GLOBAL WARMING Measurements of temperature taken by instruments all over the world, on land and at sea have revealed that during the 20th century the Earth’s surface and lowest part of the atmosphere warmed up on average by about 0.6°C. During this period, man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide have increased, largely as a result of the burning of fossil fuels for energy and transportation, and land use changes including deforestation for agriculture. In the last 20 years, concern has grown that these two phenomena are, at least in part, associated with each other. That is to say, global warming is now considered most probably to be due to the increases in greenhouse gas emissions and concurrent increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas




Measurements of temperature taken by instruments all over the world, on land and

at sea have revealed that during the 20th century the Earth’s surface and lowest

part of the atmosphere warmed up on average by about 0.6°C. During this period,

man-made emissions of greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, methane and

nitrous oxide have increased, largely as a result of the burning of fossil fuels for

energy and transportation, and land use changes including deforestation for

agriculture. In the last 20 years, concern has grown that these two phenomena are,

at least in part, associated with each other. That is to say, global warming is now

considered most probably to be due to the increases in greenhouse gas emissions

and concurrent increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, which

have enhanced the Earth's natural greenhouse effect. Whilst other natural causes of

climate change can cause global climate to change over similar periods of time,

computer models demonstrate that in all probability there is a real discernible

human influence on the global climate.

If the climate changes as current computer models have projected, global average

surface temperature could be anywhere from 1.4 to 5.8°C higher by the end of the


21st century than in 1990. To put this temperature change into context, the increase

in global average surface temperature which brought the Earth out of the last major

ice age 14,000 years ago was of the order of 4 to 5°C. Such a rapid change in

climate will probably be too great to allow many ecosystems to suitably adapt, and

the rate of species extinction will most likely increase. In addition to impacts on

wildlife and species biodiversity, human agriculture, forestry, water resources and

health will all be affected. Such impacts will be related to changes in precipitation

(rainfall and snowfall), sea level, and the frequency and intensity of extreme

weather events, resulting from global warming. It is expected that the societies

currently experiencing existing social, economic and climatic stresses will be both

worst affected and least able to adapt. These will include many in the developing

world, low-lying islands and coastal regions, and the urban poor.

The Framework Convention on Climate Change (1992) and the Kyoto Protocol

(1997) represent the first steps taken by the international community to protect the

Earth's climate from dangerous man-made interference. Currently, nations have

agreed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by an average of about 5% from 1990

levels by the period 2008 to 2012. The UK, through its Climate Change

Programme, has committed itself to a 12.5% cut in greenhouse gas emissions.

Additional commitments for further greenhouse gas emission reduction will need

to be negotiated during the early part of the 21st century, if levels of greenhouse

gas concentrations in the atmosphere are to be stabilised at reasonable levels.

Existing and future targets can be achieved by embracing the concept of

sustainable development - development today that does not compromise the

development needs of future generations. In practical terms, this means using

resources, particularly fossil-fuel-derived energy, more efficiently, re-using and


recycling products where possible, and developing renewable forms of energy

which are inexhaustible and do not pollute the atmosphere.

20th Century Climate Change

There is now considerable evidence that indicates a relationship between the man-

made enhancement of the Earth's natural greenhouse effect through greenhouse gas

pollution of the atmosphere and the global warming that has been observed.

Measurements of surface temperature recorded around the world during the last

150 years indicate that global temperatures are now higher than in any decade over

this period. During the 20th century a global average surface temperature increase

of about 0.6°C years has taken place, although the warming trend has not been

smooth and has taken place rather differently between the Northern and Southern

Hemispheres. With this in mind, it is important to recognise that global average

surface temperature, as a measure of the global climate, represents an over-

simplification. Winter temperatures and night-time minimums for example, may

have risen more than summer temperatures and daytime maximums.

With higher global temperatures one would expect an increase in rainfall and other

forms of precipitation, because of the greater amount of moisture available within

the atmosphere. Striking changes in precipitation have occurred on regional scales,

most notably the drought in the African Sahel between the 1960s and 1980s.

Nevertheless, the accuracy of many precipitation records should be treated with

caution. Precipitation is more difficult to monitor than temperature due to its

greater geographical variability.


Variations in land- and sea-ice coverage and the melting or growth of glaciers

occur in response to changes in temperature, sunshine, precipitation, and for sea-

ice changes in wind. Since 1966 Northern Hemisphere snow cover maps have been

produced by the United States using satellite imagery. Consistent with the surface

and tropospheric temperature measurements is the decrease (by about 10%) in

snow cover and extent since the late 1960s. There has been a widespread retreat of

mountain glaciers in non-polar regions during the 20th century. Variations in sea-

ice extent have also been reported, with spring and summer sea-ice extent in the

Northern Hemisphere decreasing by between 10 an 15% since the 1950s.

Considerable interest is now focusing on Antarctica, where regional warming, as

predicted by climate models, has been more rapid than global warming as a whole.

In recent years the summertime disintegration of the Larsen Sea Ice Shelf adjacent

the Antarctic continent has been occurring on an unprecedented scale. In view of

the rapidity at which it is taking place, such an event has been viewed as a possible

signal of global warming.

Increased global cloudiness, as for increased global evaporation and precipitation,

would be an expected consequence of higher global temperatures. It is likely that

there has been a 2% increase in cloud cover over mid - to high latitude land areas

during the 20th century. In most areas the trends relate well to the observed

decrease in daily temperature range (since cloudier nights tend to be warmer and

cloudier days cooler).


Increase in global average surface temperature since the mid 19th century.


21st Century Climate Change

Prediction of climate change over the next 100 to 150 years is based solely on

climate model simulations run on computers. The vast majority of modelling has

concentrated on the effects of continued man-made pollution of the atmosphere by

greenhouse gases, and to a lesser extent, atmospheric aerosols. The main concern

at present is to determine how much the Earth will warm in the near future.

Significant results from some of the best climate models available indicate that a

global average warming of 0.3°C per decade can be expected to occur during the

21st century, assuming that mankind fails to control current emissions of

greenhouse gases, although it could be as high as 0.6°C. In addition regional

variations in the patterns of temperature and precipitation change will occur, with

greater warming likely in the polar regions. Currently, models suggest that if the

atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, is doubled

from pre-industrial levels, the Earth will warm by between 1.5 and 4.5°C sometime

over the next 200 years or so. The large margin of error in future prediction of


temperature emphasises that modelling the climate is inherently a difficult

business. Part of the problem stems from trying to guess what climate feedbacks

might occur that may enhance the initial warming due to an enhanced greenhouse

effect. Melting ice in the polar regions for example could accelerate warming

because exposed ground absorbs more energy from the Sun than snow and ice,

which reflect about 80 to 90%.

Whilst uncertainties concerning the actual response of the global climate to man-

made greenhouse gas emissions exist, most scientists agree that the global

warming trend of the 20th century will continue into the 21st century. The

projected rate of warming is faster than at any time during recent Earth history. If

nations fail to respond, the world may experience numerous adverse impacts as a

result of global warming in the decades ahead.


Evidence for warming of the climate system includes observed increases in global

average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and


rising global average sea level. The most common measure of global warming is

the trend in globally averaged temperature near the Earth's surface. Expressed as a

linear trend, this temperature rose by 0.74 ± 0.18 °C over the period 1906–2005.

The rate of warming over the last half of that period was almost double that for the

period as a whole (0.13 ± 0.03 °C per decade, versus 0.07 °C ± 0.02 °C per

decade). The urban heat island effect is estimated to account for about 0.002 °C of

warming per decade since 1900. Temperatures in the lower troposphere have

increased between 0.13 and 0.22 °C (0.22 and 0.4 °F) per decade since 1979,

according to satellite temperature measurements. Temperature is believed to have

been relatively stable over the one or two thousand years before 1850, with

regionally varying fluctuations such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little

Ice Age.

Estimates by NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) and the National

Climatic Data Center show that 2005 was the planet's warmest year since reliable,

widespread instrumental measurements became available in the late 19th century,

exceeding the previous record set in 1998 by a few hundredths of a

degree.Estimates prepared by the World Meteorological Organization and the

Climatic Research Unit show 2005 as the second warmest year, behind 1998.

Temperatures in 1998 were unusually warm because the strongest El Niño in the

past century occurred during that year. Global temperature is subject to short-term

fluctuations that overlay long term trends and can temporarily mask them. The

relative stability in temperature from 2002 to 2009 is consistent with such an


Temperature changes vary over the globe. Since 1979, land temperatures have

increased about twice as fast as ocean temperatures (0.25 °C per decade against

0.13 °C per decade).Ocean temperatures increase more slowly than land

temperatures because of the larger effective heat capacity of the oceans and


because the ocean loses more heat by evaporation. The Northern Hemisphere

warms faster than the Southern Hemisphere because it has more land and because

it has extensive areas of seasonal snow and sea-ice cover subject to ice-albedo

feedback. Although more greenhouse gases are emitted in the Northern than

Southern Hemisphere this does not contribute to the difference in warming because

the major greenhouse gases persist long enough to mix between hemispheres.

The thermal inertia of the oceans and slow responses of other indirect effects mean

that climate can take centuries or longer to adjust to changes in forcing. Climate

commitment studies indicate that even if greenhouse gases were stabilized at 2000

levels, a further warming of about 0.5 °C (0.9 °F) would still occur.



Global Warming is a major issue due to the industrialization and progress by

humankind since the past few years. There has been a hue and cry about Global

Warming ever since the idea was first put forward. There are many articles on

Global Warming on the internet as well print media which give further details

about the causes of Global Warming. Here is some further information on global


Global warming has been and is being caused due to a various number of factors.

Global warming is basically a change in the climatic conditions of the earth. These

climatic conditions vary due to various reason, external and internal. Changes to


climatic conditions and therefore Global Warming can be caused to to natural or

man-made circumstances also. Some of the factors causing global warming are

volcanic emissions and solar activity.

According to the solar variation theory,the sun has been gaining strength and is at

it's strongest since a sixty years. Therefore, it may now be acting as a cause of

global warming. Sunspots are also said to be a cause or catalyst for Global

Warming. Recent reports suggest that the number of sunspots in an area directly

affects the amount of time the nearby earth takes to cool. The sun is the main

source of energy to the earth. The earth absorbs about seventy percent of the earth's

solar flux. This solar flux increases the temperature of the earth's atmosphere, land

and oceans.

Orbital forcing is also said to be one of the natural causes of Global Warming. The

reports show the effect of the slow tilting of the earth's axis on the climate of the

earth.The greenhouse effect is said to be the most important factor regarding global

warming. When infrared radiation from the atmosphere increases the temperature

of the earth's surface, it is termed as the greenhouse effect. The greenhouse effect

has increased the earth's temperature by about twenty four percent.

Carbon dioxide contributes about twelve percent of the greenhouse effect, while

water vapor contributes thirty six percent of the greenhouse effect. Methane causes

five to ten percent of Global Warming, while Ozone makes around three to seven

percent of the greenhouse effect possible.


Solar variation is said to be another reason of Global Warming. The changes in the

amount of radiant energy emitted by the Sun are known as solar variation. This

solar variation has been correlated with the changes in the Earth's climate and


Along with the natural causes of Global Warming, scientists have also contributed

rapid industrialization to the increase of Global Warming today.Humans had first

affected global warming some eight thousand years ago, with the start of

agriculture. Due to the clearing of the forests for agriculture, the amount of carbon

dioxide in the atmosphere increased drastically.

Scientists are of the opinion that industrialization releases various gases like

carbon-dioxide and methane which are known to contribute to Global Warming.

Deforestation is also said to increase global warming. Trees contain a high level of

carbon, and therefore their cutting creates an increase of carbon in the atmosphere.

Humankind also contributes to the increase of carbon dioxide by the burning of

fossil fuels. The contribution of humankind to global warming due to the burning

of fossil fuels has increased by about eighty percent in the past twenty years.

If the greenhouse effect didn't exist, the temperature of the earth would be around

twenty seven Celsius less. Some scientists are of the opinion that human life would

be impossible on planet earth if the temperature would be so less.


In the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report scientists conclude that "warming of the

climate system is unequivocal, as is now evident from observations of increases in

global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice,

and rising global average sea level" and, furthermore, they conclude with "very

high confidence (at least a 9 out of 10 chance of being correct) that the globally

averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has been one of warming" of the

Earth's climate system.

As with every environmental variable, there are multiple factors that contribute to

the "warmth" of the Earth. Humans measure warmth as temperature which is a

measure of the amount of heat contained in a physical object. One can envision this

concept by thinking of a pot on a stove. As heat is applied to the pot from a flame

or heating element, the temperature of the pot will increase. But heat will also

begin escaping the pot in the form of steam and also through radiative and

convective cooling from the top and the sides of the pot. Eventually the rates of

both heat loss (cooling) and heat gain (warming) may stabilize and the heat then

contained within the pot at an instantaneous point of time would be reflected in an

equilibrium temperature. This equilibrium temperature could be measured directly

but it also could be calculated by determining all of the flux rates of heat entering

(heating) and leaving (cooling) the pot.


Water in a boiling pot receives heat from an element or flame and

loses heat via steam and radiative cooling.

One way that climate scientists look at the warmth of the Earth's climate system is

to calculate the annual average temperature of the surface of the Earth using

temperature measurements systematically collected throughout the year from

thousands of land- and ocean-based weather and observation stations. The

observed trends in the Earth's annual average temperature is one of the factors

leading to the scientific conclusion that the Earth is now in a period of global


In order to attempt to answer why the Earth is currently warming, scientists have

conducted accountings of each of the fluxes of heat into (warming) and out of

(cooling) the Earth's climate system. Since the measured data show that annual

average temperatures of the Earth have been increasing in recent decades, the year-

to-year annual flux of heat into the climate system must be greater than the annual

flux of heat out of the system. By accounting for each of the fluxes of heat into and

out of the system, scientists are able to assess which fluxes and processes are


contributing to net annual warming of the Earth's surface. By conducting such

accountings, scientists are able to quantify the influence that each natural and

human factor has in altering the balance of incoming and outgoing energy in the

Earth-atmosphere system and can calculate an index of the importance of each of

the factor as a potential climate change mechanism. Each of the factors are called

climate drivers and the relative impact or index of each factor's importance to

climate change is called its radiative forcing.

In completing such an assessment, the IPCC has concluded with very high

confidence that the globally averaged net effect of human activities since 1750 has

been one of warming. The scientists found that the combined radiative forcing due

to increases in carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide is the largest climate

driver and its rate of increase during the industrial era is very likely to have been

unprecedented in more than 10,000 years. Furthermore, the carbon dioxide

radiative forcing increased by 20% from 1995 to 2005, the largest change for any

decade in at least the last 200 years.


The IPCC also found that anthropogenic contributions to aerosols in the

atmosphere produce cooling effects, referred to as global dimming. However the

cooling (global dimming) effects due to human-caused aerosols are equivalent to

about half of the warming effects due to the combined radiative forcing of human-

produced greenhouse gases, causing a net warming.

Significant anthropogenic contributions to radiative forcing were also found to

have come from several other sources, including tropospheric ozone changes due

to emissions of ozone-forming chemicals, direct radiative forcing due to changes in


halocarbons, and changes in surface albedo, due to land-cover changes and

deposition of black carbon aerosols on snow. However the impacts of each of these

factors was relatively small compared to the impacts of anthropogenic greenhouse

gases (each showing relative impacts of 15% or less relative to the greenhouse gas


Finally, an increase in solar irradiance since 1750 was estimated to have caused a

forcing that contributed to the recent warming of the Earth. However, the impact of

the increase in the amount of sunlight striking the Earth each year during this ~250

year time span was estimated to be only about 1/20th of the warming impacts of

anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions.


