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] ON GLOBAL WARMING The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is an amendment to the international treaty on climate change, assigning mandatory emission limitations for the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to the signatory nations. The objective of the protocol is the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." As of December 2006, a total of 169 countries and other governmental entities have ratified the agreement (representing over 61.6% of emissions from Annex I countries).  Notable exceptions include the United States and Australia. Other countries, like India and China, which have ratified the protocol, are not required to reduce carbon emissions under the present agreement. There is some debate about the usefulness of the protocol, and there have been some cost-benefit studies performed. The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement made under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Countries that ratify this protocol commit to reduce their emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases, or engage in emissions trading if they maintain or increase emissions of these gases. The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and more than 60% of countries in terms of global greenhouse gas emissions. This treaty expires in 2012, and international talks began in May 2007 on a future treaty to succeed the current one. At its heart, the Kyoto Protocol establishes the following principles:
Kyoto is underwritten by governments and is governed by global legislation enacted under the UN’s aegis; Governments are separated into two general categories: developed countries, referred to as Annex I countries (who have accepted greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations and must submit an annual greenhouse gas inventory); and developing countries, referred to as Non-Annex I countries (who have no greenhouse gas emission reduction obligations but may participate in the Clean Development Mechanism); Any Annex I country that fails to meet its Kyoto obligation will be penalized by having to submit 1.3 emission allowances in a second commitment period for every ton of greenhouse gas emissions they exceed their cap in the first commitment period (i.e, 2008-2012); By 2008-2012, Annex I countries have to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by a collective average of 5% below their 1990 levels (for many countries, such as the EU member states, this corresponds to some 15% below their expected greenhouse gas emissions in 2008). While the average emissions reduction is 5%, national limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union to a 10% emissions increase for Iceland; but since the EU intends to meet its obligation by distributing different rates among its member states, much larger increases (up to 27%) are allowed for some of the less developed EU countries (see below #Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990).  Reduction limitations expire in 2013; Kyoto includes "flexible mechanisms" which allow Annex I economies to meet their greenhouse gas emission limitation by purchasing GHG emission reductions from elsewhere. These can be bought either from financial exchanges, from projects which reduce emissions in non-Annex I economies under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), from other Annex 1 countries under the JI, or from Annex I countries with excess allowances. Only CDM Executive Board-accredited Certified Emission Reductions (CER) can be bought and sold in this manner. Under the aegis of the UN, Kyoto established this Bonn-based Clean Development Mechanism Executive Board to assess and approve projects (“CDM Projects”) in Non-Annex I economies prior to awarding CERs. (A similar scheme called “Joint Implementation” or “JI” applies in transitional economies mainly covering the former Soviet Union and Eastern Europe).
What this means in practice is that Non-Annex I economies have no GHG emission restrictions, but when a greenhouse gas emission reduction project (a “Greenhouse Gas Project”) is implemented in these countries, that Greenhouse Gas Project will receive Carbon Credit which can be sold to Annex I buyers.
Italy. as required by UNFCCC Article 4.4°C (2. All the Annex I economies have established Designated National Authorities to manage their greenhouse gas portfolios under Kyoto. yellow indicates those that have signed and hope to ratify it. 2002 when Iceland ratified." Of the two conditions. effective February 16. Virtually all of the Non-Annex I countries have also set up their own Designated National Authorities to manage the Kyoto process (and specifically the “CDM process” whereby these host government entities decide which Greenhouse Gas Projects they do or do not wish to support for accreditation by the CDM Executive Board). and red indicates those that have signed but not ratified it. the "55 parties" clause was reached on May 23. Countries including Japan.4°F) between 1990 and 2100). are actively promoting government carbon funds and supporting multilateral carbon funds intent on purchasing Carbon Credits from Non-Annex I countries. The ratification by Russia on 18 November 2004 satisfied the "55%" clause and brought the treaty into force.5°F) to 5. a total of 169 countries and other governmental entities have ratified the agreement (representing over 61. oil & gas and chemicals conglomerates to try to acquire as many Greenhouse Gas Certificates as cheaply as possible." The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has predicted an average global rise in temperature of 1. the Netherlands. such as Japan or the Netherlands for example. have deposited their instruments of ratification. with highly efficient. 2005. 1998. The treaty was negotiated in Kyoto. acceptance. Status of the agreement Participation in the Kyoto Protocol: dark green indicates countries that have signed and ratified the treaty. and. Kyoto therefore allows these countries to purchase Carbon Credits instead of reducing greenhouse gas emissions domestically. 1999. whilst Non-Annex I entities want to maximize the value of Carbon Credits generated from their domestic Greenhouse Gas Projects. it 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 Parties included in Annex I. According to article 25 of the protocol. low greenhouse gas polluting industries. The objectives of these opposing groups are quite different. this is seen as a means of encouraging Non-Annex I developing economies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions since doing so is now economically viable because of the sale of Carbon Credits. The agreement came into force on February 16. Canada.8 °C (10. opened for signature on March 16. France. and closed on March 15. 2005 following ratification by Russia on November 18. Proponents also note that Kyoto is a first step as requirements to meet the UNFCCC will be modified until the objective is met. Spain and many more. 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. approval or accession. Japan in December 1997. . Annex I entities want Carbon Credits as cheaply as possible.6% of emissions from Annex I countries). energy. These government organizations are working closely with their major utility.These Kyoto mechanisms are in place for two main reasons: • • the cost of complying with Kyoto is prohibitive  for many  Annex I countries (especially those countries. 2004. and high prevailing environmental standards).2(d). Germany. As of December 2006.
