Happy Birthday, Kyoto!


by Tony C. Anderson (from Bali)



Today, as a side event at the UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia (COP-13) Greenpeace’s Solar Generation with the assistance of the Japanese delegation took a brief moment to commemorate the tenth anniversary of the creation of the Kyoto Protocol. The multiple layered chocolate cake was a welcomed sidebar to the hectic and often frenzied workday of the giant climate conference.

Ten years ago today, 11 December 1997, the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement to address climate disruption, was developed in Kyoto, Japan during the UN Climate Change Conference (COP-3) as the world’s first international agreement that set binding targets for the reduction of greenhouse- gas emissions by industrialized countries. After going into effect on 16 February 2005 approximately 141 countries ratified the treaty leaving Australia and the United States as the only developed nations not to join the world’s major climate mitigating scheme.

Most recently, the newly elected government of Australia ratified Kyoto, leaving America as the sole nation not to do so. According to the international treaty, the emissions reduction target for the U.S. was only a mere 7% below 1990 levels by 2012. Today, the COP-13 International Youth Delegation (a group of 200 or so young people from around the world here in Bail) supports reducing US emissions reduction by 80% by 2050. With less than 5% of the world’s population, the US produces approximately 25 % of the world’s global warming pollutants.

So the question remains, has the US grown ANY in the past 10 years? What, specifically, will the US do in the next 4 years and beyond to mitigate it’s share of contributions to global climate change? [The Kyoto Protocol expires in 2012.]


Will the moral imperative be made plain that we must do more? I guess we’ll just have to see…


(…and here’s the birthday video I just made- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WsRJaNuiVBw )



[“mmmhh, cake and justice.”—editor’s note]


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