Greenhouse gases (GHG) are gaseous components in the atmosphere that

contribute to the "greenhouse effect", the heating of the Earth by means of a

similar effect produced by the glass panes of a greenhouse. Greenhouse gases

allow light from the sun to enter the atmosphere surrounding the Earth. When that

sunlight strikes the planet, some of it is reflected back toward space as infrared

radiation, or heat. The GHGs in the atmosphere trap the heat, but over time the

amount of energy sent from the sun to the Earth's surface should be about the same

as the amount of energy radiated back into space, leaving the temperature of the

planet's surface pretty constant. However, it is a documented scientific fact that

global temperatures have been steadily rising for decades.


Some GHGs, such as water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, ozone, and nitrous

oxide, occur naturally to some extent in the atmosphere. Human activities add to

the levels of these naturally occurring gases, and many of those activities are

benign and don't have significant effects on the environment. But the political

debate over GHGs focuses on certain human activities that increase the

concentrations of GHGs in ways that threaten the environment, and research has

stepped up dramatically in recent years to determine whether or not humans should

be trying to limit those activities.

Although opinions are mixed about exactly how the Earth's climate responds to

GHGs, most researchers are in agreement that greenhouse gases from industry and

agriculture have played a major role in global warming. Just the increase in the

population of the planet has to have had some effect on the GHGs in the

atmosphere, because more people are breathing out carbon dioxide, and

deforestation to make room for those people has resulted in fewer trees producing

oxygen. The burning of fossil fuels also leads to higher concentrations of carbon

dioxide, which constitutes about 76% of all the greenhouse gases in the Earth's

atmosphere. Most of the increase in carbon dioxide has occurred in the last 50

years. Measurements from Antarctic ice core samples have shown that carbon

dioxide concentrations stayed pretty stable for about 10,000 years, but began rising

in the mid-20th century.

Methane gas accounts for about 13% of the GHGs in the atmosphere. Since 1750,

the amount of methane gas in the atmosphere has doubled, and some scientists say

that amount could double again by 2050. Each year nearly 500 tons of methane are


added to the air by coal mining, drilling for oil and natural gas, landfill emissions,

wetland changes, and pipeline losses. New style fully vented septic systems,

Livestock and paddy rice farming, CFCs used in refrigeration systems, and halons

in fire suppression systems are also sources of atmospheric methane. Most GHGs

take a very long time to leave the atmosphere, but methane stays in the atmosphere

for only 10 years. However, it traps 20 times more heat than carbon dioxide.

Nitrous oxide, primarily used as "laughing gas", an inhaled anesthetic, is released

naturally from oceans and by bacteria in soils. Nitrous oxide gas production has

risen by more than 15% since 1750, and now makes up approximately 6% of the

GHGs in the atmosphere. Each year about 7-13 million tons are released into the

atmosphere by using nitrogen-based fertilizers, disposing of human and animal

waste in sewage treatment plants, automobile exhaust, and other sources not yet

identified. Nitrogen-based fertilizer use has doubled in the past 15 years. The

nitrous oxide being released into the atmosphere today will still be trapped in there

100 years from now.

Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of many

GHGs in the Earth's atmosphere have steadily increased. In 1992, the United

Nations held a summit meeting in Rio de Janeiro called the Conference on

Environment and Development to develop a treaty aimed at reducing emissions of

greenhouse gases in order to combat global warming. The treaty, called the United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) is legally non-

binding and sets no mandatory limits on GHG emissions for individual nations, but

the countries who signed the treaty agreed to develop their own plans and


schedules for limiting emissions. The FCCC entered into force on March 21, 1994,

with the stated objective being "to achieve stabilization of greenhouse gas

concentrations in the atmosphere at a low enough level to prevent dangerous

anthropogenic interference with the climate system".

The treaty included provisions for eventually setting mandatory emissions limits,

with the primary update being the Kyoto Protocol, which was established in 2005.

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and three groups of fluorinated gases are

the subject of the Kyoto Protocol. Part of the reason for establishing the Kyoto

Protocol was the increased sense of urgency felt by many scientists as newer data

is found to support the theory of "global warming", which could have disastrous

effects upon the Earth if changes are not implemented right now.

The world's leading authority on global warming is the Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change (IPCC), a United Nations-sponsored organization consisting of

2500 scientists from around the world. The IPCC has predicts that global warming

will have severe impact on human health, natural ecosystems, agriculture, and

coastal communities if steps are not taken immediately to reverse the increasing

concentrations of GHGs in the Earth's atmosphere. The IPCC has concluded by

consensus that "The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on

global climate". That "human influence" is the increased levels of greenhouse

gases being released into the atmosphere, and stronger steps must be taken toward

reversing the trend before it is too late to repair the damage.

Greenhouse Gases


Before we discuss global warming due to greenhouse gases, in detail, let's first

have a look at the greenhouse gases list below:

Water vapor (produced due to constant evaporation of water and sublimation

of ice, constitutes about 33-66% of greenhouse gases

Carbon dioxide (released by burning of wood, fossils, organic matter,

respiration in animals and plants; constitutes about 9-26% of greenhouse


Methane (released by decomposition of organic matter, production and

transport of fossil fuel, constitutes about 4-9% of greenhouse gases and

hence methane and global warming are closely connected)

Nitrous oxide (emitted during various industrial and agricultural processes

that involve burning of fossil fuels)

Fluorinated gases (emitted by electrical appliances and these emissions

contain chlorine and bromine)

Other gases (like sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, nitrogen

trifluoride and perfluorocarbons)


The contribution to the greenhouse effect by a gas is affected by both the

characteristics of the gas and its abundance. For example, on a molecule-for-

molecule basis methane is about eighty times stronger greenhouse gas than carbon

dioxide ,[8] but it is present in much smaller concentrations so that its total

contribution is smaller. When these gases are ranked by their contribution to the

greenhouse effect, the most important are:








Water Vapor H2O 36 – 72 %  

Carbon Dioxide CO2 9 – 26 %

Methane CH4 4 – 9 %  


Ozone O3 3 – 7 %  

It is not possible to state that a certain gas causes an exact percentage of the

greenhouse effect. This is because some of the gases absorb and emit radiation at

the same frequencies as others, so that the total greenhouse effect is not simply the

sum of the influence of each gas. The higher ends of the ranges quoted are for each

gas alone; the lower ends account for overlaps with the other gases.[9][10] The

major non-gas contributor to the Earth's greenhouse effect, clouds, also absorb and

emit infrared radiation and thus have an effect on radiative properties of the

greenhouse gases.

In addition to the main greenhouse gases listed above, other greenhouse gases

include sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons (see IPCC

list of greenhouse gases). Some greenhouse gases are not often listed. For example,

nitrogen trifluoride has a high global warming potential (GWP) but is only present

in very small quantities.

Scientists who have elaborated on Arrhenius' theory of global warming are

concerned that increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere

are causing an unprecedented rise in global temperatures, with potentially harmful

consequences for the environment and human health.[12] Although contributing to

many other physical and chemical reactions, the major atmospheric constituents,

nitrogen (N2), oxygen (O2), and argon (Ar), are not greenhouse gases. This is

because molecules containing two atoms of the same element such as N2 and O2

and monatomic molecules such as Ar have no net change in their dipole moment


when they vibrate and hence are almost totally unaffected by infrared light.

Although molecules containing two atoms of different elements such as carbon

monoxide (CO) or hydrogen chloride (HCl) absorb IR, these molecules are short-

lived in the atmosphere owing to their reactivity and solubility. As a consequence

they do not contribute significantly to the greenhouse effect and are not often

included when discussing greenhouse gases.

Late 19th century scientists experimentally discovered that N2 and O2 do not

absorb infrared radiation (called, at that time, "dark radiation") while, at the

contrary, water, as true vapour or condensed in the form of microscopic droplets

suspended in clouds, CO2 and other poly-atomic gaseous molecules do absorb

infrared radiation. It was recognized in the early 20th century that the greenhouse

gases in the atmosphere caused the Earth's overall temperature to be higher than it

would be without them.


Aside from purely human-produced synthetic halocarbons, most greenhouse gases

have both natural and human-caused sources. During the pre-industrial Holocene,

concentrations of existing gases were roughly constant. In the industrial era, human

activities have added greenhouse gases to the atmosphere, mainly through the

burning of fossil fuels and clearing of forests.

The 2007 Fourth Assessment Report compiled by the IPCC (AR4) noted that

"changes in atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols, land

cover and solar radiation alter the energy balance of the climate system", and

concluded that "increases in anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations is very

likely to have caused most of the increases in global average temperatures since the

mid-20th century".In AR4, "most of" is defined as more than 50%.

Gas Preindustrial levelCurrent

level  Increase since 1750   Radiative forcing(W/m2)


dioxide280 ppm  388 ppm 108 ppm 1.46

Methane 700 ppb 1745 ppb 1045 ppb  0.48

Nitrous oxide 270 ppb  314 ppb  44 ppb 0.15

CFC-12 0  533 ppt 533 ppt 0.17


Ice cores provide evidence for variation in greenhouse gas concentrations over the

past 800,000 years. Both CO2 and CH4 vary between glacial and interglacial

phases, and concentrations of these gases correlate strongly with temperature.

Direct data does not exist for periods earlier than those represented in the ice core

record, a record which indicates CO2 mole fractions staying within a range of

between 180ppm and 280ppm throughout the last 800,000 years, until the increase

of the last 250 years. However, various proxies and modeling suggests larger

variations in past epochs; 500 million years ago CO2 levels were likely 10 times

higher than now.

Indeed higher CO2 concentrations are thought to have prevailed throughout most

of the Phanerozoic eon, with concentrations four to six times current

concentrations during the Mesozoic era, and ten to fifteen times current

concentrations during the early Palaeozoic era until the middle of the Devonian

period, about 400 Ma.The spread of land plants is thought to have reduced CO2

concentrations during the late Devonian, and plant activities as both sources and

sinks of CO2 have since been important in providing stabilising feedbacks.

Earlier still, a 200-million year period of intermittent, widespread glaciation

extending close to the equator (Snowball Earth) appears to have been ended

suddenly, about 550 Ma, by a colossal volcanic outgassing which raised the CO2

concentration of the atmosphere abruptly to 12%, about 350 times modern levels,

causing extreme greenhouse conditions and carbonate deposition as limestone at

the rate of about 1 mm per day.This episode marked the close of the Precambrian

eon, and was succeeded by the generally warmer conditions of the Phanerozoic,

during which multicellular animal and plant life evolved. No volcanic carbon

dioxide emission of comparable scale has occurred since. In the modern era,


emissions to the atmosphere from volcanoes are only about 1% of emissions from

human sources.


Since about 1750 human activity has increased the concentration of carbon dioxide

and other greenhouse gases. Measured atmospheric concentrations of carbon

dioxide are currently 100 ppm higher than pre-industrial levels. Natural sources of

carbon dioxide are more than 20 times greater than sources due to human activity,

but over periods longer than a few years natural sources are closely balanced by

natural sinks, mainly photosynthesis of carbon compounds by plants and marine

plankton. As a result of this balance, the atmospheric mole fraction of carbon

dioxide remained between 260 and 280 parts per million for the 10,000 years

between the end of the last glacial maximum and the start of the industrial era.


It is likely that anthropogenic warming, such as that due to elevated greenhouse

gas levels, has had a discernible influence on many physical and biological

systems. Warming is projected to affect various issues such as freshwater

resources, industry, food and health.

The main sources of greenhouse gases due to human activity are:


burning of fossil fuels and deforestation leading to higher carbon dioxide

concentrations in the air. Land use change (mainly deforestation in the

tropics) account for up to one third of total anthropogenic CO2 emissions.

livestock enteric fermentation and manure management,paddy rice farming,

land use and wetland hanges, pipeline losses, and covered vented landfill

emissions leading to higher methane atmospheric concentrations. Many of

the newer style fully vented septic systems that enhance and target the

fermentation process also are sources of atmospheric methane.

use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in refrigeration systems, and use of CFCs

and halons in fire suppression systems and manufacturing processes.

agricultural activities, including the use of fertilizers, that lead to higher

nitrous oxide (N2O) concentrations.


The seven sources of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion are (with percentage

contributions for 2000–2004):

Seven main fossil fuel

combustion sources



Liquid fuels (e.g., gasoline, fuel oil) 36 %

Solid fuels (e.g., coal) 35 %

Gaseous fuels (e.g., natural gas) 20 %

Cement production  3 %

Flaring gas industrially and at wells < 1 %  

Non-fuel hydrocarbons < 1 %  

"International bunker fuels" of


not included in national inventories

 4 %

A new source of harmful carbon emissions has been discovered, these emissions

are PAHs. PAHs are a form of carbon emissions that can come from tire wear on


pavement . So essentially even if all cars were converted to exhaust free electric

cars, there would still be emission created from people driving and over the entire

world this is still a large source of carbon emissions. These recent studies show

that 27% of PAH emission from exhaust could be generated by breakdown of a

small car tire . This represents a serious problem in the sense that, these are

significant amount of emissions being released and this is relatively unknown to

people. This is certainly an emerging topic that needs to be researched so that

better tires that give off fewer PAHs when breaking down can be put into

widespread use.

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) ranks the major greenhouse gas

contributing end-user sectors in the following order: industrial, transportation,

residential, commercial and agricultural. Major sources of an individual's

greenhouse gas include home heating and cooling, electricity consumption, and

transportation. Corresponding conservation measures are improving home building

insulation, installing geothermal heat pumps and compact fluorescent lamps, and

choosing energy-efficient vehicles.

Carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and three groups of fluorinated gases

(sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs, and PFCs) are the major greenhouse gases and the

subject of the Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in 2005.

Although CFCs are greenhouse gases, they are regulated by the Montreal Protocol,

which was motivated by CFCs' contribution to ozone depletion rather than by their

contribution to global warming. Note that ozone depletion has only a minor role in

greenhouse warming though the two processes often are confused in the media.

On December 7, 2009, the US Environmental Protection Agency released its final

findings on greenhouse gases, declaring that "greenhouse gases (GHGs) threaten


the public health and welfare of the American people". The finding applied to the

same "six key well-mixed greenhouse gases" named in the Kyoto Protocol: carbon

dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur



Water vapor accounts for the largest percentage of the greenhouse effect, between

36% and 66% for clear sky conditions and between 66% and 85% when including

clouds.Water vapor concentrations fluctuate regionally, but human activity does

not significantly affect water vapor concentrations except at local scales, such as

near irrigated fields. According to the Environmental Health Center of the National

Safety Council, water vapor constitutes as much as 2% of the atmosphere.

The Clausius-Clapeyron relation establishes that air can hold more water vapor per

unit volume when it warms. This and other basic principles indicate that warming

associated with increased concentrations of the other greenhouse gases also will

increase the concentration of water vapor. Because water vapor is a greenhouse gas

this results in further warming, a "positive feedback" that amplifies the original

warming. This positive feedback does not result in runaway global warming

because it is offset by other processes that induce negative feedbacks, which

stabilize average global temperatures.



The two primary sources of CO2 emissions are from burning coal used for

electricity generation and petroleum used for motor transport.

