The Kyoto Protocol was established in 1997. This was different from any other environmental contract because it not only promoted the reduction of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions but it demanded action. Any country that adopted this agreement was then committed to the cause and most countries did, with the exception of the United States and Australia.
The Protocol gives developed countries five years to reduce their GHG to a specified amount and it is enforced by the United Nations. There is added pressure for developed countries because they caused more of the problem and they have more money to help rectify the situation. The program does have some flexibility to help countries reach their goal and three of examples include Emissions Trading, Joint Implementation and a Clean Development Mechanism. These aids allow countries to trade credits according to programs that they design to help lower emissions. Both developing and developed countries can benefit from this process.
According to a recent study, there is a direct correlation between human influences and the way our climate has changed. The Kyoto Protocol is a great step forward in reducing emissions. Many countries have worked hard achieve their goal. This first agreement expires in 2012 and a new plan needs to be worked out by then. This will help keep the world’s awareness of environmental issues up and GHG emissions down.