Globalisation in the 21st century: environmental challenges and international approaches
Over the past 30 years the existence of climate change became more obvious and climate change is an ever present topic in the media. Two recent examples of ecological side-effects of globalisation are Hurricane Sandy leaving the USA in devastation last October and Typhoon Haiyan ravaging the Philippines last week.
The objective of this essay is to show the consequences of climate change and how these challenges are addressed internationally based on the example of the Kyoto Protocol.
Environmental pollution is growing globally due to increased burning of fossil fuels and wood used by ...view middle of the document...
One of those is the Kyoto Protocol which was agreed at the second meeting of the parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The protocol is a voluntary agreement aiming to reduce industrialised countries' emissions by an average annual of 5.2% by 2012. The targets should be met mostly through national measures with three additional market-based mechanisms: (1) emissions trading (2) joint implementation and (3) the clean development mechanism.
The positive side of the protocol is that it a necessary start to tackle climate change. Reducing GHG emissions is an essential step in slowing down global warming and this can only be reached through international agreements.
On the other hand, the protocol is only in force for the period of time between 2008-2012; afterwards a new agreement has to be made.
Since there are no enforcing mechanisms or punishments for non-compliance the protocol will not be able to achieve real climate protection as most nations are more concerned about their economy and the two countries with the highest emissions, the USA and China, never signed the protocol.
Therefore, it is overall criticised that the UNFCCC and the adapted Kyoto protocol actually failed to achieve the stated goals.
In December 2012 a second commitment period from January 2013 to December 2020 was agreed on.
In conclusion, it can be seen that there the Kyoto protocol constitutes a good start combating climate change. But still there is the...