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Climate change: What Opportunities Lie outside Kyoto Protocol for Green House Gas Emission Reductions in the Water Environment Arena?

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The ratification of the Kyoto Protocol on green house gas (GHG) emission reductions will trigger the implementation of this cross-boundary initiative for climate change control. The Kyoto Protocol is arguably the largest environmental cross-boundary and pan-national environmental policy ever initiated.

Previous work has described key aspects of the Kyoto Protocol, its implementation mechanisms and business implications for municipalities, industries and consulting/engineering groups in the water environment arena (Nolasco, 2003).

As of today, the Kyoto Protocol has not been ratified. The United States will not sign Kyoto in the short-to-medium term. Senate Resolution 98 of the 105th Congress, referred to as the “Byrd-Hagel Resolution”, depicts U. S. Congress view of the Kyoto Protocol stating that the United States should not be a signatory to any international climate change agreement which would:

mandate new commitments to limit or reduce [GHG] emissions for the Annex I Parties [i.e. industrialized countries], unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce [GHG] emissions for developing country parties within the same compliance period, or

result in serious harm to the economy of the United States.

Without the United States signature of the protocol, Russia's ratification will be needed for the Kyoto Protocol to achieve full ratification and implementation. In 2004, Russia indicated that they would ratify Kyoto, which would enforce it globally by 2005.

In spite of the current status of non-ratification of Kyoto, several initiatives on GHG emission reductions through trading have been observed in the US, Canada and worldwide. This paper analyzes the opportunities that lie outside the Kyoto Protocol for GHG emission reductions and trading in the water environment arena.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2004

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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