The United Nations is meeting this week in Poland, trying to figure out how best to tackle Climate Change. And as they deliberate about how exactly to change their approach to climate change and prepare for the 2009 meeting in Copenhagen, where they will replace the Kyoto Protocol set to expire in 2012 -- all I can say is, Kyoto is done. We need to move on. Now.
Here are three reasons why:
The Kyoto protocol was put together in 1992. Now, more than 15 years later, nothing has
advanced quite so rapidly as environmental technology. Clean tech has gone from being a
pie in the sky to a proposed savior for the world economy. The Kyoto Protocol must reflect
this change and promote clean technology research as a viable method of GHG reduction.
2. China and India
If there's anything that's changed more in the past 15 years than China and India, I don't want
to know about it. Both of these countries are considered by the Kyoto Protocol to be
"pre-industrial" and thus exempt from harsh regulation. That made sense 15 years ago. But
now, China is the world's largest producer of greenhouse gasses, and everyone agrees that
they could maybe grow a little slower without too many ill effects. China and India should be
regulated more strictly.
3. It was the Plan All Along!
From the first day I understood what the Kyoto Protocol was: I knew it wasn't enough. But
what did people tell me? That the Kyoto Protocol is only the first step, an outline by which to
begin to understand the problem, so we could create other agreements that would be more
fair, more intelligent and do a better job of controlling climate change.
Well it's time to stop waiting for the next Kyoto Protocol. Let's hope the UN figures out how to re-structure the protocol in a way that takes the last fifteen years of change, success and failure into account.