Measurements from Antarctic ice cores show that before industrial emissions

started atmospheric CO2 mole fractions were about 280 parts per million (ppm),

and stayed between 260 and 280 during the preceding ten thousand years.Carbon

dioxide mole fractions in the atmosphere have gone up by approximately 35

percent since the 1900s, rising from 280 parts per million by volume to 387 parts

per million in 2009. One study using evidence from stomata of fossilized leaves

suggests greater variability, with carbon dioxide mole fractions above 300 ppm

during the period seven to ten thousand years ago, though others have argued that

these findings more likely reflect calibration or contamination problems rather than

actual CO2 variability. Because of the way air is trapped in ice (pores in the ice

close off slowly to form bubbles deep within the firn) and the time period

represented in each ice sample analyzed, these figures represent averages of

atmospheric concentrations of up to a few centuries rather than annual or decadal


Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, the concentrations of most of the

greenhouse gases have increased. For example, the mole fraction of carbon dioxide

has increased by about 36% to 380 ppm, or 100 ppm over modern pre-industrial


levels. The first 50 ppm increase took place in about 200 years, from the start of

the Industrial Revolution to around 1973; however the next 50 ppm increase took

place in about 33 years, from 1973 to 2006.

Recent data also shows that the concentration is increasing at a higher rate. In the

1960s, the average annual increase was only 37% of what it was in 2000 through


The other greenhouse gases produced from human activity show similar increases

in both amount and rate of increase. Many observations are available online in a

variety of Atmospheric Chemistry Observational Databases.

Relevant to radiative forcing

Gas Current (1998)

Amount by volume


(absolute, ppm)

over pre-industrial (1750)


(relative, %)

over pre-industrial






Carbon dioxide 365 ppm

(383 ppm, 2007.01)

   87 ppm

(105 ppm, 2007.01)

31 %

(38 %, 2007.01)


(~1.53, 2007.01)

Methane 1745 ppb 1045 ppb 150 % 0.48

Nitrous oxide  314 ppb    44 ppb 16 % 0.15

Relevant to both radiative forcing and ozone depletion; all of the following have no

natural sources and hence zero amounts pre-industrial

GasCurrent (1998)

Amount by volume

Radiative forcing


CFC-11 268 ppt 0.07

CFC-12 533 ppt 0.17

CFC-113  84 ppt 0.03

Carbon tetrachloride 102 ppt 0.01

HCFC-22  69 ppt 0.03


Regional and national attribution of emissions

There are several different ways of measuring GHG emissions.

Some variables that have been reported include:

Definition of measurement boundaries. Emissions can be attributed

geographically, to the area where they were emitted (the territory principle)

or by the activity principle to the territory that caused the emissions to be

produced. These two principles would result in different totals when

measuring for example the importation of electricity from one country to

another or the emissions at an international airport.

The time horizon of different GHGs. Contribution of a given GHG is

reported as a CO2 equivalent; the calculation to determine this takes into

account how long that gas remains in the atmosphere. This is not always

known accurately and calculations must be regularly updated to take into

account new information.

What sectors are included in the calculation (e.g. energy industries,

industrical processes, agriculture etc.). There is often a conflict between

transparency and availability of data.

The measurement protocol itself. This may be via direct measurement or

estimation; the four main methods are the emission factor-based method, the

mass balance method, the predictive emissions monitoring system and the

continuing emissions monitoring systems.

The methods differ in accuracy, but also in cost and usability.


The different measures are sometimes used by different countries in asserting

various policy/ethical positions to do with climate change (Banuri et al., 1996, p.

94). This use of different measures leads to a lack of comparability, which is

problematic when monitoring progress towards targets. There are arguments for

the adoption of a common measurement tool, or at least the development of

communication between different tools.


Emissions may be measured over long time periods. This measurement type is

called historical or cumulative emissions. Cumulative emissions give some

indication of who is responsible for the build-up in the atmospheric concentration

of GHGs (IEA, 2007, p. 199).


Emissions may also be measured across shorter time periods. Emissions changes

may, for example, be measured against a base year of 1990. 1990 was used in the


United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the base

year for emissions, and is also used in the Kyoto Protocol (some gases are also

measured from the year 1995) (Grubb, 2003, pp. 146, 149). A country's emissions

may also be reported as a proportion of global emissions for a particular year.

Another measurement is of per capita emissions. This divides a country's total

annual emissions by its mid-year population (World Bank, 2010, p. 370). Per

capita emissions may be based on historical or annual emissions (Banuri et al.,

1996, pp. 106–107).

Cumulative emissions

Over the 1900-2005 period, the US was the world's largest cumulative emitter of

energy-related CO2 emissions, and accounted for 30% of total cumulative

emissions (IEA, 2007, p. 201). The second largest emitter was the EU, at 23%; the

third largest was China, at 8%; fourth was Japan, at 4%; fifth was India, at 2%. The

rest of the world accounted for 33% of global, cumulative, energy-related CO2


Changes since a particular base year

In total, Annex I Parties managed a cut of 3.3% in GHG emissions between 1990

and 2004 (UNFCCC, 2007, p. 11). Annex I Parties are those countries listed in

Annex I of the UNFCCC, and are the industrialized countries. For non-Annex I

Parties, emissions in several large developing countries and fast growing

economies (China, India, Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and Iran) GHG emissions

have increased rapidly over this period (PBL, 2009).


The sharp acceleration in CO2 emissions since 2000 to more than a 3% increase

per year (more than 2 ppm per year) from 1.1% per year during the 1990s is

attributable to the lapse of formerly declining trends in carbon intensity of both

developing and developed nations. China was responsible for most of global

growth in emissions during this period. Localised plummeting emissions

associated with the collapse of the Soviet Union have been followed by slow

emissions growth in this region due to more efficient energy use, made necessary

by the increasing proportion of it that is exported.[28] In comparison, methane has

not increased appreciably, and N2O by 0.25% y−1.

Annual and per capita emissions

At the present time, total annual emissions of GHGs are rising (Rogner et al.,

2007).[51] Between the period 1970 to 2004, emissions increased at an average

rate of 1.6% per year, with CO2 emissions from the use of fossil fuels growing at a

rate of 1.9% per year.

Today, the stock of carbon in the atmosphere increases by more than 3 million

tonnes per annum (0.04%) compared with the existing stock. It seems less, but year

after year is enormous cumulative. This increase is the result of human activities

by burning fossil fuels, deforestation and forest degradation in tropical and boreal.

Per capita emissions in the industrialized countries are typically as much as ten

times the average in developing countries (Grubb, 2003, p. 144).Due to China's

fast economic development, its per capita emissions are quickly approaching the

levels of those in the Annex I group of the Kyoto Protocol (PBL, 2009).Other

countries with fast growing emissions are South Korea, Iran, and Australia. On the


other hand, per capita emissions of the EU-15 and the USA are gradually

decreasing over time. Emissions in Russia and the Ukraine have decreased fastest

since 1990 due to economic restructuring in these countries (Carbon Trust, 2009, p.


Energy statistics for fast growing economies are less accurate than those for the

industrialized countries. For China's annual emissions in 2008, PBL (2008)

estimated an uncertainty range of about 10%.

Top emitters

In 2005, the world's top-20 emitters comprised 80% of total GHG emissions (PBL,

2010. See notes for the following table).[55] Tabulated below are the top-5

emitters for the year 2005 (MNP, 2007).[56] The second column is the country's or

region's share of the global total of annual emissions. The third column is the

country's or region's average annual per capita emissions, in tonnes of GHG per

head of population:

Top-5 emitters for the year 2010

Country or region

 % of global


annual emissions

Tonnes of GHG

per capita


United Statesa 19 % 26.1

Indonesiac   9 % 12.9

European Union-27a 18 % 10.6

Chinab 17 %   5.8

India   5 %   2.1

Table footnotes:

These values are for the GHG emissions from fossil fuel use and cement

production. Calculations are for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4),

nitrous oxide (N2O) and gases containing fluorine (the F-gases HFCs, PFCs

and SF6).

These estimates are subject to large uncertainties regarding CO2 emissions

from deforestation; and the per country emissions of other GHGs (e.g.,

methane). There are also other large uncertainties which mean that small

differences between countries are not significant. CO2 emissions from the

decay of remaining biomass after biomass burning/deforestation are not


a Industrialised countries: official country data reported to UNFCCC.

b Excluding underground fires.


c Including an estimate of 2000 million tonnes CO2 from peat fires and

decomposition of peat soils after draining. However, the uncertainty range is

very large.

Effect of policy

Rogner et al. (2007) assessed the effectiveness of policies to reduce emissions

(mitigation of climate change).They concluded that mitigation policies undertaken

by UNFCCC Parties were inadequate to reverse the trend of increasing GHG

emissions. The impacts of population growth, economic development,

technological investment, and consumption had overwhelmed improvements in

energy intensities and efforts to decarbonize (energy intensity is a country's total

primary energy supply (TPES) per unit of GDP . TPES is a measure of commercial

energy consumption.


Based on then-current energy policies, Rogner et al. (2007) projected that energy-

related CO2 emissions in 2030 would be 40-110% higher than in 2000. Two-thirds

of this increase was projected to come from non-Annex I countries. Per capita

emissions in Annex I countries were still projected to remain substantially higher

than per capita emissions in non-Annex I countries. Projections consistently

showed a 25-90% increase in the Kyoto gases (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous

oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) compared to 2000.

Relative CO2 emission from various fuels


One liter of gasoline, when used as a fuel, produces about 2.32 kg (19.4 lb/US

gallon) of carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas.

Mass of carbon dioxide emitted per quantity of energy for various fuels

Fuel name



(lbs/106 Btu)



(g/106 J)

Natural gas 117 50.30

Liquefied petroleum gas 139 59.76

Propane 139 59.76

Aviation gasoline 153 65.78

Automobile gasoline 156 67.07

Kerosene 159 68.36

Fuel oil 161 69.22

Tires/tire derived fuel 189 81.26

Wood and wood waste 195 83.83

Coal (bituminous) 205 88.13

Coal (subbituminous) 213 91.57

Coal (lignite) 215 92.43

Petroleum coke 225 96.73

Coal (anthracite) 227 97.59


Removal from the atmosphere and global warming


Natural processes

Greenhouse gases can be removed from the atmosphere by various processes, as a

consequence of:

a physical change (condensation and precipitation remove water vapor from

the atmosphere).

a chemical reactions within the atmosphere. For example, methane is

oxidized by reaction with naturally occurring hydroxyl radical, OH· and

degraded to CO2 and water vapor (CO2 from the oxidation of methane is not

included in the methane Global warming potential). Other chemical

reactions include solution and solid phase chemistry occurring in

atmospheric aerosols.

a physical exchange between the atmosphere and the other compartments of

the planet. An example is the mixing of atmospheric gases into the oceans.

a chemical change at the interface between the atmosphere and the other

compartments of the planet. This is the case for CO2, which is reduced by

photosynthesis of plants, and which, after dissolving in the oceans, reacts to


form carbonic acid and bicarbonate and carbonate ions (see ocean


a photochemical change. Halocarbons are dissociated by UV light releasing

Cl· and F· as free radicals in the stratosphere with harmful effects on ozone

(halocarbons are generally too stable to disappear by chemical reaction in

the atmosphere).

Atmospheric lifetime

Aside from water vapor, which has a residence time of about nine days,[61] major

greenhouse gases are well-mixed, and take many years to leave the atmosphere.

Although it is not easy to know with precision how long it takes greenhouse gases

to leave the atmosphere, there are estimates for the principal greenhouse gases.

Jacob (1999)defines the lifetime τ of an atmospheric species X in a one-box model

as the average time that a molecule of X remains in the box. Mathematically τ can

be defined as the ratio of the mass m (in kg) of X in the box to its removal rate,

which is the sum of the flow of X out of the box (Fout), chemical loss of X (L),

and deposition of X (D) (all in kg/sec):

The atmospheric lifetime of a species therefore measures the time required to

restore equilibrium following an increase in its concentration in the atmosphere.

Individual atoms or molecules may be lost or deposited to sinks such as the soil,

the oceans and other waters, or vegetation and other biological systems, reducing

the excess to background concentrations. The average time taken to achieve this is

the mean lifetime. The atmospheric lifetime of CO2 is often incorrectly stated to be


only a few years because that is the average time for any CO2 molecule to stay in

the atmosphere before being removed by mixing into the ocean, photosynthesis, or

other processes. However, this ignores the balancing fluxes of CO2 into the

atmosphere from the other reservoirs. It is the net concentration changes of the

various greenhouse gases by all sources and sinks that determines atmospheric

lifetime, not just the removal processes.

Global warming potential

The global warming potential (GWP) depends on both the efficiency of the

molecule as a greenhouse gas and its atmospheric lifetime. GWP is measured

relative to the same mass of CO2 and evaluated for a specific timescale. Thus, if a

gas has a high radiative forcing but also a short lifetime, it will have a large GWP

on a 20 year scale but a small one on a 100 year scale. Conversely, if a molecule

has a longer atmospheric lifetime than CO2 its GWP will increase with the

timescale considered.

Carbon dioxide has a variable atmospheric lifetime, and cannot be specified

precisely. Recent work indicates that recovery from a large input of atmospheric

CO2 from burning fossil fuels will result in an effective lifetime of tens of

thousands of years.Carbon dioxide is defined to have a GWP of 1 over all time


Methane has an atmospheric lifetime of 12 ± 3 years and a GWP of 72 over 20

years, 25 over 100 years and 7.6 over 500 years. The decrease in GWP at longer

times is because methane is degraded to water and CO2 through chemical reactions

in the atmosphere.


Examples of the atmospheric lifetime and GWP relative to CO2 for several

greenhouse gases are given in the following table :

Atmospheric lifetime and GWP relative to CO2 at different time horizon for various greenhouse gases.

Gas name Chemical Lifetime Global warming potential (GWP) for given time


formula (years)


20-yr 100-yr 500-yr

Carbon dioxide CO2 See above 1 1 1

Methane CH4 12 72 25 7.6

Nitrous oxide N2O 114 289 298 153

CFC-12 CCl2F2 100 11 000 10 900 5 200

HCFC-22 CHClF2 12 5 160 1 810 549

Tetrafluoromethane CF4 50 000 5 210 7 390 11 200

Hexafluoroethane C2F6 10 000 8 630 12 200 18 200

Sulphur hexafluoride SF6 3 200 16 300 22 800 32 600

Nitrogen trifluoride NF3 740 12 300 17 200 20 700



Effects of Global Warming on the Environment

When we talk about the effects and consequences of global warming on the

environment, we refer to its effects on various attributes of environment - which

includes flora, fauna and humans. Basically, these effects of global warming on

various lifeforms on the planet are attributed to climate change triggered by

incessantly increasing global near-surface temperatures. The most prominent

global warming effects on weather include extreme weather conditions - such as

frequent droughts, heat waves, devastating hurricanes etc., all of which in turn

affect various lifeforms on the planet. Given below are the details of global

warming effects on planet Earth - with special emphasis on its effects on plants,

animals and humans.

Effects of Global Warming on Plants

There is absolutely no doubt about the fact that global warming will affect

terrestrial as well as marine plants. The endangered plants list is already

quite lengthy and several other species are expected to join it if global

warming continues unabated. Given below are ten most gruesome global

warming effects on plants.

Global warming will result in more wildfires, thus resulting in depletion of

already dwindling forest cover across the world.


The growing season for various species of plants has been altered over the

last few years, and this is going to worsen with time.

As a result of lack of favorable condition the ability of reproduction of

several plant species will be affected, which will limit the number of these

plants and eventually result in their extinction.

Plant migration is yet another obvious global warming effect on Earth.

Several plant species are migrating to regions with cold climate - towards

the temperate region and high altitudes, wherein conditions seem to be

favorable as of now.

Global warming will worsen the spread of invasive plants across the world -

a problem which is expected to cost millions of dollars to control.

Plants act as natural cooling agents on the planet by releasing water from

stomates - the tiny spores from which they absorb carbon dioxide. Their

ability to act as cooling agents will be hampered - as too much of carbon

dioxide in atmosphere will shrink these spores, and this will cause the

environment to heat more.

