Major Milestones of the Kyoto Treaty and Montreal Protocol

Subject: Environment
Pages: 4
Words: 838
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Kyoto Treaty

The Kyoto treaty is a protocol established by the United Nations Framework Convention on climate change, which intended to fight global warming to stabilize the concentration of gases from a greenhouse in the atmosphere. The main aim of this was to prevent interference in climate change by dangerous anthropogenic agents.

The adoption of the Kyoto treaty was in Japan on 11 December 1997. On 16 February year 2005, the Kyoto protocol entered into force. By 2011 September, 191 states had signed and approved the treaty. The United States is the only state that has not ratified the protocol. Somalia approved the protocol on 26 July the year 2010, while states like Afghanistan, South Sudan, and Andorra are yet to approve the Kyoto protocol.

In the Kyoto protocol, countries have committed themselves to reducing four main greenhouse gases. The greenhouse gas emissions require reduction by a percentage of 5.2% from the level in 1990 by the year 2012. These gases include methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur hexafluoride, and nitrous oxide. The other groups of gases that countries aim to reduce are perfluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons. Certain percentages are set for countries on national limitation, and that is 7% reduction for the US, 8% reduction for European Union and other countries, 6% reduction for Japan, for Russia is 0%. Increases were permitted for countries like Australia 8% and Iceland 10%.

The Kyoto protocol compliant countries are required to set policies that will ensure the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in their own countries. They are also required to look for means to utilize mechanisms that are available to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the mechanisms that can be used by the countries include joint implementation, clean development mechanisms, and international emission trading. The Kyoto protocol allows countries to purchase greenhouse gas emissions, reduction credits to reduce emissions. In countries like Japan, emission trading started in the year 2010 in Tokyo; in Europe, emission trading started in the year 2005. In Switzerland, emission trading started in 2008 and ended in 2012 to agree with the first commitment of the Kyoto Protocol.

The joint implementation mechanism was to start during the first commitment period of the Kyoto protocol, but it started in the year 2008 January.

Developing countries could reduce the impact of climate change if a fund for climate change adaptation is established. Countries in the treaty are required to report and review their commitment to ensuring the integrity of the protocol.

Kyoto Targets

The Kyoto target for non-economic-in-transition countries is a reduction of 6% in emission from 2008-2012. There was an increase in emission by 5% in 2005, higher than in 1990. Non-economic-in-transition countries include Canada, Japan, Denmark, Australia, Switzerland, Spain, and the Netherlands, Portugal, among others.

The target for economic transition countries in the Kyoto protocol is a reduction of 2%. In 2005 emissions for these countries were 35% below the levels for 1990. Countries under economic transition include Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine, among others. In countries that are non-Kyoto protocol which include the United States and Turkey, their emissions were 18% in 2005 above their 1990 levels. The Kyoto protocol countries’ emissions in 2005 were 14 % below their 1990 levels, and their target is a reduction of 4%.

Since 1990, the United States emissions have increased by a percentage of 16, and the United States will not be able to meet a 6% reduction in emissions, its original target.

The Montreal Protocol

The main objective of the Montreal Protocol was to protect the ozone layer from substances that deplete the ozone layer. The Montreal Protocol aimed to phase out and finally get rid of the substances that depleted the ozone layer. On 16 September 1989, the protocol opened for signature, and it entered into force on 1 January 1989. The ozone layer is expected to recover by the year 2050 if only the agreement has been adhered to. In addition, 196 states, including the United States, approved the Montreal protocol.

Montreal Targets

The targets for the Montreal protocol were that from the year 1991 to 1992, the level of the controlled substance should not exceed 150%of its calculated consumption and production in 1986. In the year 1994, its level was not to exceed 25% of the level in 1986. In 1996, it was not to exceed 0%. The phase-out slowed to 0% by the year 2010.

The phasing out for Hydrochlorofluorocarbons, whose completion is by 2030, started in 1996. Parties to the Montreal Protocol concurred that 2013 be the time to freeze the production and consumption of Hydrochlorofluorocarbons. They as well agreed on the reduction of its production and consumption by the year 2015. The years for Hydro chlorofluorocarbons freezing and reduction are 2013/ 2015.