What is the Kyoto Protocol?



         The Kyoto Protocol is a mystery to a lot of people.  I asked around while making this webpage and got responses like these:  "I have no clue what you're talking about," "I've never heard of it before," and, "The what?"  Even those who have heard of the Protocol, have heard very little of what it is about.
         I have recently found out that the Kyoto Protocol is "an extraordinary and unprecedented achievement in international affairs."  (Grubb, xli)1  In technical terms, it is even more impressive.  It is, really, the first worldwide attempt to reach consensus about the global environment.

“The Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) represents a pinnacle of trends towards globalization in economic and environmental policy, and defines the basic structural elements upon which global efforts to tackle climate change in the twenty-first century will rest.”  (Grubb, xxxiii)1

         The Kyoto Protocol is an international attempt to provide for the future of our planet.  The attempt is based on the control and limitation of Greenhouse gases.  Of these gases: Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), and Water Vapor (H2O), the Protocol focuses on CO2.  It has, so far, not commanded the respect such an effort should be given: by the governments involved, the governments of the uninvolved states, or the individual citizens of these States.  Knowing that every state has an Interest in Global health is not enough, we must understand what that interest really is.  It is necessary to provide some sort of guideline for the Global Interest because, without defined guidelines, it is difficult to advocate a nebulous idea.
 


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1) Grubb, Michael with Christiaan Vrolijk and Duncan Brack, The Kyoto Protocol: A
Guide and Assessment. London, UK.  ©Royal Institute of International Affairs, 1999.