Warm temperatures also provide ideal growing conditions for insects which

feed on plants. The best example of this is Spruce bark beetles boom in

Alaska which has destroyed million acres of spruce trees.

Extreme temperatures marked by frequent floods and droughts will affect

agriculture sector the most, as no crops will be able to sustain in such

extreme conditions.

Not everything will be bad though. One of the positive effects of global

warming on plants will be the longer growing season that they will be

subjected to, which will eventually result in more crop produce.

Global warming will also result in increase in microbial activity in soil,

which will make it more fertile and plants more productive.


Effects of Global Warming on Animals

It is believed that one-third of the animal species present on the planet today

will become extinct by 2050 as a result of global warming and climate

change and the list of extinct animals in the last 100 years validates this fact

pretty well. Given below is a list of ten most gruesome global warming

effects on animals across the world.

Melting polar ice will result in habitat destruction for polar animals such as

the polar bears, Arctic fox, penguins etc. In fact, the effects of global

warming on polar bears have already started to show with a significant fall

in population of this species in their natural habitat.

Rise in the temperature of ocean water will destroy the coral reefs, thus

resulting in destruction of the marine ecosystem which is dependent on the

coral reefs to a great extent.

Rise in sea level will also affect the salinity of water, and this will hamper

the growth of mangroves - which support a significant amount of

biodiversity on the planet.

Changes in seasons will affect the birds and animals which migrate from one

region to another in search of food as food stocks will get exhausted before

these species make it there.

More rains will result in more erosion and this will in turn result in excessive

silting of freshwater sources which will spell doom for freshwater biome



Global warming will also affect hibernating animals that will come out of

hibernation even before the actual cold season is over but won’t find

anything to feed on.

The young ones of animals such as walrus and polar bears rest on floating

icebergs, and thus melting of these floating icebergs will make them more

vulnerable to extinction.

As sea levels increase saline water will encroach into low lying regions, such

as coastal prairies and marshlands, which will result in loss of habitat for

animals inhabiting these regions.

Loss of habitat for various animal species will force them to turn their

attention towards human settlements which will result on conflict between

the two and result is some serious causality on either sides.

While most of the animals will bear the brunt of global warming, tropical

disease spreading insects, such as mosquitoes, which require warm

surroundings, will become more active and so will the diseases that are

associated with them.

Effects of Global Warming on Humans

Even though we humans have altered the nature to a significant extent as per

our needs, the fact is that we are still dependent on its various attributes -

including plants and animals, for our basic requirements. That being said the


impact of global warming on nature is bound to result in adverse effects on

our life. According to the World Health Organization estimates 150,000

people die every year as a result of various issues related to global warming.

Given below is a list of top ten global warming problems which we are

likely to face in near future.

Extreme weather with frequent floods and droughts will not just affect plants

but also affect us. There have been numerous instances of untimely rains,

floods and droughts in various parts of the world over the last few years.

Global warming will melt all the glaciers - which are our stores of

freshwater, thus leaving us devoid of water to drink. These glaciers are

melting at an alarming rate and once they are exhausted we will be left

devoid of water to drink.

On one hand global warming will exhaust freshwater stores, and on the other

the hazards associated with it will exhaust our food stores as a number of

plants and animal species will go extinct.

Melting glaciers will fill water bodies - including the oceans of the world.

This along with the fact that water expands when heated will cause the sea

level to rise and encroach on land.

Rising sea levels will result in submerging of low lying coastal areas and

tiny islands in the ocean. The phenomenon has already started and Maldives

Islands sinking is the best example of the same.

While melting glaciers will trigger flash floods at high altitudes, warm ocean

water will result in increase in number of hurricanes - these natural disasters

will rip apart the human settlements in their vicinity.

Warm climate will provide nourishing conditions for disease spreading

insects owing to which we will become more vulnerable to diseases such as

Malaria and Dengue.


Extreme temperatures would also give rise to heat waves, thus killing

millions of people across the world - especially in tropical regions.

Global warming will result in drying up of rivers across the world. Taking

into consideration the fact that we are dependent on these rivers for several

aspects of our lives - including power generation, transportation, fishing,

etc., we are bound to suffer big time if they dry up.

Global warming will also result in economic problems for mankind as

various sectors on which we are dependent - most important being the

agriculture sector, will suffer a great deal of damage as a result of global

climate change.

Those were some of the most prominent effects of global warming which we will

be subjected to if global warming continues unabated. Just a glimpse of global

warming causes and effects is more than enough to highlight the fact that this

problem is much more serious than what we think it is. The need of the hour is

formulation and implementation of global warming solutions - which will curb its

spread if not get rid of it completely. While the authorities concerned continue to

ponder on the feasibility of implementing these solutions, you - as a responsible

citizen, can resort to some simple ways to prevent global warming, which you can

inculcate in your day-to-day life.

What are the Positive Impacts of Global Warming?

While the whole has been divided between those think global warming is really

occurring or not, there does exist a group of people who are optimist about this

phenomenon. These people are of the opinion that only the negative impacts of

global warming are highlighted every now and then, but the fact is that there do


exist some positive impacts of the same as well. These people argue that longer

summer will mean longer growing seasons, and this will result in more crop

produce. Similarly, melting of ice in certain areas around Antarctica will make

these waterways navigable and help marine transport. Warmer winters will also

mean that we would have face less number of devastating snow storms. While rise

in sea level will turn out to be a boon when it comes to the development of tidal

energy, formation of estuaries will add to the biodiversity of the planet. A large

section of the scientists who are working on global warming impacts refute these

claims as mere optimism. More importantly, all these positive effects are easily

overshadowed by numerous negative global warming effects, and therefore we

should stop being so optimist and start putting in efforts to curb the hazards

associated with global warming. Given below are some articles which stress on the

importance of dealing with this issue.

That must have given you a rough idea as to what are the impacts of global

warming on the environment, with special emphasis on its impact on plants,

animals and humans. It's high time we take the seriousness of the global warming

causes and effects into consideration, and start working to save the planet. While

the concerned authorities continue to ponder upon various global warming

solutions at the international level, we can do our bit by resorting to some simple

yet effective stop global warming tips to save our planet. Over the period of time,

the problem of global warming has become so intense that it will take mammoth

efforts on our behalf to reduce the intensity of various global warming effects on

Earth, if not get rid of them totally.

Ways to Stop Global Warming:


Owing to the overall rise in the temperature, the glaciers in the Antarctic region

begin to melt which has increased the overall sea level. If this situation continues,

many low lying areas will submerge in the near future. Global warming also

increases the occurrences of hurricanes.

There are many easy solutions to reduce global warming and its impact. First of

all, people should understand the problem and take measures accordingly to save

the world.

People should reduce the usage of electrical appliances which emits green

house gases. For e.g. the refrigerator releases chloro fluro carbon (CFC) and

the incandescent light lamp emits 300 pounds of carbon dioxide a year. This

can be replaced by a compact fluorescent light bulb which saves much



Follow RRR-Reduce, Reuse, Recycle. People should not dump waste

products in the ground. Plant products, food waste, vegetable dump

undergoes anaerobic decomposition i.e. they break down to produce

methane, a green house gas instead of oxygen. Hence the product usage and

wastage should be reduced or recycled for a healthy atmosphere.

Trees absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide. Many trees should be

planted since they involve in photosynthesis, food preparation with the help

of sunlight. During this process, trees absorb carbon dioxide and exhale

oxygen. Also, existing forests should be saved and usage of plant byproducts

shouldn’t be wasted.

Usage of green power prevents 300 kg of carbon dioxide to be emitted into

the atmosphere. The electricity obtained from the renewable resources like

wind and water is called green power. The cost is also low in case of green


Insulation of the ceiling of a house and power saving is the important factor

to reduce global warming. The electric appliances should be switched off

instead to hold it in stand by mode. This will save more power since stand

by mode consumes 40% of the energy.


People should use only energy efficient appliances. Thermostat should be

used for air conditioners since it reduces the temperature automatically.

Consumption of organic food should be increased because organic soil

absorb large amount of carbon dioxide. Buying local food reduces the

consumption of fuel. Cows emits large amount of methane due to their

vegetarian diet. Hence meat consumption should be reduced. Also tetra

packs should be used instead of tinned food.

Periodic maintenance of the vehicles helps in efficient usage of fuel and

reduces release of green house gases. Proper inflation of tyres should be

done and fuel wastage should be avoided.

Teach your neighborhood and friends about the cause and impacts of global

warming and methods to reduce it. Conservation of forests also forms a

factor to reduce global warming.

Hence, individuals and government should be concerned about the environment

and stop the incoming danger due to global warming.



Introduction To the Threaten

The one single concern that is threatening the very existence of lives in this planet

is global warming. The drastic changes in the climatic conditions pose serious

threat to our future generation. Owing to the results of global warming glaciers is

retreating, sea levels are increasing, polar bears and other rare cold climate species

are slowly becoming extinct. Navigators maintain that the Icebergs that once

dominated the Atlantic and Pacific oceans have now vanished. Scientists and

environmentalists conducted various studies and concluded that the past 30 years

has been the warmest period in the global history. The main causes attributed

towards global warming are human activities. The burning of fossil fuel is one of

the major factors that contribute to global warming.

Reasons for Global Warming

Global warming can be minimized to a great extent, if we eliminate the causes

which are mostly human made. The responsibility of preventing global warming

rests both on individual as well as the state. In individual level we can change our

practices such as minimize the usage of fossil based fuel, reduce the electricity

consumption by using energy efficient appliances. Vehicular pollution can be

minimized by using the public transport system. The nucleus goal is to beget the

global warming under control by restricting the carbon dioxide release and other

heat ensnaring greenhouse gases into the environment. On an average nearly 10000


pounds of carbon dioxide is released per year in significant countries like Canada

and US. This can be immediately curtailed by becoming energy efficient. Reducing

the usage of oil, coal and gasoline are one of the effective ways of preventing

global warming.

Home Appliances Contribution to Global Warming

Regrettably, it is noticed that an average home contributes to global warming more

than a car. The increase of contribution is at home because the energy utilized in

our homes is received from power plants that burn fossil fuel to provide power for

our electric products. We can save energy by substituting compact fluorescent

bulbs in the place of incandescent light bulbs. This will save your money as well as

your energy bill will be minimal. The CFL bulbs last longer and the energy

consumed is also less. LED bulbs are efficient and energy savers. Home appliances

also contribute a lot in elevating the energy bill. The higher is the energy efficient

appliance, the lesser is the cost of running the appliance. So purchasing energy

efficient appliances will help in reducing the utility bill and also in protecting the

environment. Similarly, purchase major appliances such as dishwasher, air

conditioner or refrigerator with maximum energy efficiency. This reduces the

carbon dioxide pollution.


As per the U.S. energy report, heating as well as cooling systems emit maximum

carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The energy used for our homes for heating goes

in vain though the prevention is inexpensive and simple. This energy that goes vain

can be saved by reducing the need for air conditioners. This can help improve the

environment from pollution. The largest source is transportation that adds to

greenhouse gases. Vehicles are responsible and poor maintenance of vehicle

contributes to pollution and global warming.

Maintaining Vehicle Efficiency

This can be protected by increasing the overall fuel efficiency of your vehicle and

paying attention to your driving style and maintenance. Buying fuel efficient

hybrid cars that allows using gas electric engines and thereby cutting global

warming pollution to a great extent. Driving less and making use of public

transports, walking or riding a bike will save the environment from pollution.

Besides this, consolidating trips and encouraging car- pooling is one of the

effective ways of preventing global warming. Recycling maximum products,

eating local foods and vegetarian meals, painting home in light color, purchasing

energy certificates as well as carbon offsets are few of the ways of preventing our

wonderful planet, the earth from the disastrous global warming.

Though, there are many ways to prevent initiating and following it with

determination will yield the desired results. This is a unison effort and so all the

hands have to join together with force to push the effects of global warming back

beyond sight.



No prize in guessing that global warming is occurring, it has become much more

evident over the last century with a rise of 1.8 degree Celsius in the near surface

temperature of the planet. A look at the current rates suggests that the problem is

worsening with time, and if it is not curbed now it will only spell doom for various

life forms on the planet including us human beings. The need of the hour is to find

different ways to stop global warming and implement them in our day to day life.

If you are one of the numerous people out there who are well versed with the

seriousness of the issue, and are wondering as to how can we stop global warming,

the information given below will put you on the right track.

What are Some Ways to Stop Global Warming?

There are numerous ways to stop global warming, and all of these rely on a single

method - identifying the causes of global warming and working to eliminate them.

Given below are some of the simplest measures which can help you in doing your

bit to stop global warming and save the Earth.

Plant more trees and stop contributing to deforestation: This is by far the

easiest measure to save our planet from the hazards of global warming. Global

warming can be attributed to the large scale concentration of carbon dioxide in the

atmosphere. That being said planting trees can help in absorbing this harmful gas

and help in regulating its amount in the atmosphere and help in preventing global

warming by lessening green house effect.


Switch to compact fluorescent light bulbs: Every household which uses

incandescent bulbs contributes to global warming on a large scale. On the whole,

these bulbs add 300 lbs of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere every year. Replacing

incandescent bulbs with energy savingCompact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs)

can help in reducing carbon dioxide generation and help you to save 60 percent of


Reuse and recycle products: Reusing and recycling various products which we

use in our day to day life can also help you in doing your bit to stop global

warming. For instance, recycling paper will make sure that the large scale felling

of trees to produce paper is stopped, and these trees will in turn absorb the carbon

dioxide in the atmosphere and reduce global warming.

Unplug appliances: Unplugging appliances to save energy is yet another effective

way to address the problems of global warming. Simply unplugging all the

electronic devices which are not in use can help in saving 20 percent energy. More

importantly, it will also help in reducing your electricity bill by 10 percent every


Avoid keeping electrical appliances on standby: Similarly, keeping electronic

appliances on standby also contributes to loss of energy and global warming, and

therefore is best avoided. One may feel that keeping a single computer on standby

won’t make a big difference, but when millions of people think in this manner it

does make a drastic difference.

Use a programmable thermostat: A thermostat helps in regulating the


temperature by altering heat supply. Make sure that you keep your thermostat as

low as possible during the winter, and as high as possible during the summer.

Lowering the thermostat by 2 degrees in winter and increasing it by 2 degrees in

summer can help in keeping 2,000 lbs of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere.

Promote the use of organic products: Promoting the use of organic foods is also

one of the effective ways to prevent global warming. The tendency of organic soils

to capture carbon dioxide far exceeds that of the soil used in conventional farming.

Estimates suggest that we can get rid of 580 billion lbs of carbon dioxide if we

resort to organic farming for food production.

Use vehicles efficiently: One of the leading causes of pollution, vehicles dump a

great amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If we stop using vehicle we can

cut down of great amount of pollution. If you can’t resist vehicle, you can opt to

efficient driving tips, such as turning the engine off at red lights and driving at

moderate speeds, and contribute in curbing global warming. Ideally though, you

should opt for public transport or other environment friendly modes of

transportation such as cycling.

Resort to alternative sources of energy: One of the most talked about global

warming solution is to switch to alternative energy sources such as solar power and

wind power. You can easily harness these sources of nature to generate power, and

replace fossil fuels with it. Doing away with fossil fuels alone will help in reducing

the huge amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere every day.

Become a responsible citizen: This is the most important among the various

measures to curb global warming. We need to acknowledge the fact that we are


responsible for this menace to a great extent. Just implementing the simple steps to

stop global warming mentioned above can make a huge difference. You can also

come up with your own novel ways to contribute for this cause. For instance, one

of our readers had made a valid point by saying, "If we sacrifice the unnecessary

luxuries in our life, we can contribute in saving the tremendous amount of energy

which goes in their production."

