the province of Alberta and if they remained being part of the Kyoto Protocol they wouldn’t be able to keep on this activity without being sanctioned. In addition, Kent affirmed that this agreement was part of the past. Indeed, if Canada wouldn’t have given up the Protocol, it would have to pay a 14,000 million dollar fine for not having reduced its emissions compared to the ones in the 90s. In fact, Canada has increased a 28.8% its emissions.
So it seems that the Kyoto Protocol has become more an economical factor for the development of a country rather than a fight against the pollution. Proof of this are Kent’s final words: “Canada won’t return to the Protocol unless every main emissors signs it”. These words bring us a moral conflict: is it right to enrich at any price? I think it’s obvious that the answer is “no” but it seems it isn’t that clear for everyone.
Human kind has inhabitted Earth for thousands of years but until industralisation both, nature and mankind, have lived in perfect armony. Since then, we have enslaved the enviroment and exploited it. Now, we pay the price for our selfishness and we seek for redemption by creating conventions such as environmental awareness. However, the damage is already done, but this doesn’t mean we should ignore it, it means we have to work harder to make The World a kind of heritage for future generations, and that is what The Kyoto Protocol is about.
To get started, we marked ourselves some objectives:
- Every government should undertake to reduce its CO2 emissions
- The industralised countries should reduce in a 40% its emissions for 2020, taking the emissions of 1990 as reference.
- The most developed countries should help the less developed countries to evolve by using renewable energies.
- Although it will affect their growing, these countries in process of development will also have to contribute by developing in a “clean” way.
- By 2020 there should be a document to stop deforestation.
These are just some of the many objectives the protocol put up to the ones who signed it.
There are many ways to reduce the CO2 emissions but one of the most effective one is introducing the nuclear energy which barely uses carbon dioxide but also has its drawbacks and it isn’t socially accepted, however, it is proved to be a very effective solution.
Watch the video below for more information about this global issue.
The aim of this blog is to give all the surfers who visit this web a general view of the Kyoto Protocol and keep you updated with the latest and most relevant news. We will also analyze each publication and point out what possible outcomes it may cause in terms of economy, environment, political policies…