This Just in from Nairobi re: Kyoto’s Future

windmillsAs the international community meets this week in Nairobi, Kenya to formulate international climate policy, you can depend upon Climate Ark for extensive news coverage. Not without criticism, Climate Ark continues to support the Kyoto process [search] as an established mechanism to reduce emissions that can be tightened and expanded, rather than restarting international negotiations from scratch. Clearly India and China must enter the emissions caps, though just as clearly they and other developing countries should be allowed to emit more per capita then rich countries. Climate change will be averted or minimized only by dramatic emissions reductions, rapid embrace of renewable energy, an end to ancient forest deforestation and diminishment, and an embrace of energy conservation and efficiency. As individuals we must do what we can to achieve these goals, while leading our leaders to establish societal constraints that make living green more easy. Meanwhile, lets hope for enlightened global governance from Nairobi.

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4 Responses

  1. I agree that Kyoto should be supported. International action, with agreed upon limits for ghg emissions, are essential for success. Right now, a lot is riding on the efforts of the developed countries that are participating in Kyoto to show they can successful in meeting their targets. In the United States we must take advantage of the new political landscape to put comprehensive and ambitious federal climate change legislation on the national agenda.

  2. Supporting Kyoto is one thing. But we cannot leave everything to government regulation – governments, by their very nature, take their lead from what the people want and do, and will not budge until we force them.
    We need to act, as citizens in our own right. By refusing to be part of overblown consumerism, refusing to consume unsustainable animal products such as meat and dairy, and refusing to buy uneconomical vehicles and appliances, we are making very real differences to the planet here and now.
    Taking responsibility for your own actions and their consequences is absolutely necessary for our survival as a species. The longer we delay it, the more we place our children at risk.

  3. Mandy Meikle says:

    Hi Glen – didn't expect a reply, especially so quickly. I assume you've heard of Contraction & Convergence? Proposed by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute ( In a nutshell, it's a system whereby the biggest polluters reduce emissions severely (contraction) while allowing developing countries' emissions to rise somewhat until we all converge at a low rate (maybe only 20% of what we emit today – can't remember the details) by 2045 I think.
    The reason I am so pessimistic about global schemes, including C&C, is that, as you say, something as weak as Kyoto has taken years so far & isn't even capable of addressing climate change. However, I do believe that the fact that we are seeing climate change with our own eyes now will focus politicians' minds & maybe make business see there's maybe a profit to be made from changing our ways.
    Meyer's been lobbying hard for years now & seems confident that some form of C&C will be introduced by UN or some other vehicle in near future. However, there are various scenarios & climate change is so advanced now that we need to implement the most drastic. I'm afraid I see Kyoto as rearranging the deckchairs as the Titanic sinks – sorry to be so negative! So taking 20 years to start again isn't an option & I don't know enough about Kyoto to know how one would turn it into something which might do the job required, so let's hope there are other options.
    Another important factor is that such radical change as we require will involve some degree of carbon rationing – people won't like being told to go without unless it's sold to them in a very careful way (e.g. enable people to make money out of saving the planet rather than merely denying them their right to pollute!). I'm not saying C&C will work (I'm still tending towards it being too little too late – so you can understand why I dismiss Kyoto!) but it's closer to what we need than Kyoto ever can be.
    OK, I'm just some random woman in the ether & don't want to spoil your day with my thoughts. I also campaign on peak oil & its links to climate change and am very aware of the problems activists have when faced with seemingly hopeless situations. However, we all have to do what we think is best – never do nothing for fear of doing too little!
    all the best
    RESPONSE: Mandy,
    Good discussion. C&C is clearly the way. But right now there are negotiations going on regarding the successor to Kyoto. At any time as the problem becomes more severe, there would be a possiblity of tightening Kyoto targets. That is our hope – expanding to get developing countries (convergence) and tightening targets (plus adding oz and us, contraction) . So we need to reform Kyoto based upon C&C. I see no other way to achieve this other than starting again. The basic mechanisms and principles are already in place under Kyoto but are just too weak.

  4. Rose Wajiku says:

    I am a journalist in Kenya. I attended the United Nations Conference on Climate Change. Of course besides discussing post Kyoto 2012, the other major issue was the GEF and Adaptation Fund. A lot was said about Africa baring the brunt of climate change; some of the effects are so obvious like unpredictable rain patterns , disapperance of some species and all that. While agree that Africa needs help, It is sad to note that information on cliamte change is scarce and a majority of the population has been affected but they think that it is a natutal phenomenon that they can do about it. Goverments are not better off either. many officials will sit in conferences where CDM, Carbon trading, Adapatation or Mitogation is being discussed but they undertand not much. In my opinion as we adapt or mitigate, Africans need information, otherwise it is going to be a hard task to make people adapt to something they have not yet understood.
    in addition, if the communities are not involved the AF, OR GEF may just do what other aid money has done; nothing much.

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