Resorting to these 10 ways to stop global warming can help us to curb the problem

to a significant extent. However, we also need to take into consideration the fact

that this problem has developed over a period of time and thus it will take a

significant amount of time for things to get back to normal. While the

administration tries to tackle the hazards of global warming at a larger scale, we

can follow the measures given above and contribute our bit for the cause.

Global Warming and Increased CO2 will Harm Many

Economies and Communities


While some skeptics may argue that there are benefits to global warming and extra

CO2, warming in just the middle range of scientific projections would have

devastating impacts on many sectors of the economy.

Rising seas would inundate coastal communities, contaminate water supplies with

salt and increase the risk of flooding by storm surge, affecting tens of millions of

people globally. Moreover, extreme weather events, including heat waves,

droughts and floods, are predicted to increase in frequency and intensity, causing

loss of lives and property and throwing agriculture into turmoil.

Even though higher levels of CO2 can act as a plant fertilizer under some

conditions, scientists now think that the "CO2 fertilization" effect on crops has

been overstated; in natural ecosystems, the fertilization effect can diminish after a

few years as plants acclimate. Furthermore, increased CO2 may benefit

undesirable, weedy species more than desirable species.

Higher levels of CO2 have already caused ocean acidification, and scientists are

warning of potentially devastating effects on marine life and fisheries. Moreover,

higher levels of regional ozone (smog), a result of warmer temperatures, could

worsen respiratory illnesses. Less developed countries and natural ecosystems may

not have the capacity to adapt.


The notion that there will be regional "winners" and "losers" in global warming is

based on a world-view from the 1950's. We live in a global community. Never

mind the moral implications — when an environmental catastrophe creates

millions of refugees half-way around the world, Americans are affected.

Many Communities Won't be Able to Adapt to Rapid

Climate Change

The current warming of our climate will bring major hardships and economic

dislocations — untold human suffering, especially for our children and

grandchildren. We are already seeing significant costs from today's global

warming, which is caused by greenhouse gas pollution.

Climate has changed in the past and human societies have survived, but today six

billion people depend on interconnected ecosystems and complex technological

infrastructure. With much greater climate changes expected in the future, there is

much greater risk to today's larger population and infrastructure.

What's more, unless we limit the amount of heat-trapping gases we are putting into

the atmosphere now, we face continued warming and even larger climate changes

than we already see today.


The consequences of continued warming at current rates are likely to be dire.

Many densely populated areas, such as low-lying coastal regions, are highly

vulnerable to climate shifts. If action isn't taken, 100 million people worldwide

could be flooded by the sea each year in the 2080s. Poorer countries and small

island nations will have the hardest time adapting.

In what appears to be the first forced move resulting from climate change,

100 residents of Tegua island in the Pacific Ocean were relocated by the

government in 2005 because rising sea levels were flooding their island.

Some 2,000 other islanders plan a similar move to escape rising waters.

In the United States, the village of Shishmaref in Alaska, which has been

inhabited for thousands of years, is collapsing from melting permafrost.

Relocation plans are in the works.

Scarcity of water and food could lead to major conflicts with broad ripple effects

throughout the globe. Even if people find a way to adapt, the wildlife and plants on

which we depend may be unable to adapt to rapid climate change. While the world

itself will not end, the world as we know it may disappear.


Global Warming Fast Facts

• Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius)

around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's

Goddard Institute for Space Studies.

• The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the

hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a

number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on

Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen

warmest since 1850.

• The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska,

western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average,

according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled

between 2000 and 2004.

• Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first

completelyice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous

cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss.

• Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting—for example, Montana's

Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the

Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a

week later.

• Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature,

suffered the worst bleaching—or die-off in response to stress—ever recorded in


1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts

of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea

temperatures rise.

• An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat

waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by

some experts.

• Industrialization, deforestation, and pollution have greatly increased atmospheric

concentrations of water vapor, carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, all

greenhouse gases that help trap heat near Earth's surface. (See an interactive

feature on how global warming works.)

• Humans are pouring carbon dioxide into the atmosphere much faster than plants

and oceans can absorb it.

• These gases persist in the atmosphere for years, meaning that even if such

emissions were eliminated today, it would not immediately stop global warming.

• Some experts point out that natural cycles in Earth's orbit can alter the planet's

exposure to sunlight, which may explain the current trend. Earth has indeed

experienced warming and cooling cycles roughly every hundred thousand years

due to these orbital shifts, but such changes have occurred over the span of several

centuries. Today's changes have taken place over the past hundred years or less.


• Other recent research has suggested that the effects of variations in the sun's

output are "negligible" as a factor in warming, but other, more complicated solar

mechanisms could possibly play a role.

What's Going to Happen?

A follow-up report by the IPCC released in April 2007 warned that global warming

could lead to large-scale food and water shortages and have catastrophic effects on


• Sea level could rise between 7 and 23 inches (18 to 59 centimeters) by century's

end, the IPCC's February 2007 report projects. Rises of just 4 inches (10

centimeters) could flood many South Seas islands and swamp large parts of

Southeast Asia.

• Some hundred million people live within 3 feet (1 meter) of mean sea level, and

much of the world's population is concentrated in vulnerable coastal cities. In the

U.S., Louisiana and Florida are especially at risk.

• Glaciers around the world could melt, causing sea levels to rise while creating

water shortages in regions dependent on runoff for fresh water.

• Strong hurricanes, droughts, heat waves, wildfires, and other natural disasters

may become commonplace in many parts of the world. The growth of deserts may

also cause food shortages in many places.

• More than a million species face extinction from disappearing habitat, changing

ecosystems, and acidifying oceans.


• The ocean's circulation system, known as the ocean conveyor belt, could be

permanently altered, causing a mini-ice age in Western Europe and other rapid


• At some point in the future, warming could become uncontrollable by creating a

so-called positive feedback effect. Rising temperatures could release additional

greenhouse gases by unlocking methane in permafrost and undersea deposits,

freeing carbon trapped in sea ice, and causing increased evaporation of water.

What is Climategate?

In late November 2009, hackers unearthed hundreds of emails at the U.K.'s

University of East Anglia that exposed private conversations among top-level

British and U.S. climate scientists discussing whether certain data should be

released to the public. [Do we know who the hackers were? Were they skeptics?

Might be worth noting]

The email exchanges also refer to statistical tricks used to illustrate climate

change? trends, and call climate skeptics idiots, according to the New York Times.

One such trick was used to create the well-known hockey-stick graph, which

shows a sharp uptick in temperature increases during the 20th century. Former U.S

vice president Al Gore relied heavily on the graph as evidence of human-caused

climate change in the documentary An Inconvenient Truth.

The data used for this graph come from two sources: thermostat readings and tree-

ring samples.

While thermostat readings have consistently shown a temperature rise over the past

hundred years, tree-ring samples show temperature increases stalling around 1960.


On the hockey-stick graph, thermostat-only data is grafted onto data that

incorporates both thermostat and tree-ring readings, essentially presenting a

seamless picture of two different data sets, the hacked emails revealed.

But scientists argue that dropping the tree-ring data was no secret and has been

written about in the scientific literature for years.

Climate change skeptics have heralded the emails as an attempt to fool the public,

according to the Times.

Yet climate scientists maintain that these controversial points are small blips that

are inevitable in scientific research, and that the evidence for human-induced

climate change is much broader and still widely accepted.



A carbon credit is a generic term for any tradable certificate or permit representing

the right to emit one tonne of carbon or carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-e).

Carbon credits and carbon markets are a component of national and international

attempts to mitigate the growth in concentrations of greenhouse gases (GHGs).

One carbon credit is equal to one ton of carbon dioxide, or in some markets, carbon

dioxide equivalent gases. Carbon trading is an application of an emissions trading

approach. Greenhouse gas emissions are capped and then markets are used to

allocate the emissions among the group of regulated sources. The goal is to allow

market mechanisms to drive industrial and commercial processes in the direction

of low emissions or less carbon intensive approaches than those used when there is

no cost to emitting carbon dioxide and other GHGs into the atmosphere. Since


GHG mitigation projects generate credits, this approach can be used to finance

carbon reduction schemes between trading partners and around the world.

There are also many companies that sell carbon credits to commercial and

individual customers who are interested in lowering their carbon footprint on a

voluntary basis. These carbon offsetters purchase the credits from an investment

fund or a carbon development company that has aggregated the credits from

individual projects. The quality of the credits is based in part on the validation

process and sophistication of the fund or development company that acted as the

sponsor to the carbon project. This is reflected in their price; voluntary units

typically have less value than the units sold through the rigorously validated Clean

Development Mechanism.


The Collins English Dictionary defines a carbon credit as “a certificate showing

that a government or company has paid to have a certain amount of carbon dioxide

removed from the environment”.

The Environment Protection Authority of Victoria defines a carbon credit as a

“generic term to assign a value to a reduction or offset of greenhouse gas

emissions.. usually equivalent to one tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2-


The Investopedia Inc investment dictionary defines a carbon credit as a “permit

that allows the holder to emit one ton of carbon dioxide”..which “can be traded in

the international market at their current market price”.



Burning of fossil fuels is a major source of industrial greenhouse gas emissions,

especially for power, cement, steel, textile, fertilizer and many other industries

which rely on fossil fuels (coal, electricity derived from coal, natural gas and oil).

The major greenhouse gases emitted by these industries are carbon

dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), etc., all of which

increase the atmosphere's ability to trap infrared energy and thus affect the climate.

The concept of carbon credits came into existence as a result of increasing

awareness of the need for controlling emissions. The IPCC (Intergovernmental

Panel on Climate Change) has observed[5] that:

Policies that provide a real or implicit price of carbon could create incentives for

producers and consumers to significantly invest in low-GHG products,

technologies and processes. Such policies could include economic instruments,

government funding and regulation,

while noting that a tradable permit system is one of the policy instruments that has

been shown to be environmentally effective in the industrial sector, as long as there

are reasonable levels of predictability over the initial allocation mechanism and

long-term price.

The mechanism was formalized in the Kyoto Protocol, an international agreement

between more than 170 countries, and the market mechanisms were agreed through

the subsequent Marrakesh Accords. The mechanism adopted was similar to the

successful US Acid Rain Program to reduce some industrial pollutants.


Emission allowances

Under the Kyoto Protocol, the 'caps' or quotas for Greenhouse gases for the

developed Annex 1 countries are known as Assigned Amountsand are listed in

Annex B. The quantity of the initial assigned amount is denominated in individual

units, called Assigned amount units(AAUs), each of which represents an allowance

to emit one metric tonne of carbon dioxide equivalent, and these are entered into

the country's national registry.

In turn, these countries set quotas on the emissions of installations run by local

business and other organizations, generically termed 'operators'. Countries manage

this through their national registries, which are required to be validated and

monitored for compliance by theUNFCCC. Each operator has an allowance of

credits, where each unit gives the owner the right to emit one metric tonne

of carbon dioxideor other equivalent greenhouse gas. Operators that have not used

up their quotas can sell their unused allowances as carbon credits, while businesses

that are about to exceed their quotas can buy the extra allowances as credits,

privately or on the open market. As demand for energy grows over time, the total

emissions must still stay within the cap, but it allows industry some flexibility and

predictability in its planning to accommodate this.

By permitting allowances to be bought and sold, an operator can seek out the most

cost-effective way of reducing its emissions, either by investing in 'cleaner'

machinery and practices or by purchasing emissions from another operator who

already has excess 'capacity'.

Since 2005, the Kyoto mechanism has been adopted for CO2 trading by all the

countries within the European Union under its European Trading Scheme (EU

ETS) with the European Commission as its validating authority. From 2008, EU


participants must link with the other developed countries who ratified Annex I of

the protocol, and trade the six most significant anthropogenic greenhouse gases. In

the United States, which has not ratified Kyoto, and Australia, whose ratification

came into force in March 2008, similar schemes are being considered.

Kyoto's 'Flexible mechanisms'

A tradable credit can be an emissions allowance or an assigned amount unit which

was originally allocated or auctioned by the national administrators of a Kyoto-

compliant cap-and-trade scheme, or it can be an offset of emissions. Such

offsetting and mitigating activities can occur in any developing country which has

ratified the Kyoto Protocol, and has a national agreement in place to validate

its carbon projectthrough one of the UNFCCC's approved mechanisms. Once

approved, these units are termed Certified Emission Reductions, or CERs. The

Protocol allows these projects to be constructed and credited in advance of the

Kyoto trading period.

The Kyoto Protocol provides for three mechanisms that enable countries or

operators in developed countries to acquire greenhouse gas reduction credits

Under Joint Implementation (JI) a developed country with relatively high costs

of domestic greenhouse reduction would set up a project in another developed


Under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) a developed country can

'sponsor' a greenhouse gas reduction project in a developing country where the

cost of greenhouse gas reduction project activities is usually much lower, but

the atmospheric effect is globally equivalent. The developed country would be

given credits for meeting its emission reduction targets, while the developing


country would receive the capital investment and clean technology or

beneficial change in land use.

Under International Emissions Trading (IET) countries can trade in the

international carbon credit market to cover their shortfall inAssigned amount

units. Countries with surplus units can sell them to countries that are exceeding

their emission targets under Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol.

These carbon projects can be created by a national government or by an operator

within the country. In reality, most of the transactions are not performed by

national governments directly, but by operators who have been set quotas by their


Emission markets

For trading purposes, one allowance or CER is considered equivalent to one metric

ton of CO2 emissions. These allowances can be sold privately or in the

international market at the prevailing market price. These trade

and settle internationally and hence allow allowances to be transferred between

countries. Each international transfer is validated by the UNFCCC. Each transfer

of ownership within the European Union is additionally validated by the European


Climate exchanges have been established to provide a spot market in allowances,

as well as futures and options market to help discover a market price and

maintain liquidity. Carbon prices are normally quoted in Euros per tonne of carbon

dioxide or its equivalent (CO2e). Other greenhouse gasses can also be traded, but

are quoted as standard multiples of carbon dioxide with respect to their global

warming potential. These features reduce the quota's financial impact on business,

while ensuring that the quotas are met at a national and international level.


Currently there are six exchanges trading in carbon allowances: the Chicago

Climate Exchange, European Climate Exchange, NASDAQ OMX Commodities

Europe, PowerNext, Commodity Exchange Bratislava and the European Energy

Exchange. NASDAQ OMX Commodities Europe listed a contract to trade offsets

generated by a CDM carbon project called Certified Emission Reductions (CERs).

Many companies now engage in emissions abatement, offsetting, and sequestration

programs to generate credits that can be sold on one of the exchanges. At least

one private electronic market has been established in 2008: CantorCO2e.[11] Carbon

credits at Commodity Exchange Bratislava are traded at special platform - Carbon


Managing emissions is one of the fastest-growing segments in financial services in

the City of London with a market estimated to be worth about €30 billion in 2007.

Louis Redshaw, head of environmental markets at Barclays Capital predicts that

"Carbon will be the world's biggest commodity market, and it could become the

world's biggest market overall."


Unchecked, energy use and hence emission levels are predicted to keep rising over

time. Thus the number of companies needing to buy credits will increase, and the

rules of supply and demand will push up the market price, encouraging more

groups to undertake environmentally friendly activities that create carbon credits to



An individual allowance, such as an Assigned amount unit (AAU) or its near-

equivalent European Union Allowance (EUA), may have a different market value

to an offset such as a CER. This is due to the lack of a developed secondary market

for CERs, a lack of homogeneity between projects which causes difficulty in

pricing, as well as questions due to the principle of supplementarity and its

lifetime. Additionally, offsets generated by a carbon project under the Clean

Development Mechanism are potentially limited in value because operators in the

EU ETS are restricted as to what percentage of their allowance can be met through

these flexible mechanisms.

