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Negotiation lead to agreement of the Kyoto Protocol in 1997.
Signing the treaty
In order for the treaty to enter into force 55 countries had to agree to it inc. the countries that
account for 55% of the global C02 emissions in 1990.
Putting this framework into practice led to extremely complex and on-going negotiations.
Russia did not sign until 2005.
The USA, which produces 25% of global emission, initially signed but withdrew in 2002 following the
election of George Bush.
Australia, the second largest per capita polluter, did not sign until 2007.
Reducing emissions
Participants committed to cut emissions of all greenhouse gases
If participant countries continue with emissions above target, they are required to engage in emissions
Goal is to see participants reducing emissions below 5.2% the emissions levels of 1990 by 2020
Overall reductions in emissions have been under 1% largely because of increasing emissions from
countries such as China, India and Brazil, which were not obliged to cut emissions.
Discussions at the 2009 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference proved very complex and many
issues surrounding mitigation responsibilities remain unresolved.

UN Copenhagen climate summit lasted for 2 weeks in early December 2009
192 countries sent representatives
Purpose of summit was to put in place a new treaty for countries to sign to tackle climate change
Would come into force once Kyoto protocol ran out in 2012
No formal agreements
Countries e.g. USA, China and UK signed accord known as Copenhagen Accord with no legal status
Accord set a target to limit global temperature rise to a max of 2C above pre-industrial levels
Should be aid for developing nations from 2020 to compensate for them being reduced in economic
output if they turn to less-productive renewable energy

2007 EU set targets for 2020 to reduce emissions by 20% of the levels they were at in 1990
Carbon offsetting
Set targets for every country and gave 14000 factories and power plants in Europes dirtiest industries
permits of credits to emit certain amounts of carbon
Cut emissions
Get polluters to pay for the damage they cause
Create incentives to invest in cleaner technology
How effective is the ETS?
Failed in its aims
Manufacturing companies moved out of Europe
Polluters are not absorbing the price of the credits
Low cost of carbon credits is not leading to investment in green technology
Reducing greenhouse gas emissions and transitioning to a low-carbon economy will require a global
Many are looking to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), an
international treaty to avoid dangerous global warming, to deliver the progress needed.

The dangers
All countries will be affected by climate change, but the poorest countries will suffer earliest and most.
Average temperatures could rise by 5C from pre-industrial levels if climate change goes unchecked.
Warming of 3 or 4C will result in many millions more people being flooded. By the middle of the century
200 million may be permanently displaced due to rising sea levels, heavier floods and drought.
Warming of 4C or more is likely to seriously affect global food production.
Warming of 2C could leave 15-40% species facing extinction.
Before the industrial revolution level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere was 280 parts per million
(ppm) CO2 equivalent (CO2e); the current level is 430ppm CO2e. The level should be limited to 450-
550ppm CO2.
Deforestation is responsible for more emissions than the transport sector.
Climate change is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen.
Recommended actions
Three elements of policy are required for an effective response: carbon pricing, technology policy and
energy efficiency.
Carbon pricing, through taxation, emissions trading or regulation, will show people the full social costs
of their actions. The aim should be a global carbon price across countries and sectors.
Emissions trading schemes, like that operating across the EU, should be expanded and linked.
Technology policy should drive the large-scale development and use of a range of low-carbon and
high-efficiency products.
Globally, support for energy research and development should at least double; support for the
deployment of low-carbon technologies should be increased my up to five times.
International product standards could be introduced.
Large-scale international pilot programmes to explore the best ways to curb deforestation should be
started very quickly.
Climate change should be fully integrated into development policy, and rich countries should honour
pledges to increase support through overseas development assistance.
International funding should go into researching new crop varieties that will be more resilient to drought
and flood.
Economic impacts
The benefits of strong, early action considerably outweigh the costs:
Unabated climate change could cost the world at least 5% of GDP each year; if more dramatic
predictions come to pass, the cost could be more than 20% of GDP.
Each tonne of CO2 we emit causes damages worth at least $85, but emissions can be cut at a cost of
less than $25 a tonne.
Shifting the world onto a low-carbon path could eventually benefit the economy by $2.5 trillion a year.

"Act on CO2"
Government campaign aimed at helping consumers reduce carbon emissions
Act on CO2 or "Actonco2" is the branding for information to help the public tackle climate change
Began in the spring of 2007
Brings together the efforts of Defra and the Department for Transport in this area
Act local, think global
Phrase urges people to consider the health of the entire planet and to take action in their own
communities and cities

Most local councils in UK now operate a bi-week rubbish collection with the alternate weeks being
Using energy- efficient light bulbs which uses 70% less electricity than standard bulbs and therefore
produce less CO2

Walking or travelling on a bike instead of using your car.
Buying food that has been produced locally.
Installing solar panels on your roof