Environmental Debate Issues

CDM (Clean Development Mechanism)

Clean Development Mechanism is a market based mechanism in Kyoto Protocol. It is purposed to minimalize the impacts of global warming and green house effect to the non annex (developing world) and also to help them in facing and maintaning themselves in global warming era so that in the future they will not cause big harms to the world by adding the global warming itself. The purpose must be realized by annex 1 countries helping the non annex thus annex 1 will get or be rewarded by CER (Certified Emission Reduction). CER will help annex 1 countries in fulfiling their duty to reduce their emission.

So the symbiosis mutualism created like this. First, The annex 1 countries must transfer or invest clean, less polluting technologies to non annex countries. So, the non annex can start their industries based on less polluting technologies. And annex 1 will get the CER.

But, CDM doesn’t work well in LDC (Least Developing Countries) because they can’t make sufficient carbon finance to have an impact. Also, under CDM, forestry projects are penalized. It leads to depressed demand and price troughout the countries’ economy which happen mostly in LDC. Because forestry projects are the most important in most LDC.

Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions .These amount to an average of 5% against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012.  The different between the Protocol and the Convention is that while the Convention encouraged industrialised countries to stabilize GHG emissions, the Protocol commits them to do so.

To reduce the GHG (Green House Gas) emission, the protocol has ways that based on market system. The first is JI (Joint Implementation), then CDM (Clean Development Mechanism) andt the last is emission trading.

The main problem with the protocol is that it is not obligatory. As if they only saying that climate change is indeed dangerous but not really tight in  implementing the way to prevent it as if it is also not that dangerous. USA for example, they do not have any intention to ratify the protocol even when it’s almost the deadline (2012). If only USA wants to cooperate, then the percentageo f emission that can be reduced per year will be increased from 4.2% to 5.2%. Also for Canada that can withdrew from the protocol just one year before the deadline. These show that the protocol isn’t efficient enough to be implemented to all countries in the convention.

Emission Trading    

Emissions trading is a market-based approach used to control pollution by providing economic incentives for achieving reductions in the emissions of pollutants. A central authority (usually a governmental body) sets a limit or cap on the amount of a pollutant that may be emitted. The limit or cap is allocated or sold to firms in the form of emissions permits which represent the right to emit or discharge a specific volume of the specified pollutant. Firms are required to hold a number of permits (or carbon credits) equivalent to their emissions. The total number of permits cannot exceed the cap, limiting total emissions to that level. Firms that need to increase their emission permits must buy permits from those who require fewer permits.

And if the trading happen, it will make a new market that can benefit countries that haven’t reach the cap yet. Also benefit for annex 1 countries to help them in maintening their goal to reduce emission with flexible regulation, that is cap and trade, not by the command and controlling regulation  from government. Meanwhile, there is also cases about emission trading that says it will only adding the emission. Because the polluted countries can easily trade money for pollution.

EU ETS (Eropean Union Emission Trading Scheme)

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) also known as the European Union Emissions Trading System, was the first large emissions trading scheme in the world. It was launched in 2005 to combat climate change and is a major pillar of EU climate policy. The EU ETS currently covers more than 10,000 installations with a net heat excess of 20 MW in the energy and industrial sectors which are collectively responsible for close to half of the EU’s emissions of CO2 and 40% of its total greenhouse gas emissions.

Within EU, large emitters of CO2 must monitor their emission, annually reportt hem, as they are obligate to return amount of emission allowances to government equal as their emission that year. In the first year of EU ETS, 362 million tons of CO2 traded for about €7.2 billion. Even so, the price was also unstable especially in the early year after EU ETS was created. There was a point where the price of emission fellt o €0.10 and in result, emission increased until 1.9%.

EU becomes more tight in emission area. In the second period, 2008-2012, airlines emission is included also in trading scheme. Even US argued that EU doesn’t have any jurisdiction to regulate flights emission that is not flying in EU zone.

Cancun Agreement (2010)

Basically, the outcome of the summit was to address the long term challenge of climate change collectively and comprehensively over time and to take concrete action now to speed up the global response. It is included to encourage participation and “Green Climate Fund” that is proposed to be worth $100 billion per year by 2020 to assist poor countries or developing countries.

The agreement recognizes that climate change represents an urgent and potentially irreversible threat to human societies and the planet, which needs to be urgently addressed by all Parties. It affirms that climate change is one of the greatest challenges of our time and that all Parties must share a vision for long-term cooperative action in order to achieve the objective of the Convention, including through achievement of a global goal. It recognizes that warming of the climate system is scientifically based and that most of the observed increase in global average temperatures since the mid twentieth century are very likely due to the observed increase in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations.

