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Support for the Kyoto Protocol

Kyoto Protocol exampleDr Mike Hulme from the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research holds the opposite opinion to Lombourg, and believes that it is essential that the Kyoto Protocol be implemented. His view is that the benefit-cost analysis used by Lombourg is inappropriate. Hulme (2001) argues that our responsibilities to future generations and global justice are the largest concerns, not the possible cost climate change will have on the economy.

There is no way of reliably estimating how much money will be saved by the protocol. He goes on to say Lombourg’s 5 trillion dollar figure is unsubstantiated, and it is not made clear how the value is reached or what factors it includes. Predicting the cost of implementation is equally problematic, with other sources predicting a benefit to society due to increased energy efficiency, additional health benefits from less pollution, and increased revenue created by global carbon emission trading. Classic cumulus

Schellnhuber (2004- cited in Kirby, 2004) projects that the costs of stabilising climate change could be a low as 0.3% of GDP. As for the argument that the reductions are too small to have any benefit, Hulme (2001) points out that the target for a 5% reduction by 2012 is only intended as the starting point, leading way to increasingly stringent targets to be set in the future. Supporters of Kyoto believe that as the developing countries are the ones responsible for the warming, and will continue to be responsible for warming occurring in the next 20-30 years, these are the countries with the obligation to the rest of the world to take the preliminary steps towards reducing the problem by leading the way. Targets should be set in the future for developing countries to reduce their emissions, but it is only realistic to expect this after a significant result has been achieved first, by the developing countries.