Yale University economics professor William Nordhaus argues that the price of

carbon needs to be high enough to motivate the changes in behavior and changes in

economic production systems necessary to effectively limit emissions

of greenhouse gases.

Raising the price of carbon will achieve four goals. First, it will provide signals to

consumers about what goods and services are high-carbon ones and should

therefore be used more sparingly. Second, it will provide signals to producers

about which inputs use more carbon (such as coal and oil) and which use less or

none (such as natural gas or nuclear power), thereby inducing firms to substitute

low-carbon inputs. Third, it will give market incentives for inventors and

innovators to develop and introduce low-carbon products and processes that can

replace the current generation of technologies. Fourth, and most important, a high

carbon price will economize on the information that is required to do all three of

these tasks. Through the market mechanism, a high carbon price will raise the price

of products according to their carbon content. Ethical consumers today, hoping to

minimize their “carbon footprint,” have little chance of making an accurate

calculation of the relative carbon use in, say, driving 250 miles as compared with


flying 250 miles. A harmonized carbon tax would raise the price of a good

proportionately to exactly the amount of CO2 that is emitted in all the stages of

production that are involved in producing that good. If 0.01 of a ton of carbon

emissions results from the wheat growing and the milling and the trucking and the

baking of a loaf of bread, then a tax of $30 per ton carbon will raise the price of

bread by $0.30. The “carbon footprint” is automatically calculated by the price

system. Consumers would still not know how much of the price is due to carbon

emissions, but they could make their decisions confident that they are paying for

the social cost of their carbon footprint.

Nordhaus has suggested, based on the social cost of carbon emissions, that an

optimal price of carbon is around $30(US) per ton and will need to increase with


The social cost of carbon is the additional damage caused by an additional ton of

carbon emissions. ... The optimal carbon price, or optimal carbon tax, is the market

price (or carbon tax) on carbon emissions that balances the incremental costs of

reducing carbon emissions with the incremental benefits of reducing climate

damages. ... [I]f a country wished to impose a carbon tax of $30 per ton of carbon,

this would involve a tax on gasoline of about 9 cents per gallon. Similarly, the tax

on coal-generated electricity would be about 1 cent per kWh, or 10 percent of the

current retail price. At current levels of carbon emissions in the United States, a tax

of $30 per ton of carbon would generate $50 billion of revenue per year.




Carbon credits create a market for reducing greenhouse emissions by giving a

monetary value to the cost of polluting the air. Emissions become an internal cost

of doing business and are visible on the balance sheet alongside raw materials and

other liabilities or assets.

For example, consider a business that owns a factory putting out 100,000 tonnes of

greenhouse gas emissions in a year. Its government is an Annex I country that

enacts a law to limit the emissions that the business can produce. So the factory is

given a quota of say 80,000 tonnes per year. The factory either reduces its

emissions to 80,000 tonnes or is required to purchase carbon credits to offset the

excess. After costing up alternatives the business may decide that it is

uneconomical or infeasible to invest in new machinery for that year. Instead it may

choose to buy carbon credits on the open market from organizations that have been

approved as being able to sell legitimate carbon credits.

We should consider the impact of manufacturing alternative energy sources. For

example, the energy consumed and the Carbon emitted in the manufacture and

transportation of a large wind turbine would prohibit a credit being issued for a

predetermined period of time.

One seller might be a company that will offer to offset emissions through a

project in the developing world, such as recovering methane from a swine farm

to feed a power station that previously would use fossil fuel. So although the

factory continues to emit gases, it would pay another group to reduce the

equivalent of 20,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions from the atmosphere

for that year.

Another seller may have already invested in new low-emission machinery and

have a surplus of allowances as a result. The factory could make up for its

emissions by buying 20,000 tonnes of allowances from them. The cost of the


seller's new machinery would be subsidized by the sale of allowances. Both the

buyer and the seller would submit accounts for their emissions to prove that

their allowances were met correctly.

Credits versus taxes

Carbon credits and carbon taxes each have their advantages and disadvantages.

Credits were chosen by the signatories to the Kyoto Protocol as an alternative

to Carbon taxes. A criticism of tax-raising schemes is that they are frequently

not hypothecated, and so some or all of the taxation raised by a government would

be applied based on what the particular nation's government deems most fitting.

However, some would argue that carbon trading is based around creating a

lucrative artificial market, and, handled by free market enterprises as it is, carbon

trading is not necessarily a focused or easily regulated solution.

By treating emissions as a market commodity some proponents insist it becomes

easier for businesses to understand and manage their activities, while economists

and traders can attempt to predict future pricing using market theories. Thus the

main advantages of a tradeable carbon credit over a carbon tax are argued to be:

the price may be more likely to be perceived as fair by those paying it. Investors

in credits may have more control over their own costs.

the flexible mechanisms of the Kyoto Protocol help to ensure that all

investment goes into genuine sustainable carbon reduction schemes through an

internationally agreed validation process.


some proponents state that if correctly implemented a target level of emission

reductions may somehow be achieved with more certainty, while under a tax

the actual emissions might vary over time.

it may provide a framework for rewarding people or companies who plant trees

or otherwise meet standards exclusively recognized as "green."

The advantages of a carbon tax are argued to be:

possibly less complex, expensive, and time-consuming to implement. This

advantage is especially great when applied to markets like gasoline or home

heating oil.

perhaps some reduced risk of certain types of cheating, though under both

credits and taxes, emissions must be verified.

reduced incentives for companies to delay efficiency improvements prior to the

establishment of the baseline if credits are distributed in proportion to past


when credits are grandfathered, this puts new or growing companies at a

disadvantage relative to more established companies.

allows for more centralized handling of acquired gains

worth of carbon is stabilized by government regulation rather than market

fluctuations. Poor market conditions and weak investor interest have a lessened

impact on taxation as opposed to carbon trading.



The principle of Supplementarity within the Kyoto Protocol means that internal

abatement of emissions should take precedence before a country buys in carbon

credits. However it also established the Clean Development Mechanism as a

Flexible Mechanism by which capped entities could develop real, measurable,

permanent emissions reductions voluntarily in sectors outside the cap. Many

criticisms of carbon credits stem from the fact that establishing that an emission of

CO2-equivalent greenhouse gas has truly been reduced involves a complex process.

This process has evolved as the concept of a carbon project has been refined over

the past 10 years.

The first step in determining whether or not a carbon project has legitimately led to

the reduction of real, measurable, permanent emissions is understanding the CDM

methodology process. This is the process by which project sponsors submit,

through a Designated Operational Entity (DOE), their concepts for emissions

reduction creation. The CDM Executive Board, with the CDM Methodology Panel

and their expert advisors, review each project and decide how and if they do indeed

result in reductions that are additional

Additionality and its importance


It is also important for any carbon credit (offset) to prove a concept called

additionality. The concept of additionality addresses the question of whether the

project would have happened anyway, even in the absence of revenue from carbon

credits. Only carbon credits from projects that are "additional to" the business-as-

usual scenario represent a net environmental benefit. Carbon projects that yield

strong financial returns even in the absence of revenue from carbon credits; or that

are compelled by regulations; or that represent common practice in an industry are

usually not considered additional, although a full determination of additionality

requires specialist review.

It is generally agreed that voluntary carbon offset projects must also prove

additionality in order to ensure the legitimacy of the environmental stewardship

claims resulting from the retirement of the carbon credit (offset). According the

World Resources Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development

(WRI/WBCSD) : "GHG emission trading programs operate by capping the

emissions of a fixed number of individual facilities or sources. Under these

programs, tradable 'offset credits' are issued for project-based GHG reductions that

occur at sources not covered by the program. Each offset credit allows facilities

whose emissions are capped to emit more, in direct proportion to the GHG

reductions represented by the credit. The idea is to achieve a zero net increase in

GHG emissions, because each tonne of increased emissions is 'offset' by project-

based GHG reductions. The difficulty is that many projects that reduce GHG

emissions (relative to historical levels) would happen regardless of the existence of

a GHG program and without any concern for climate change mitigation. If a

project 'would have happened anyway,' then issuing offset credits for its GHG

reductions will actually allow a positive net increase in GHG emissions,

undermining the emissions target of the GHG program. Additionality is thus


critical to the success and integrity of GHG programs that recognize project-based

GHG reductions."


The Kyoto mechanism is the only internationally agreed mechanism for regulating

carbon credit activities, and, crucially, includes checks for additionality and overall

effectiveness. Its supporting organisation, the UNFCCC, is the only organisation

with a global mandate on the overall effectiveness of emission control systems,

although enforcement of decisions relies on national co-operation. The Kyoto

trading period only applies for five years between 2008 and 2012. The first phase

of the EU ETS system started before then, and is expected to continue in a third

phase afterwards, and may co-ordinate with whatever is internationally agreed at

but there is general uncertainty as to what will be agreed in Post–Kyoto Protocol

negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions. As business investment often operates

over decades, this adds risk and uncertainty to their plans. As several countries

responsible for a large proportion of global emissions (notably USA, Australia,

China) have avoided mandatory caps, this also means that businesses in capped

countries may perceive themselves to be working at a competitive disadvantage

against those in uncapped countries as they are now paying for their carbon costs


A key concept behind the cap and trade system is that national quotas should be

chosen to represent genuine and meaningful reductions in national output of

emissions. Not only does this ensure that overall emissions are reduced but also

that the costs of emissions trading are carried fairly across all parties to the trading

system. However, governments of capped countries may seek to unilaterally


weaken their commitments, as evidenced by the 2006 and 2007 National

Allocation Plans for several countries in the EU ETS, which were submitted late

and then were initially rejected by the European Commission for being too lax

A question has been raised over the grandfathering of allowances. Countries within

the EU ETS have granted their incumbent businesses most or all of their

allowances for free. This can sometimes be perceived as a protectionist obstacle to

new entrants into their markets. There have also been accusations of power

generators getting a 'windfall' profit by passing on these emissions 'charges' to their

customers. As the EU ETS moves into its second phase and joins up with Kyoto, it

seems likely that these problems will be reduced as more allowances will be




The Kyoto Protocol is a protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on

Climate Change (UNFCCC or FCCC), aimed at fighting global warming. The

UNFCCC is an internationalenvironmental treaty with the goal of achieving

"stabilization ofgreenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that

would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

Participation in the Kyoto Protocol, as of June 2009,

Green = Countries that have signed and ratified the treaty

Grey = Countries that have not yet decided

Red = No intention to ratify at this stage.


The Protocol was initially adopted on 11 December 1997 in Kyoto,Japan and

entered into force on 16 February 2005. As of July 2010,191 states have signed

and ratified the protocol.

Under the Protocol, 37 countries ("Annex I countries") commit themselves to a

reduction of four greenhouse gases (GHG) (carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous

oxide, sulphur hexafluoride) and two groups of gases

(hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons) produced by them, and all member

countries give general commitments. Annex I countries agreed to reduce their

collective greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2% from the 1990 level. Emission limits

do not include emissions by international aviation and shipping, but are in addition

to the industrial gases,chlorofluorocarbons, or CFCs, which are dealt with under

the 1987Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

The benchmark 1990 emission levels were accepted by the Conference of the

Parties of UNFCCC (decision 2/CP.3) were the values of "global warming

potential" calculated for the IPCC Second Assessment Report.[6] These figures are

used for converting the various greenhouse gas emissions into

comparable CO2equivalents (CO2-eq) when computing overall sources and sinks.

The Protocol allows for several "flexible mechanisms", such asemissions trading,

the clean development mechanism (CDM) andjoint implementation to

allow Annex I countries to meet their GHG emission limitations by purchasing

GHG emission reductions credits from elsewhere, through financial exchanges,

projects that reduce emissions in non-Annex I countries, from other Annex I

countries, or from annex I countries with excess allowances.

Each Annex I country is required to submit an annual report of inventories of all

anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions from sources and removals from sinks

under UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol. These countries nominate a person


(called a "designated national authority") to create and manage its greenhouse gas

inventory. Virtually all of the non-Annex I countries have also established a

designated national authority to manage its Kyoto obligations, specifically the

"CDM process" that determines which GHG projects they wish to propose for

accreditation by the CDM Executive Board.

Overview map Of States Committed to a CO2 reduction in the 2008-2012 Kyoto Protocol


Green countries = Committed to reduction

Yellow countries = Committed to 0% reduction

Red countries = Not committed to any reduction

EU-countries like Greece,Spain,Ireland and Sweden have not committed themselves to any

reduction while France has committed itself not to expand its emissions (0% reduction) in the

internal-EU distribution agreement. This agreement ensures a 8% reduction for the EU-region as


a whole in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol. Greenland has only committed itself through

Denmark. However Greenland has not committed itself to a reduction towards Denmark. But

might do it in the next period.

Overview map Of States obligated by the Kyoto Protocol as of 2010. Green

countries = Those of the Annex I countries who are fully obligated (also called

Annex II countries). Yellow countries = Annex I countries who only are obligated

within some freedom as to their requirements in the protocol. Also called Countries

with Economics in Transition (EIT)). Red countries = are not obligated by the

Kyoto Protocol. Are either countries who have Non-annex 1 status in the protocol,

and thereby are not obligated or countries that have not signed the protocol yet



The view that human activities are likely responsible for most of the observed

increase in global mean temperature ("global warming") since the mid-20 th century

is an accurate reflection of current scientific thinking (NRC, 2001, p. 3, 2008,

p. 2).Human-induced warming of the climate is expected to continue

IPCC (2007) produced a range of projections of what the future increase in global

mean temperature might be. Projections spanned a range due to socio-economic

uncertainties, e.g., over future greenhouse gas (GHG) emission levels, and

uncertainties with regard to physical science aspects, e.g., the climate sensitivity.

For the time period 2090-2099, measured from global mean temperature in the

period 1980-1999, the "likely" range (as assessed to have a greater than 66%

probability of being correct, based on expert judgement) across the

sixSRES "marker" emissions scenarios was projected as an increase in global mean

temperature of 1.1 to 6.4 °C.

The scientific question of what constitutes a "safe" level of atmospheric

greenhouse gas concentrations has been asked (NRC, 2001, p. 4). This question

cannot be answered directly since it requires value judgements of, for example,

what would be an acceptable risk to human welfare. In general, however, risks

increase with both the rate and magnitude of future climate change.


Article 25 of the Protocol specifies that the Protocol enters into force "on the

ninetieth day after the date on which not less than 55 Parties to the Convention,

incorporating Parties included in Annex I which accounted in total for at least 55%

of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 of the Annex I countries, have

deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession."


The EU and its Member States ratified the Protocol in May 2002.[10] Of the two

conditions, the "55 parties" clause was reached on 23 May 2002

when Iceland ratified the Protocol. The ratification by Russia on 18 November

2004 satisfied the "55%" clause and brought the treaty into force, effective 16

February 2005, after the required lapse of 90 days.

As of November 2009, 187 countries and one regional economic organization

(the EC) have ratified the agreement, representing over 63.9% of the 1990

emissions from Annex I countries.[5] The most notable non-party to the Protocol is

the United States, which is a party to UNFCCC and was responsible for 36.1% of

the 1990 emission levels of Annex I countries. Most advanced developing

countries like China, India and Brazil are still in the non-annex or similar group.

This makes them without obligations in the Kyoto protocol to limit their CO2

emissions. As of Nov. 2010, these countries have not changed their minds about

signing in as Annex-1 countries and thereby making them able to obligate

themselves to a reduction. But making obligations to the protocol are not simple, as

they also can be seen as damages to national competitivenesse. The Protocol can

be signed and ratified only by parties to UNFCCC, (Article 24) and a country can

withdraw by giving 12 months notice. (Article 27)


The objective is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the

atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference

with the climate system.

