• Introduction page 3 • Provisions and rationales of the Kyoto Protocol pages 4-5 • Effectiveness of the Kyoto Protocol pages 5-6 • The impact of the Kyoto Protocol on Spain pages 7-8 • Conclusion page 9 • Bibliography page 10
The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement framed into the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was raised the 11th of December of 1997 in the city of Kyoto to develop a package of measures to reduce anthropogenic greenhouse gases. The main objective of this treaty is to protect the planet from the effects of climate change and reduce the gas emissions which provoke the phenomenon known as global warming. Thus, taking into account the direct human responsibility in this environmental problem, this treaty tries to engage developed and developing countries all around the world to take action against climate change. In relation to this, the Kyoto Protocol establishes legally binding commitments for the reduction of four greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride), and two groups of gases (hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) that the countries which signed and ratified the protocol has to fulfill between 2008 and 2012. Greenhouse gas emissions have to be reduced by approximately 5.2% within this period taking into consideration the gas emissions of 1990. However, this 5.2% reduction over the greenhouse gas emissions of 1990 is a global percentage, and that way, each country has its own emissions percentages which have to decrease. This fact, as we will analyze later, is very important because the Kyoto Protocol assign different responsibilities in the fight against global warming, emphasizing the role of developed industrialized economies as key players in the causes as well as the solution of the problem. 2. Provisions and rationales of the Kyoto Protocol
Regarding the different roles assigned to developed and developing countries, we can observe significance differences in the attributed responsibilities to protect the future of planet Earth for present and future generations. Thus, if we see the conditions of the agreement in detail we can appreciate that commitments and sacrifices are greater for ones than for other ones. In the case of developed countries (Annex I), these have the commitment of reducing greenhouse gas emissions as well as providing new and additional financial services, including transfer of technology and know-how, to facilitate developing countries the fulfillment of the obligations raised in the treaty (the last one is only applied for Annex II countries, that is to say, Annex I countries minus the economies in transition). In the case of developing countries, these do not have any specific commitment to limit their anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions. They only have to “develop, periodically update, publish and make available to the Conference of Parties, their national inventories of GHG emissions by sources and removals by sinks” as well as the rest of Annex I countries. Moreover, they are allowed to trade their gas emissions and also benefit from the help of developed countries to meet their sustainable development objectives. If we want to assess this “common but differentiated responsibility”, we have to evaluate the rationales behind these principles which served as the basis to reach a common agreement in terms of environmental protection. Thus, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to set these differentiated provisions because they considered that developed countries have been the largest contributors in terms of greenhouse gas...