Global Warming Essay

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Global Warming

The humanity is currently facing one of its biggest problems ever. Indeed, the Earth is warming and consequences might be devastating for the future generations. There is a general agreement among scientists that Earth's climate is being affected by industrial society. Industry affects global climate by releasing greenhouse gases (GHGs). The most significant GHG is carbon dioxide (CO2). While some GHGs occur naturally, others are released in the atmosphere by certain human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, deforestation activities and some agricultural practices. These activities affect climate by increasing the so-called 'greenhouse effect'. GHGs concentrate in the Earth's atmosphere and trap heat by
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The result of the Rio Summit was a recommendation, a non-legally binding aim. The aim was for industrialised countries to return their GHGs emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. But at COP1 in 1995, the Parties decided that the commitments were not adequate. After 2 years and a half of intense negotiations, the Kyoto protocol was adopted at COP3 in December 1997.

The Kyoto protocol set ambitious goals, legally binding targets. The objective is an average of 5.2% reduction of carbon dioxide emissions to below 1990 levels by 2012. For instances, the US committed itself to a reduction of 7%, the EU 8% and Japan 6%. The treaty is planned to be ratified by 2002 and will enter into force after 55 countries have ratified it. These countries must represent at least 55% of the emissions of industrialised countries. But questions remained unanswered about what mechanisms had to be implemented to reach the Kyoto target. Thus, the Parties committed themselves to find an agreement on this issue at COP6 in November 2000.

COP6 took place in The Hague, The Netherlands. This summit was very important as, for most parties, the decision to ratify the Kyoto Protocol was greatly dependent on its output. Three main issues had to be addressed. The first one was whether or not countries could take into account 'carbon sinks'. Basically, some countries want to be allowed to reduce their GHG emission target

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