India and the Kyoto Protocol

“We are never deceived; we deceive ourselves”
Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

The Kyoto Protocol is an international accord associated with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). It was adopted on 11th December 1997 in Kyoto, Japan and became effective from 16th February 2005 and currently has 184 members. The main motive behind the implementation and the further effective propagation of this somewhat controversial protocol is to cut down on the present day high GHG emissions, particularly in the developed western economies, so that the climate change can be mitigated and emissions from deforestation and forest degradation can be reduced. (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in temperature of 1.4°C (2.5°F) to 5.8°C (10.4°F) between 1990 and 2100 which will not only lead to adverse living and health conditions but also to the permanent water loggeding of coastal areas. It is mandatory for the governments of the participating countries to meet the requirements of the treaty through their national policies. The protocol provides ancillary mechanisms for meeting the demands of the treaty as given here:

1. Joint Implementation
2. Emissions trading – The Carbon Market
3. Clean Development Mechanism

Although the aims & and the procedures adopted are lofty yet their implementation has left a lot to be desired,. the The stop-go approach by the governments of the members combined with the behaviour of the capitalistic benighted savages who are playing dice with the world and its resources. The principles that are the spine of the Kyoto Protocol need to be revisited, reviewed and revamped so that in 2012 when the Kyoto agreement ends, climate policies do not fall flat against the demands of industrialization. Supporting this doctrine are Gwyn Prins of London School of Economics & Steve Rayner of Oxford University who consider it a ‘wrong tool’ for stopping emissions. US and Australia are often held responsible for its failure because they are not accepting the terms, and hence not entering the treaty. The failure is also being attributed to the borrowing of terms from the previous treaties leaving no scope for alternative policy.