Cancun agreement wants to encourage developing and poor countries to become carer towards the global warming and encourage they full participation in preventing future global warming. As we know, that developing and poor world do need to care, but not becoming their priority to reduce their emission, as long as their emission are still inside the cap.

JI (Joint Implementation)

Joint implementation (JI) is one of three flexible mechanisms set forth in the Kyoto Protocol to help countries with binding greenhouse gas emissions targets (so-called Annex I countries) meet their obligations. JI is set forth in Article 6 of the Kyoto Protocol. The mechanism known as “joint implementation,” allows a country with an emission reduction or limitation commitment under the Kyoto Protocol (Annex B Party) to earn emission reduction units (ERUs) from an emission-reduction or emission removal project in another Annex B Party, each equivalent to one tonne of CO2, which can be counted towards meeting its Kyoto target.

So basically, JI offer a flexible and cost-efficient means of fulfilling a part of the annex 1 kyoto commitments by getting ERU (Emissions Reduction Units) from JI projects. Even host parties get benefit from foreign investment and technology transfer. But still, JI projects is really hard to be approved and until now there are only 22 projects that are approved, 12 projects that are being approved and hundreds projects that haven’t been approved until now. Of course the projects that haven’t been approved will not get any ERU thus, the project will only be at waste.

UNFCCC (United Nation Framework Convention on Climate Change)

UNFCCC is an international environmental treaty produced at the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED). The treaty itself set no mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions for individual countries and contains no enforcement mechanisms. In that sense, the treaty is considered legally non-binding. Instead, the treaty provides for updates (called “protocols”) that would set mandatory emission limits. The principal update is the Kyoto Protocol, which has become much better known than the UNFCCC itself.

One of its first tasks was to establish national greenhouse gas inventories of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, which were used to create the 1990 benchmark levels for accession of Annex I countries to the Kyoto Protocol and for the commitment of those countries to GHG reductions. UNFCCC programs such as Kyoto Protocol received some pro and contras. Some cases proved that Kyoto Protocol isn’t the best way from UNFCCC, because through it UNFCCC can’t pursuade countries well to care and act the real act through the protocol about climate change. Meanwhile some says that UNFCCC has protocol that can assist countries well in acting towards the climate change well, for example from the protocol of UNFCCC they can minimalize the tempereature change in earth until about 1 degree celcius. This proves that UNFCCC has done its best for preventing more damage from the climate change that has occured.

Annex B

Annex B is developed countries or industrialized countries, not only industrialized countries that need to reduce GHG until it become like before 1990s, but also new industrialized countries.

Annex B countries consist of countries which have signed the Kyoto Protocol, not only counrtries that have ratified it, but also countries that have signed, but haven’t ratified it yet. Annex B countries doesn’t consist of countries that throw up their emission from vehicles and forestry projects but only from industries. Meanwhile the purpose is to classify countries based on their emission degrees. Indonesia for example has rapidly increased their emission, theirs even larger than germany’s which classified to annex B but Indonesia doesn’t. In the other side, annex B just purposed the industiralized ones because they create the major harms towards the environtment and the non annex (developing countries) still need assistance from developed countries to face the environmental change, and not burden them to decrease their emission alone.

 JISC (Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee)

If a host Party meets all of the eligibility requirements to transfer and acquire ERUs, it may verify emission reductions or enhancements of removals from a JI project as being additional to any that would otherwise occur. Upon such verification, the host Party may issue the appropriate quantity of ERUs. This procedure is commonly referred to as the “Track 1” procedure.”

JISC is the committee which supervises the verification procedure of JI projects. If a host Party does not meet all, but only a limited set of eligibility requirements, verification of emission reductions or enhancements of removals as being additional has to be done through the verification procedure under the Joint Implementation Supervisory Committee (JISC). Under this so-called “Track 2” procedure, an independent entity accredited by the JISC has to determine whether the relevant requirements have been met before the host Party can issue and transfer ERUs (Emission Reduction Units).

A host Party which meets all the eligibility requirements may at any time choose to use the verification procedure under the JISC (Track 2 procedure). This track 2 procedure is rather complex than the first one, so until now there are hundreds JI projects that haven’t been supervisored by JISC. If these projects haven’t been supervisored yet, then the countries can’t get any ERU and of course this won’t help them in reaching their emission target. But, in the other side JISC is created to prevent any harmful JI projects. If the JI projects are harmful because the countries can’t fulfil the required conditions of course the one which will be in loss is the countries themselves.

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