The objective of the Kyoto climate change conference was to establish a legally

binding international agreement, whereby all the participating nations commit


themselves to tackling the issue of global warming and greenhouse gas emissions.

The target agreed upon was an average reduction of 5.2% from 1990 levels by the

year 2012. According to the treaty, in 2012, Annex I countries must have fulfilled

their obligations of reduction of greenhouse gases emissions established for

the first commitment period (2008–2012) (see Annex B of the Protocol). The

Protocol expires at the end of 2012.

The five principal concepts of the Kyoto Protocol are:

Commitments to the Annex-countries. The heart of the Protocol lies in

establishing commitments for the reduction of greenhouse gases that are legally

binding for Annex I countries. Dividing the countries in different groups is one of

the key concepts in making commitments possible, where only the Annex I

countries in 1997, were seen as having the economic capacity to commit

themselves and their industry. Making only the few nations in the Annex 1 group

committed to the protocols limitations.

Implementation. In order to meet the objectives of the Protocol, Annex I

countries are required to prepare policies and measures for the reduction of

greenhouse gases in their respective countries. In addition, they are required to

increase the absorption of these gases and utilize all mechanisms available, such

as joint implementation, the clean development mechanism and emissions

trading, in order to be rewarded with credits that would allow more greenhouse

gas emissions at home.

Minimizing Impacts on Developing Countries by establishing an adaptation

fund for climate change.

Accounting, Reporting and Review in order to ensure the integrity of the



Compliance. Establishing a Compliance Committee to enforce compliance with

the commitments under the Protocol.



Thirty-nine of the forty Annex I countries have ratified the Protocol. Of these

thirty-four have committed themselves to a reduction of greenhouse gases (GHG)

produced by them to targets that are set in relation to their 1990 emission levels, in

accordance with Annex B of the Protocol. The targets apply to the four greenhouse

gases carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, sulphur hexafluoride, and two

groups of gases, hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons. The six GHG are

translated into CO2 equivalents in determining reductions in emissions. These

reduction targets are in addition to the industrial gases, chlorofluorocarbons, or

CFCs, which are dealt with under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that

Deplete the Ozone Layer.

Under the Protocol, only the Annex I countries have committed themselves to

national or joint reduction targets, (formally called "quantified emission limitation

and reduction objectives" (QELRO) - Article 4.1) that range from a joint reduction

of 8% for the European Union and others, to 7% for the United States (non-binding

as the US is not a signatory), 6% for Japan and 0% for Russia. The treaty permits

emission increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland. Emission limits do not

include emissions by international aviation and shipping.

Annex I countries under the Kyoto Protocol, their 2012 commitments (% of

1990) and 1990 emission levels (% of all Annex I countries


Annex I countries can achieve their targets by allocating reduced annual

allowances to major operators within their borders, or by allowing these operators

to exceed their allocations by offsetting any excess through a mechanism that is

agreed by all the parties to the UNFCCC, such as by buying emission

allowances from other operators which have excess emissions credits.

38 of the 39 Annex I countries have agreed to cap their emissions in this way, two

others are required to do so under their conditions of accession into the EU, and

one more (Belarus) is seeking to become an Annex I country.

Flexible mechanisms

The Protocol defines three "flexibility mechanisms" that can be used by Annex I

countries in meeting their emission reduction commitments (Bashmakov et al..,

2001, p. 402). The flexibility mechanisms are International Emissions Trading

(IET), the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and Joint Implementation (JI).

IET allows Annex I countries to "trade" their emissions (Assigned Amount Units,

AAUs, or "allowances" for short). For IET, the economic basis for providing this

flexibility is that the marginal cost of emission abatement differs among countries.

Trade could potentially allow the Annex I countries to meet their emission

reduction commitments at a reduced cost. This is because trade allows emissions to

be abated first in countries where the costs of abatement are lowest, thus increasing

the efficiency of the Kyoto agreement.

The CDM and JI are called "project-based mechanisms," in that they generate

emission reductions from projects. The difference between IET and the project-


based mechanisms is that IET is based on the setting of a quantitative restriction of

emissions, while the CDM and JI are based on the idea of "production" of emission

reductions (Toth et al.., 2001, p. 660). The CDM is designed to encourage

production of emission reductions in non-Annex I countries, while JI encourages

production of emission reductions in Annex I countries.

The production of emission reductions generated by the CDM and JI can be used

by Annex B countries in meeting their emission reduction commitments. The

emission reductions produced by the CDM and JI are both measured against a

hypothetical baseline of emissions that would have occurred in the absence of a

particular emission reduction project. The emission reductions produced by the

CDM are calledCertified Emission Reductions (CERs); reductions produced by JI

are called Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). The reductions are called "credits"

because they are emission reductions credited against a hypothetical baseline of


International Emissions Trading

The most advanced emissions trading system (ETS) is the one developed by the

EU (Gupta et al.., 2007).  Ellerman and Buchner (2008) (referenced in Grubb et

al.., 2009, p. 11) suggested that during its first two years in operation, the EU

ETS turned an expected increase in emissions of 1-2 percent per year into a small

absolute decline. Grubb et al.. (2009, p. 11) suggested that a reasonable estimate


for the emissions cut achieved during its first two years of operation was 50-100

MtCO2 per year, or 2.5-5 percent.

Clean Development Mechanism

Between 2001, which was the first year Clean Development Mechanism (CDM)

projects could be registered, and 2012, the end of the Kyoto commitment period,

the CDM is expected to produce some 1.5 billion tons of carbon dioxide equivalent

(CO2e) in emission reductions. Most of these reductions are through renewable

energy, energy efficiency, and fuel switching (World Bank, 2010, p. 262). By

2012, the largest potential for production of CERs are estimated in China (52% of

total CERs) and India (16%). CERs produced in Latin America and the Caribbean

make up 15% of the potential total, with Brazil as the largest producer in the region


Joint Implementation

The formal crediting period for Joint Implementation (JI) was aligned with the first

commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol, and did not start until January 2008

(Carbon Trust, 2009, p. 20). In November 2008, only 22 JI projects had been

officially approved and registered. The total projected emission savings from JI by

2012 are about one tenth that of the CDM. Russia accounts for about two-thirds of

these savings, with the remainder divided up roughly equally between the Ukraine

and the EU's New Member States. Emission savings include cuts in methane, HFC,

and N2O emissions.



According to a press release from the United Nations Environment Program:

"After 10 days of tough negotiations, ministers and other high-level officials from

160 countries reached agreement this morning on a legally binding Protocol under

which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse

gases by 5.2%. The agreement aims to lower overall emissions from a group of

six greenhouse gases by 2008–12, calculated as an average over these five years.

Cuts in the three most important gases – carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4),

and nitrous oxide (N2O) – will be measured against a base year of 1990. Cuts in

three long-lived industrial gases

– hydrofluorocarbons(HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulphur

hexafluoride (SF6) – can be measured against either a 1990 or 1995 baseline."

National limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union and others,

to 7% for the US, 6% for Japan, 0% for Russia, and permitted increases of 8% for

Australia and 10% for Iceland.

The agreement supplements the United Nations Framework Convention on

Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in

1992, which did not set any limitations or enforcement mechanisms. All parties to

UNFCCC can sign or ratify the Kyoto Protocol, while non-parties to UNFCCC

cannot. The Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the third session of the Conference of

Parties to the UNFCCC (COP 3) in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan. Most provisions of the

Kyoto Protocol apply to developed countries, listed in Annex I to UNFCCC.

National emission targets exclude international aviation and shipping. Kyoto

Parties can use land use, land use change, and forestry(LULUCF) in meeting their

targets (Dessai, 2001, p. 3). LULUCF activities are also called "sink" activities.

Changes in sinks and land use can have an effect on the climate (IPCC, 2007).

Particular criteria apply to the definition of forestry under the Kyoto Protocol.


Forest management, cropland management, grazing land management,

and revegetation are all eligible LULUCF activities under the Protocol (Dessai,

2001, p. 9). Annex I Parties use of forestry management in meeting their targets is


Common but differentiated responsibility

UNFCCC adopts a principle of "common but differentiated responsibilities." The

parties agreed that:

1. the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse

gases originated in developed countries;

2. per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low;

3. the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow

to meet social and development needs.


Per-capita emissions are a country's total emissions divided by its population

(Banuri et al.., 1996, p. 95).[21] Per-capita emissions in the industrialized countries

are typically as much as ten times the average in developing countries (Grubb,

2003, p. 144). This is one reason industrialized countries accepted responsibility

for leading climate change efforts in the Kyoto negotiations. In Kyoto, the

countries that took on quantified commitments for the first period (2008–12)

corresponded roughly to those with per-capita emissions in 1990 of two tonnes of

carbon or higher. In 2005, the top-20 emitters comprised 80% of total GHG

emissions (PBL, 2010. See also the notes in the following section on the top-ten


emitters in 2005). Countries with a Kyoto target made up 20% of total GHG


Another way of measuring GHG emissions is to measure the total emissions that

have accumulated in the atmosphere over time (IEA, 2007, p. 199). Over a long

time period, cumulative emissions provide an indication of a country's total

contribution to GHG concentrations in the atmosphere. Over the 1900-2005 period,

the US was the world's largest cumulative emitter of energy-related CO2 emissions,

and accounted for 30% of total cumulative emissions (IEA, 2007, p. 201). The

second largest emitter was the EU, at 23%; the third largest was China, at 8%;

fourth was Japan, at 4%; fifth was India, at 2%. The rest of the world accounted for

33% of global, cumulative, energy-related CO2emissions.

Top-ten emitters

What follows is a ranking of the world's top ten emitters of GHGs for 2005 (MNP,

2007).[25] The first figure is the country's or region's emissions as a percentage of

the global total. The second figure is the country's/region's per-capita emissions, in

units of tons of GHG per-capita:

1. China1 – 17%, 5.8

2. United States3 – 16%, 24.1

3. European Union-273 – 11%, 10.6

4. Indonesia2 - 6%, 12.9

5. India – 5%, 2.1

6. Russia3 – 5%, 14.9


7. Brazil – 4%, 10.0

8. Japan3 – 3%, 10.6

9. Canada3 – 2%, 23.2

10.Mexico – 2%, 6.4


These values are for the GHG emissions from fossil fuel use

and cement production. Calculations are for carbon dioxide (CO2), methane

(CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O) and gases containing fluorine (the F-gases HFCs,

PFCs and SF6).

These estimates are subject to large uncertainties regarding CO2 emissions from

deforestation; and the per country emissions of other GHGs (e.g., methane).

There are also other large uncertainties which mean that small differences

between countries are not significant. CO2 emissions from the decay of

remaining biomass after biomass burning/deforestation are not included.

1 excluding underground fires.

2 including an estimate of 2000 million tonnes CO2 from peat fires and

decomposition of peat soils after draining. However, the uncertainty range is

very large.

3 Industrialised countries: official country data reported to UNFCCC

Financial commitments

The Protocol also reaffirms the principle that developed countries have to pay

billions of dollars, and supply technology to other countries for climate-related

studies and projects. The principle was originally agreed in UNFCCC.



The protocol left several issues open to be decided later by the sixth Conference of

Parties (COP). COP6 attempted to resolve these issues at its meeting in the

Hague in late 2000, but was unable to reach an agreement due to disputes between

the European Union on the one hand (which favoured a tougher agreement) and the

United States, Canada, Japan and Australia on the other (which wanted the

agreement to be less demanding and more flexible).

In 2001, a continuation of the previous meeting (COP6bis) was held

in Bonn where the required decisions were adopted. After some concessions, the

supporters of the protocol (led by the European Union) managed to

get Japan and Russia in as well by allowing more use ofcarbon dioxide sinks.

COP7 was held from 29 October 2001 through 9 November 2001 in Marrakech to

establish the final details of the protocol.

The first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP1) was held

in Montreal from 28 November to 9 December 2005, along with the 11th

conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP11). See United Nations Climate

Change Conference.

The 3 December 2007, Australia ratified the protocol during the first day of the

COP13 in Bali.

Of the signatories, 36 developed C.G. countries (plus the EU as a party in

the European Union)agreed to a 10% emissions increase forIceland; but, since the

EU's member states each have individual obligations, much larger increases (up to

27%) are allowed for some of the less developed EU countries (see below Kyoto

Protocol#Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990). Reduction limitations

expire in 2013.



If the enforcement branch determines that an annex I country is not in compliance

with its emissions limitation, then that country is required to make up the

difference plus an additional 30%. In addition, that country will be suspended from

making transfers under an emissions trading program.


Article 4.2 of the UNFCCC commits industrialized countries to "[take] the lead" in

reducing emissions (Grubb, 2003, p. 144). The initial aim was for industrialized

countries to stabilize their emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000. The failure of

key industrialized countries to move in this direction was a principal reason why

Kyoto moved to binding commitments.

At the first UNFCCC Conference of the Parties in Berlin, the G77 (a coalition of

77 developing nations within the UN) was able to push for a mandate where it was

recognized that (Liverman, 2008, p. 12):

developed nations had contributed most to the then-current concentrations of

GHGs in the atmosphere

developing country emissions per-capita were still relatively low

and that the share of global emissions from developing countries would grow to

meet their development needs.

This mandate was recognized in the Kyoto Protocol in that developing countries

were not subject to emission reduction commitments in the first Kyoto

commitment period. However, the large potential for growth in developing country

emissions made negotiations on this issue tense (Grubb, 2003, p. 145-146). In the

final agreement, the Clean Development Mechanism was designed to limit


emissions in developing countries, but in such a way that developing countries do

not bear the costs for limiting emissions. The general assumption was that

developing countries would face quantitative commitments in later commitment

periods, and at the same time, developed countries would meet their first round


Base year

The choice of the 1990 main base year remains in Kyoto, as it does in the original

Framework Convention. The desire to move to historical emissions was rejected on

the basis that good data was not available prior to 1990. The 1990 base year also

favoured several powerful interests including the UK, Germany and Russia

(Liverman, 2008, p. 12). This is because the UK and Germany had high

CO2 emissions in 1990.

In the UK following 1990, emissions had declined because of a switch from coal to

gas ("dash for gas"), which has lower emissions than coal. This was due to the

UK's privatization of coal mining and its switch to natural gas supported by North

sea reserves. Germany benefitted from the 1990 base year because of its

reunification between West and East Germany. East Germany's emissions fell

dramatically following the collapse of East German industry after the fall of the

Berlin Wall. Germany could therefore take credit for the resultant decline in


Japan promoted the idea of flexible baselines, and favoured a base year of 1995 for

HFCs. Their HFC emissions had grown in the early 1990s as a substitute for CFCs

banned in the Montreal Protocol (Liverman, 2008, p. 13). Some of the former


Soviet satellites wanted a base year to reflect their highest emissions prior to their

industrial collapse.

EIT countries are privileged by being able to choose their base-year nearly freely.

However the oldest base-year accepted is 1986.

Emissions cuts

The G77 wanted strong uniform emission cuts across the developed world of 15%

(Liverman, 2008, p. 13). Countries, such as the US, made suggestions to reduce

their responsibility to reduce emissions. These suggestions included:

the inclusion of carbon sinks (e.g., by including forests, that absorb CO2 from

the atmosphere).

and having net current emissions as the basis for responsibility, i.e., ignoring

historical emissions.

The US originally proposed for the second round of negotiations on Kyoto

commitments to follow the negotiations of the first (Grubb, 2003, p. 148). In the

end, negotiations on the second period were set to open no later than 2005.

