Kyoto Position Paper



February 1, 2019


Over the years, climate change has been the biggest problem the facing the world today. One of the main causes of climate change is as a result of the effects of human activities. One of the aspects that are used to measure climate change is global warming. This phenomenon, which measures the rise in global temperature levels, has already begun. Since 1900; the global temperature has risen by 0.7 degrees Celsius (Mathez, 2009). It is very important that all governing bodies need to pull forces together in order to reduce the effects of climate change in the world. Comment by Dila Const: Vague statement…how many years?

The establishment of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) in 1988 was aimed at bringing together the world’s leading experts on the earth’s climate change to gather, asses and disseminate scientific information about climate change with a view of informing international and national policy makers (Mathez, 2009). IPCC spearheaded conferences and treaties which were aimed at bettering the climate change situation. This paper will discuss the current status of the Kyoto Treaty and what should be done about the Kyoto Protocol and global warming in the future. Moreover, this paper will discuss recent climate change conferences and treaties and how the conferences and treaties are related to the Kyoto Treaty and the United States. Comment by Dila Const: Gases?

The Kyoto Protocol, 1997

The United Nations Conference on climate change took place in 1997. The United Nations took into consideration of global warming in Kyoto Japan (McGovern 2006). In the period between 2008 and 2012 The Giants’ industrial nations had promised to reduce the use of greenhouse emission on gasses. (Archer, 2012). The conference was of great importance because it was the first agreement between countries on reducing the emission of greenhouse gases. This protocol’s main feature was mandatory targets on emissions, which ranged from -8 percent to +10 percent of the countries’ individual 1990 emission levels (McGovern, 2006). The industrialized nations were in agreement to reduce the emission of the greenhouse effects by half. By the year 2012, the emission of the greenhouse gases were 5.2 percent on average. Comment by Dila Const: what does this mean?

The Kyoto Protocol was seen to be an effective way to reduce the menace of global warming. However, it was faced with problems during the process of fulfilling its mandate. For example, the United States of America, although they signed the agreement, they never ratified. Canada ratified the treaty in 2001 but set up a level that other countries were unable to achieve. The Canadian minister for environment said that Canada was applying its legal right to withdraw. The United States followed suit the same year and withdrew from the agreement. The end result of the Kyoto Protocol was not nearly as successful as it was projected to be, and it left the world in a worse place than when it started, with many areas needing improvement (McGovern, 2006).

Although some of the most industrialized nations withdrew from the agreement including the United States, the Kyoto Protocol played a major role in reducing the greenhouse emissions by 12.5 percent which was the main cause of global warming. Today, climate change is still a very big issue in the world. Kyoto protocol was international law and still exists. Although is not still active, many countries will use it as a reference point regarding the process of securing the world from global warming. Moreover, some of the agreements were sparked from the failure of the Kyoto Protocol, for example, the Paris agreement, and some adjustments were made to bring about fairness in all of the members.

Paris Agreement, 2015

Like the Kyoto Protocol of 1997, the Paris Agreement also brought all stakeholders on the same table with the aim of laying out measures to reduce the effects of global warming. As mentioned earlier, the Paris Agreement was as a result of the failure of the Kyoto Treaty in Brazil. The developed nations were never left behind. The developed nations were to help them in fighting climate change. By November 4, 2016, 134 out of 197 countries ratified the agreement after the treaty entered to force phase. The main objective of this treaty was to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping global temperatures well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels this century and to pursue efforts to reduce the temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius even further (Popovski, 2019). The main difference between the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Protocol is that the Parties have undertaken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under the Paris agreement. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol where they were mitigated, the Paris Agreement provides a free will to the nations on whether they need to reduce the greenhouse gases or not. Comment by Dila Const: Underdeveloped? Comment by Dila Const: What is force phase? Comment by Dila Const: What was mitigated?

The United States disconnected from the Paris agreement on June, 2017(Popovski, 2019). Few months after Donald Trump took power, the Republican president announced that the United States will cease to all the activities that pertain Paris Agreement on the climate of 2015. Donald Trump termed the agreement like the one that disadvantages the United States to the exclusive benefit of other countries. During his campaign, he swore that he would put the country’s interests first. Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement was instigated of what he believed that the Chinese are hamstringing the United States’ economy. This has resulted in negotiations in Germany where the headquarters for Framework Conventions on Climates Change (FCCC) is situated at to discuss on the rulebook. All countries including the United States will bind them for a period of 4 years which was to end in 2020. Climate change activists are campaigning that the United States is still in the Paris Agreement and are pressuring the government to attend negotiations in Germany. According to Trump, this is not to end soon. Recently, the United States government is trying to sabotage the Chinese economy by applying taxes on all imported goods from China. This will mean as long as China is in the Paris Agreement, the United States will not be part of it. Comment by Dila Const: …will cease all activities related to the Paris agreement… Comment by Dila Const: as Comment by Dila Const: by his belief Comment by Dila Const: rewrite…what does this mean? Comment by Dila Const: Why do you believe this is related to the Paris Agreement?


As the years go by, global warming is hitting the world hard without sympathy. Countries like Australia and Libya have recorded the highest temperatures ever recorded by the World Meteorological Organization of 40 degrees Celsius and 58 degree Celsius respectively. Both the Kyoto and Paris Protocol have in some way played a big role in reducing the impact of global warming. The Kyoto Protocol was aimed at raising the awareness on the issue the world was experiencing on climate change. Moreover, the United Nations have several conferences on climate change and layout measures on how the effects can be reduced. Global warming is not an solitary concept; instead, it requires the attention of all the countries in the world. We are all affected by climate change in one way or another and we should prevent the future generations from being affected. Although there are always improvements that can be made, each protocol and agreement set into place is one step closer towards progress and fixing the damage that humans have done to the world (Archer, 2012).  Comment by Dila Const: …to layout measure?


Archer, D. (2012). Global warming : understanding the forecast. Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley & Sons, ©2012. Retrieved from

Barry W. Brook. (2009). Climate Change: The Science of Global Warming and Our Energy Future . By Edmond A. Mathez ; student companion by Jason E. Smerdon .: Columbia University Press . $55.00. xxii + 318 p.; ill.; index. 978‐0‐231‐14642‐5 . 2009 . The Quarterly Review of Biology84(4), 407.

McGovern, J. (2006). The Kyoto Protocol. Pittsburgh, PA: Dorrance Pub.

Popovski, V. (2019). The implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change. London: Routledge.

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