Climate Change Debates
One of the most challenging tasks that the whole planet faces today relates to climate change. The statistical data shows evidence that in one hundred years the planet will be warmer on average 7 degrees Celsius, which would trigger even more catastrophes and disasters. Despite the fact that the mentioned change is inevitable, humanity still can slow down the pace of global warming (Boulter, 2013). Thereafter, the objective of the following paper is to discuss why countries find it so difficult to agree climate change targets.
Global greenhouse gas emissions cuts are essential part of the action plan. This requires cooperation on a global level as only mitigation can help to change the situation. The national governments of many countries have proposed certain programs, such as the Copenhagen Accord, the Kyoto Protocol (it required countries to cut gas emissions to certain percentage (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 2014)) and others that would set the limits on gas and other emissions to countries all over the world. Thus, such industrial and well-developed countries as Canada, Russia and Japan failed to commit to all the provisions, as such restrictions could damage their economies. Moreover, China and India seem to find the protocol meaningless in comparison to their production volumes (Council on Foreign Relations, 2014).
There are some reasons on why it is hard to reach a mutual agreement. First, the targets are impractical as are obliging countries to stick to the environmental rules, while poverty, unemployment rate and other issues might be more important to some nations. Binding contracts is another reason, as once they are signed, the targets must be reached by the deadline. Moreover, the mentioned agreements do not provide much flexibility for any different country and can further be discussed as a part of violation by certain nations (Nautiyal, et al., 2013).
However, even if all the developed countries have agreed to sign the climate change protocols, nothing can be achieved unless developing countries would contribute to that. Thus, the agreements that developing countries have duties to their citizens that are related to increase of the standards of living come as the first defensive reply. Moreover, the gas emissions cut is an economic sacrifice, the step, which developing countries cannot take while developed ones have already overcome that hinder. In addition to that, constant economic crisis or a possibility of its occurrence is another obstacle in upcoming years (Carrington, 2011).
In order to improve the situation, many revisions of the Kyoto Protocol and other proposed agreements have been made. Among the offered solutions are reconsideration of the emission targets stringency and forms; sub-national agreements scope expansion; common policies adoptions and development; development-oriented actions implementations and other (IPCC, n.d.). Another solution is to make agreements according to which the industrial countries would allocate money to the economies of the developing ones for gas emissions cut. This would create an opportunity to develop a targets-with-trading system that would be beneficial for both parties. Moreover, the other solution can relate to an offer for developing countries to replace the carbon with fossil fuels. This would be a smart move, as it would bring economic, fiscal and environmental improvements (The White House, 2014).
In conclusion, this is important to mention that the only solution that can help to reach at least some consensus in discussions related to climate change targets is that the initial agreements should be adopted to the needs of every economy (The Garnaut Climate Change Review, 2013). It is logical that developing countries do not want to oblige themselves with burden, which they feel they cannot carry and try to do provide the best conditions for prosperity of their people first. This is the main reason why consensus in debates has not been reached so far.
Boulter, S., etal. (2013). Natural Disasters and Adaptation to Climate Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (2014). The Kyoto Protocol. Retrieved from http://climatechange.sea.ca/kyoto_protocol.html
Council on Foreign Relations (2014). The Global Climate Change Regime. Retrieved from http://unfccc.int/kyoto_protocol/items/2830.php
Nautiyal, et.al. (2013). Knowledge Systems of Societies for Adaptation and Mitigation of Impacts of Climate Change. Springer Heidelberg New York Dordrecht London Retrieved from https://books.google.com.ua/books?id=Dva3BAAAQBAJ&pg=PA18&lpg=PA18&dq=why+countries+find+it+so+difficult+to+agree+climate+change+targets&source=bl&ots=lPclzk8egX&sig=rNrFxKTl88Dv7TYFKSDJ8idPqSU&hl=uk&sa=X&ei=WzPaVLefHYbNygOCtYCoDA&ved=0CEgQ6AEwBzgK#v=onepage&q=why%20countries%20find%20it%20so%20difficult%20to%20agree%20climate%20change%20targets&f=false
Carrington, D. (2011). Why Is It So Hard to Stop Climate Change? The Guardian.com. Retrieved from http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2011/nov/09/why-hard-stop-climate-change
IPCC (n.d.). International Agreements (Climate Change Agreements and Other Arrangements). Climate Change 2007: Working Group III: Mitigation of Climate Change. Retrieved from http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg3/en/tssts-ts-13-4-international-agreements.html
The White House. (2014). FACT SHEET: U.S.-China Joint Announcement on Climate Change and Clean Energy Cooperation. Office of the Press Secretary. Retrieved from http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2014/11/11/fact-sheet-us-china-joint-announcement-climate-change-and-clean-energy-c
The Garnaut Climate Change Review (2013). Towards Global Agreement. Retrieved from http://www.garnautreview.org.au/pdf/Garnaut_Chapter9.pdf