Countries over-achieving in their first period commitments can "bank" their unused

allowances for use in the subsequent period.

The EU initially argued for only three GHGs to be included – CO2, CH4, and N2O –

with other gases such as HFCs regulated separately (Liverman, 2008, p. 13). The

EU also wanted to have a "bubble" commitment, whereby it could make a

collective commitment that allowed some EU members to increase their emissions,

while others cut theirs. The most vulnerable nations – the Association of Small


Island States (AOSIS) – pushed for deep uniform cuts by developed nations, with

the goal of having emissions reduced to the greatest possible extent.

The final days of negotiation of the Protocol saw a clash between the EU and the

US and Japan (Grubb, 2003, p. 149). The EU aimed for flat-rate reductions in the

range of 10-15% below 1990 levels, while the US and Japan supported reductions

of 0-5%. Countries that had supported differentiation had different ideas as to how

it should be calculated, and many different indicators were proposed: relating to

GDP, energy intensity (energy use per unit of economic output), etc. According to

Grubb (2003, p. 149), the only common theme of these indicators was that each

proposal suited the interests of the country making the proposal.

The final commitments negotiated in the Protocol are the result of last minute

political compromises (Liverman, 2008, p. 13-14). These include an 8% cut from

the 1990 base year for the EU, 7% for the US, 6% for Canada and Japan, no cut for

Russia, and an 8% increase for Australia. This sums to an overall cut of 5.2%

below 1990 levels. Since Australia and the US did not ratify the treaty (although

Australia has since done), the cut is reduced from 5.2% to about 2%.

Considering the growth of some economies and the collapse of others since 1990,

the range of implicit targets is much greater (Aldy et al.., 2003, p. 7). The US faced

a cut of about 30% below "business-as-usual" (BAU) emissions (i.e., predicted

emissions should there be no attempt to limit emissions), while Russia and other

economies in transition faced targets that allowed substantial increases in their

emissions above BAU. On the other hand, Grubb (2003, p. 151) pointed out that

the US, having per-capita emissions twice that of most other OECD countries, was

vulnerable to the suggestion that it had huge potential for making reductions. From

this viewpoint, the US was obliged to cut emissions back more than other



Flexibility mechanisms

Negotiations over the flexibility mechanisms included in the Protocol proved

controversial (Grubb, 2003, p. 153). Japan and some EU member states wanted to

ensure that any emissions trading would be competitive and transparent. Their

intention was to prevent the US from using its political leverage to gain

preferential access to the likely surplus in Russian emission allowances. The EU

was also anxious to prevent the US from avoiding domestic action to reduce its

emissions. Developing countries were concerned that the US would use flexibility

to its own advantage, over the interests of weaker countries.


The protocol defines a mechanism of "compliance" as a "monitoring compliance

with the commitments and penalties for non-compliance." According to Grubb

(2003, p. 157), the explicit consequences of non-compliance of the treaty are weak

compared to domestic law. Yet, the compliance section of the treaty was highly

contested in the Marrakesh Accords. According to Grubb (2003), Japan made some

unsuccessful efforts to "water-down" the compliance package.


Annex I

In total, Annex I Parties to the UNFCCC (including the US) managed a cut of

3.3% in GHG emissions between 1990 and 2004 (UNFCCC, 2007, p. 11). In 2007,

projections indicated rising emissions of 4.2% between 1990 and 2010. This

projection assumed that no further mitigation action would be taken. The reduction


in the 1990s was driven significantly by economic restructuring in the economies-

in-transition (EITs. See the following section for the list of EITs). Emission

reductions in the EITs had little to do with climate change policy (Carbon Trust,

2009, p. 24). Some reductions in Annex I emissions have occurred due to policy

measures, such as promoting energy efficiency (UNFCCC, 2007, p. 11).

Progress towards targets

Progress toward the emission reduction commitments set in the Kyoto Protocol has

been mixed. World Bank (2008, p. 6) reported that there were significant

differences in performance across individual countries:

For the Annex I non-Economies-in-Transition (non-EIT) Kyoto Protocol (KP)

Parties, emissions in 2005 were 5% higher than 1990 levels (World Bank, 2008,

p. 59). Their Kyoto target for 2008-2012 is for a 6% reduction in emissions. The

Annex I non-EITs KP Parties are Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark,

Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Liechtenstein,

Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain,

Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

The Annex I Economies in Transition (EIT) KP Parties emissions in 2005 were

35% below 1990 levels. Their Kyoto target is for a 2% reduction. The Annex I

EIT KP Parties are Belarus, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia,

Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Federation, Slovakia,

Slovenia, and Ukraine.

In 2005, the Annex I non-KP Parties emissions were 18% above their 1990

levels. The Annex I non-KP Parties are Turkey and the United States.


In total, the Annex I KP Parties emissions for 2005 were 14% below their 1990

levels. Their Kyoto target is for a 4% reduction.

KP Parties

According to the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL, 2009), the

industrialized countries with a Kyoto target will, as a group, probably meet their

emission limitation requirements.[34] Collectively, this was for a 4% reduction

relative to 1990 levels. A linear extrapolation of the 2000-2005 emissions trend led

to a projected emission reduction in 2010 of almost 11%. Including the potential

contribution of CDM projects, which may account for emissions reductions of

approximately 500 megatonnes CO2-eq per year, the reduction might be as large as


The expected reduction of 11% was attributed to the limited increase in emissions

in OECD countries, but was particularly due to the large reduction of about 40%

until 1999 in the EITs. The reduction in emissions for the smaller EITs aids the

EU-27 in meeting their collective target. The EU expects that it will meet its

collective target of an 8% reduction for the EU-15. This reduction includes:

CDM and JI projects, which are planned to contribute 2.5% towards the target;

carbon storage in forests and soils (carbon sinks), which contribute another


Japan expects to meet its Kyoto target, which includes a 1.6% reduction from

CDM projects and a 3.9% reduction from carbon storage, contributing to a total

reduction of 5.5%. In other OECD countries, emissions have increased. In Canada,

Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, emissions have increased by 25%

compared to the base year, while in Norway, the increase was 9%. In the view of


PBL (2009), these countries will only be able to meet their targets by purchasing

sufficient CDM credits or by buying emissions ("hot air") from EIT countries.

Non-KP Parties

Emissions in the US have increased 16% since 1990. According to PBL (2009), the

US will not meet its original Kyoto target of a 6% reduction in emissions.

Non-Annex I

UNFCCC (2005) compiled and synthesized information reported to it by non-

Annex I Parties. Most non-Annex I Parties belonged in the low-income group, with

very few classified as middle-income. They are not obligated by the limits of

emissions in the Kyoto Protocol (p. 4). Fast growing economy countries like

China, South Africa, India and Brazil are still in this non-obligated group. Most

Parties included information on policies relating to sustainable development.

Sustainable development priorities mentioned by non-Annex I Parties

includedpoverty alleviation and access to basic education and health care (p. 6).

Many non-Annex I Parties are making efforts to amend and update

their environmental legislation to include global concerns such as climate change

(p. 7).

A few Parties, e.g., South Africa and Iran, stated their concern over how efforts to

reduce emissions could affect their economies. The economies of these countries

are highly dependent on income generated from the production, processing, and

export of fossil fuels.

As the Non-Annex 1 countries are not obligated to any commitment on emissions

some critics argue that their signatures on the protocol have been free and




GHG emissions, excluding land use change and forestry (LUCF), reported by 122

non-Annex I Parties for the year 1994 or the closest year reported, totalled

11.7 billion tonnes (billion = 1,000,000,000) of CO2-eq. CO2 was the largest

proportion of emissions (63%), followed bymethane (26%) and nitrous

oxide (N2O) (11%).

The energy sector was the largest source of emissions for 70 Parties, whereas for

45 Parties the agriculture sector was the largest. Per capita emissions (in tonnes of

CO2-eq, excluding LUCF) averaged 2.8 tonnes for the 122 non-Annex I Parties.

The Africa region's aggregate emissions were 1.6 billion tonnes, with per capita

emissions of 2.4 tonnes.

The Asia and Pacific region's aggregate emissions were 7.9 billion tonnes, with

per capita emissions of 2.6 tonnes.

The Latin America and Caribbean region's aggregate emissions were

2 billion tonnes, with per capita emissions of 4.6 tonnes.

The "other" region

includes Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, Malta, Republic of Moldova,

and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Their aggregate emissions

were 0.1 billion tonnes, with per capita emissions of 5.1 tonnes.

Parties reported a high level of uncertainty in LUCF emissions, but in aggregate,

there appeared to only be a small difference of 1.7% with and without LUCF. With

LUCF, emissions were 11.9 billion tonnes, without LUCF, total aggregate

emissions were 11.7 billion tonnes.



In several large developing countries and fast growing economies (China, India,

Thailand, Indonesia, Egypt, and Iran) GHG emissions have increased rapidly

(PBL, 2009). For example, emissions in China have risen strongly over the 1990-

2005 period, often by more than 10% year. Emissions per-capita in non-Annex I

countries are still, for the most part, much lower than in industrialized countries.

Non-Annex I countries do not have quantitative emission reduction commitments,

but they are committed to mitigation actions. China, for example, has had a

national policy programme to reduce emissions growth, which included the closure

of old, less efficient coal-fired power plants.


Gupta et al. (2007) assessed the literature on climate change policy. They found

that no authoritative assessments of the UNFCCC or its Protocol asserted that these

agreements had, or will, succeed in solving the climate problem. In these

assessments, it was assumed that the UNFCCC or its Protocol would not be

changed. The Framework Convention and its Protocol include provisions for future

policy actions to be taken.

World Bank (2010, p. 233) commented on how the Kyoto Protocol had only had a

slight effect on curbing global emissions growth. The treaty was negotiated in

1997, but by 2005, energy-related emissions had grown 24%. World Bank (2010)

also stated that the treaty had provided only limited financial support to developing

countries to assist them in reducing their emissions and adapting to climate change.

Some of the criticism of the Protocol has been based on the idea of climate justice

(Liverman, 2008, p. 14). This has particularly centred on the balance between the


low emissions and high vulnerability of the developing world to climate change,

compared to high emissions in the developed world.

Some environmentalists have supported the Kyoto Protocol because it is "the only

game in town," and possibly because they expect that future emission reduction

commitments may demand more stringent emission reductions (Aldy et al.., 2003,

p. 9). In 2001, sixteen national science academies[37] stated that ratification of the

Protocol represented a "small but essential first step towards stabilising

atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases." Some environmentalists and

scientists have criticized the existing commitments for being too weak (Grubb,

2000, p. 5)

The lack of quantitative emission commitments for developing countries led to the

governments of the United States, and also Australia under Prime Minister John

Howard deciding not to ratify the treaty (Stern 2007, p. 478). Australia, under

former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, has since ratified the treaty. Despite

ratification, Australia has thus far not implemented nany national legislation to

bring itself into compliance.

In May 2010 the Hartwell Paper was published by the London School of

Economics with funding from the Japan Iron and Steel Federation, Tokyo, Japan

and Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association, Inc., Tokyo, Japan . The

authors argued that after what they regard as the failure of the 2009 Copenhagen

Climate Summit, the Kyoto Protocol crashed and they claimed that it "has failed to

produce any discernable real world reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases in

fifteen years." They argued that this failure opened an opportunity to set climate

policy free from Kyoto and the paper advocates a controversial and piecemeal

approach to decarbonization of the global economy.



In the non-binding 'Washington Declaration' agreed on 16 February 2007, Heads of

governments from Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan,Russia, United

Kingdom, the United States, Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa agreed

in principle on the outline of a successor to the Kyoto Protocol. They envisage a

global cap-and-trade system that would apply to both industrialized nations

and developing countries, and hoped that this would be in place by 2009.

On 7 June 2007, leaders at the 33rd G8 summit agreed that the G8 nations would

"aim to at least halve global CO2  emissions  by 2050". The details enabling this to

be achieved would be negotiated by environment ministers within the United

Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in a process that would also

include the major emerging economies.

A round of climate change talks under the auspices of the United Nations

Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) (Vienna Climate Change

Talks 2007) concluded in 31 August 2007 with agreement on key elements for an

effective international response to climate change.

A key feature of the talks was a United Nations report that showed how efficient

energy use could yield significant cuts in emissions at low cost.

The talks were meant to set the stage for a major international meeting to be held

in Nusa Dua, Bali, which started on 3 December 2007.

The Conference was held in December 2008 in Poznań, Poland. One of the main

topics on this meeting was the discussion of a possible implementation of


avoided deforestation also known as Reducing emissions from deforestation and

forest degradation (REDD) into the future Kyoto Protocol.

After the lack of progress leading to a binding commitment or an extension of the

Kyoto commitment period in climate talks at COP 15 in Copenhagen, Denmark in

2009, there are several further rounds of negotiation COP 16 in Cancun, Mexico in

2010, South Africa in 2011 (COP 17), and in either Qatar or South Korea in 2012

(COP 18). Because any treaty change will require the ratification of the text by

various countries' legislatures before the end of the commitment period Dec 31,

2012, it is likely that agreements in South Africa or South Korea/Qatar will be too

late to prevent a gap between the commitment periods.



The Copenhagen Climate Council is a global collaboration between international

business and science founded by the leading independent think tank in

Scandinavia, Monday Morning, based in Copenhagen. The councilors of the

Copenhagen Climate Council have come together to create global awareness of the

importance of the UN Climate Summit (COP15) in Copenhagen, December 2009,

and to ensure technical and public support and assistance to global decision makers

when agreeing on a new climate treaty to replace the Kyoto Protocol from 1997.


The Copenhagen Climate Council was founded in 2007 by the leading independent

think tank in Scandinavia, Monday Morning, head-quartered

in Copenhagen, Denmark.


The purpose of the Copenhagen Climate Council is to create global awareness of

the importance of the UN Climate Summit (COP15) in Copenhagen, December

2009. Leading up to this pivotal UN meeting, the Copenhagen Climate Council

works on presenting innovative yet achievable solutions to climate change, as well

as assess what is required to make a new global treaty effective. The Council will

seek to promote constructive dialogue between government and business, so that

when the world's political leaders and negotiators meet in Copenhagen, they will

do so armed with the very best arguments for establishing a treaty that can be

supported by global business. By promoting and demonstrating innovative,

positive, and meaningful business leadership and ideas, the Copenhagen Climate


Council aims to demonstrate that achieving an effective global climate treaty is not

only possible, but necessary. The strategy is built upon the following principles:

Creating international awareness of the importance of the Copenhagen UN

Climate Summit and the successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol..

Promoting constructive dialogue between government, business, and science.

Inspiring global business leaders by demonstrating that tackling climate

change also has the potential to create huge opportunities for innovation and

economic growth.


Published in November 2007, on the eve of the UN COP13 Climate Change

Conference in Bali – the instigation night of the Bali Roadmap. The document

outlines what the Council believes is required to tackle climate change and how

this can be achieved through a new global treaty. The Manifesto articulates a clear

goal for the maximum level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere by 2050. The

document will serve as input at the World Business Summit on Climate Change,

outlining key elements for further discussion and inclusion in the recommendations

to be delivered to the UN Summit.


Copenhagen Climate Council comprises 30 global climate

leaders [1] representing business, science, and public policy from all parts of the



Business leaders are selected to represent global companies and innovative

entrepreneurs, who, through their actions, reveal that sustainable, climate-

responsible business is both necessary and profitable.

Scientists are gathered to ensure that the work of the Council is underpinned by

rigorous analysis.

Policy makers with experience in public policy are included in the Council to

ensure that the work is informed by knowledge of what is required to assist

high-level, complex policy negotiations.