What are the Governments of the World doing to solve Climate Change?
The Kyoto Protocol was an agreement by governments in 1997 at a conference in Kyoto, Japan, to reduce their greenhouse gases. It took two and a half years of negotiations before the agreement was approved. It was agreed that greenhouse gases had to go down by at least 5% from the 1990 levels by 2008-2012. So far 174 countries have agreed to the pact, however the 5% target has only been agreed to by 36 developed countries. Some countries are even looking to reduce emissions by up to 30%.
One of the reasons why previous governments didn't look into this issue is because it's a long term problem, and most governments only really looked at the short term. It wasn't until an Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 that governments from around the world agreed to deal with climate change. Kyoto was the follow up meeting where governments got together and made a promise to reduce greenhouse gases.
Greenhouse gases trap heat in the Earth's atmosphere. The greenhouse gas that causes the most damage to the Earth's atmosphere is carbon dioxide, produced mainly from burning fuel. Other greenhouse gases that damage the Earth's atmosphere include methane (mainly produced from agriculture) and nitrous oxide (mainly produced through the use of fertilizers). There are another three industrial gases that are also captured under the Kyoto Protocol.
The Kyoto Protocol is just the beginning in the fight against reducing the effects of greenhouse gases in order to avoid dangerous climate change. You can do your part too!
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Image by Daniel, Year 6