Paris Agreement Vs Kyoto Protocol

The Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol are two international agreements aimed at tackling climate change. Although they share similar goals, there are some key differences between the two agreements. In this article, we will compare the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol and highlight their advantages and disadvantages.

The Kyoto Protocol was adopted in 1997 and became effective in 2005. It aimed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by developed countries by 5.2% from 1990 levels. The agreement had binding targets for 37 developed countries, including the European Union, Japan, and Canada. The United States, which was responsible for a significant proportion of greenhouse gas emissions, did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol.

The Paris Agreement, on the other hand, was adopted in 2015 and became effective in 2016. Unlike the Kyoto Protocol, the Paris Agreement is a non-binding agreement. It aims to limit global warming to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C. The Paris Agreement involves all countries, including developing countries, and encourages them to set their own targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

One significant difference between the two agreements is their approach to emissions reduction targets. Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed countries were assigned binding targets that they had to achieve. In contrast, under the Paris Agreement, countries are expected to set their own targets, known as Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). While the Paris Agreement provides flexibility to countries, it also lacks the binding targets that made the Kyoto Protocol more effective in reducing emissions.

Another difference between the two agreements is their treatment of carbon markets. Under the Kyoto Protocol, countries could trade emissions credits and invest in clean technologies in developing countries to offset their emissions. However, the Paris Agreement does not have a strong provision for carbon markets, which could limit the effectiveness of emissions reduction efforts.

Despite their differences, both agreements have advantages and disadvantages. The Kyoto Protocol was successful in reducing emissions in developed countries that had binding targets. However, it did not involve developing countries and lacked flexibility in setting emissions reduction targets. The Paris Agreement involves all countries and provides flexibility in setting targets but lacks the binding targets that made the Kyoto Protocol effective.

In conclusion, both the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol are important international agreements aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions and slowing down climate change. While they have different approaches, they share the goal of reducing emissions and protecting the planet. It remains to be seen whether the Paris Agreement will be as effective as the Kyoto Protocol in reducing emissions or whether it will need to be revised in the future to achieve its goals.