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While the issues of global warming and the Kyoto Protocol are notexclusively Asia-Pacific topics this essay will discuss the importanceof Australias role along with the United States in undermining thistreaty To a lesser degree the roles of India and China will alsobe examined Particular emphasis will also be placed on the economicenvironmental and political aspects involved in the topic Statisticaldata will also be offered to support this analysisThe Framework Convention on Climate Change instigated by the UnitedNations was held in Kyoto Japan in December 1997 More than 2200delegates from 161 nations took part in this summit to help forge aninternational treaty now known as the Kyoto Protocol We can see fromthe map provided that the major stakeholders examined in this essayencompass the entire Asia-Pacific regionThe objective of the Kyoto climate-change conference was to establish alegally binding international agreement whereby all the participatingnations commit themselves to tackling the issue of global warming andreduce greenhouse gas emissions GGEs The target agreed upon atthe summit was an average reduction of 52 on 1990 levels by the year2012 Table A at the end of this essay details the negotiated targetsfor each Annex 1 nationAt the close of negotiations Luxembourgs Environment Minister JohnnyLahure was jubilant when he announced Today there are no losers andonly one winner the environment However it is difficult to understandhis enthusiasmIn reality it would take an immediate reduction of at least 60 to makean impact on the greenhouse gases that have been accumulating in theatmosphere since the onset of the industrial revolution Given thiseven if it is ratified the Kyoto Protocol will achieve little forthe environmentNow thanks entirely to the United States and Australia ratificationof the treaty may never eventuate Australia and the US arrived at thetalks as hostile participants with entrenched positions Central to USobstinance was the lack of participation from China and India Althoughmajor polluters themselves because they are developing countriesthe Kyoto accord does not require them to reduce their emissions at allThe Americans
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