Kyoto Protocol – What Has It Achieved? (INFOGRAPHIC)

With the Kyoto Protocol’s expiration in 2012, have taken CO2 emissions data from the UN and PBL to assess its impact so far. Sadly, the data shows that while there have been more successes that failures amongst nations with Kyoto targets, global emissions as a whole have continued to soar.

This guest story comes from Jamie Rose, an artist and part-time green activist concerned with global climate change and greenhouse gas emissions.


The Dilemma

The Kyoto Protocol is made up mostly of developed countries. Awareness and sensitivity to climate change tends to be higher in these nations, and their wealthier status makes rising production costs (a result of limiting greenhouse gas emissions, at least in the short-term) more palatable.

Developing nations, on the other hand, are much more focused on economic growth and raising the standard of living. It’s widely accepted that the manufacture of goods is almost always cheaper if one has little regard for the environment (at least in the short term).

Perhaps the best example of this is China – over the past twenty years, a period of vast economic growth for the nation, China has accounted for over 60% of the global increase in CO2 emissions.

Of course, such data does not go unnoticed amongst Kyoto members, who now argue that nations outside of the treaty have an unfair economic advantage (take Russia’s cold feet at the recent Doha conference as a case in point) – a major roadblock for further international climate diplomacy.

A two-sided coin

What the protesting Kyoto members forget (or perhaps ignore) however, is that the reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from the developing world over the past twenty-something years has largely been the result of sizeable trade deficits. Indeed, according to standard data, developed countries can claim to have reduced their collective emissions by around 2% since 1990, yet if the carbon cost of imports is added back to each country (and exports subtracted of course), the true change has been an increase of around 7%.

What’s more, CO2 emission levels per capita remain significantly higher amongst nations within the Kyoto Protocol versus those outside of it.

And so there is the dilemma, and while it rages on, global CO2 emissions continue to soar.

InfoProductReview aims to capture and raise awareness of this standoff with their recently published infographic (below) – help stop international climate diplomacy from becoming extinct by sharing!



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