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Kyoto's Flaw

POST: Kyoto's Flaw

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), now enshrined as the Kyoto Protocol, is an attempt by the worlds governments to roll back greenhouse gas emissions by member nations to 1990 levels as a first start.

The rule book for the Kyoto Protocol set detailed rules for its implementation. Under the Land-use, Land-use Change and Forestry (LULUCF) provision, a cap and trade system was adopted similar to (and inspired by) the immensely successful US Pollution Credit Trading Scheme. Under this system, ratifying countries set a cap on emissions then provide for industry to buy or sell surplus credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) protocols. This system allowed countries or entities actively reforesting land (or even just allowing cleared or damaged land to reforest itself) to sell carbon emission trading credits for the carbon thus removed from the atmosphere. In other words, the Kyoto Protocol specifically excluded standing forests from carbon credit trading thus in effect punishing those nations who have worked to protect tropical forests from deforestation.

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