This was originally agreed in the UNFCCC. even without the commitment to reduce according to the Kyoto target. China. The largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries.2% below their 1990 baseline over the 2008 to 2012 period. from a broker. this limitation represents a 29% cut). Typically." The parties agreed that 1. listed in Annex I to the UNFCCC. from a JI/CDM developer. National governments. An example of a 'cap and trade' system is the unrelated-to-Kyoto 'EU ETS'. such as a power plant or paper factory. nitrous oxide.calculated as an average over the five-year period of 2008-12. In other words. mainly from JI/CDM developers. Other countries may follow suit in time. Financial commitments The Protocol also reaffirms the principle that developed countries have to pay billions of dollars. Allowances for short). The Kyoto Protocol was adopted at the third session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC (COP3) in 1997 in Kyoto. compared to the emissions levels that would be expected by 2010 without the Protocol. Most provisions of the Kyoto Protocol apply to developed countries. for example. and supply technology to other countries for climate-related studies and projects. will buy credits for their own account. and that have a net deficit of Allowances.carbon dioxide. methane. 3. 6% for Japan. Emissions trading Main article: Emissions trading Kyoto is a ‘cap and trade’ system that imposes national caps on the emissions of Annex I countries. Although these caps are national-level commitments. while non-parties to the UNFCCC cannot. All parties to the UNFCCC can sign or ratify the Kyoto Protocol. Japan. Per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low. These deals are occasionally done directly through a national fund or agency. and other developing countries were exempt from the emission reduction target of the Kyoto Protocol because they were not the main contributors to the greenhouse gas emissions during the industrialization period that is believed to be causing today's climate change. which was adopted at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992). However. sulfur hexafluoride. and PFCs . they will purchase Credits directly from another party with excess allowances. It is an agreement negotiated as an amendment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC. this cap requires countries to reduce their emissions 5.2% compared to the year 1990 (but note that. The goal is to lower overall emissions of six greenhouse gases . This means that the ultimate buyers of Credits are often individual companies that expect their emissions to exceed their quota (their Assigned Allocation Units. or on an exchange. or via collective funds such as the World Bank’s Prototype Carbon Fund (PCF). National limitations range from 8% reductions for the European Union and some others to 7% for the US. 0% for Russia. developing countries do share the common responsibility that all countries have in reducing emissions. The share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs. On average.Details of the agreement According to a press release from the United Nations Environment Programme: "The Kyoto Protocol is an agreement under which industrialized countries will reduce their collective emissions of greenhouse gases by 5. HFCs. Common but differentiated responsibility The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change agreed to a set of a "common but differentiated responsibilities. and permitted increases of 8% for Australia and 10% for Iceland. . in practice most countries will devolve their emissions targets to individual industrial entities. 2. as in the case of the Dutch government’s ERUPT programme. The PCF. some of whom may not have devolved responsibility for meeting Kyoto obligations to industry. Emission figures exclude international aviation and shipping. India.
CERs are valid for meeting EU ETS obligations as of now. The CDM allows the creation of new Carbon Credits by developing emission reduction projects in Non-Annex I countries. Although Kyoto created a framework and a set of rules for a global carbon market. is a realignment of penalties and fines to similar levels. After some concessions. COP7 was held from 29 October 2001 – 9 November 2001 in Marrakech to establish the final details of the protocol. however. which ran from 2002 through 2006. Kyoto enables a group of several Annex I countries to join together to create a so-called ‘bubble’. and the projects themselves require several years to develop. or a cluster of countries that is given an overall emissions cap and is treated as a single entity for compliance purposes. Since Carbon Credits are tradeable instruments with a transparent price. . was floated on the London Stock Exchange's AiM market in 2005 with the specific remit of investing in emissions instruments. these initiatives point to a series of linked markets. the most important sources of Kyoto-related credits are the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) and the Joint Implementation (JI) mechanism. An obvious precondition. rather than being exchange-traded like EUAs. brokers. and participants in the UK scheme have the option of applying to opt out of the first phase of the EU ETS. and these are likely to grow in importance and numbers in the coming years. The EU elected to be treated as such a group. Japan and Australia on the other (which wanted the agreement to be less demanding and more flexible). and the State of Oregon’s emissions abatement program. The scheme went into operation on 1 January 2005. 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.represents a consortium of six governments and 17 major utility and energy companies on whose behalf it purchases Credits. financial investors have started buying them for pure trading purposes. a continuation of the previous meeting (COP6bis) was held in Bonn where the required decisions were adopted. the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) in the United States. with varying degrees of linkages among them. According to IETA. The UK established its own learning-by-doing voluntary scheme. the commitment of hundreds of US mayors to adopt Kyoto targets for their cities. Emissions Trading PLC. there are in practice several distinct schemes or markets in operation today. Next to the unrelated-to-Kyoto EU ETS. which lasts through 2007. with banks. since these create an effective ceiling for each market. The ETS’s currency is an EUA (EU Allowance). Several non-Kyoto carbon markets are already in existence as well. the State of California’s recent initiative to reduce emissions. In 2001. Since the creation of these instruments is subject to a lengthy process of registration and certification by the UN. the Chicago Climate Exchange. and created the EU Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) as a market-within-a-market. although a forward market has existed since 2003. and JI projects produce Emission Reduction Units (ERUs). The fact that most of these initiatives have similar approaches to certifying their credits makes it conceivable that Carbon Credits in one market may in the long run be tradeable in most other schemes. and ERUs will become similarly valid from 2008 (although individual countries may choose to limit the number and source of CER/JIs they will allow for compliance purposes starting from 2008). while JI allows project-specific credits to be converted from existing credits in Annex I countries. funds. Taken together. Canada. it is estimated that more than EUR 620 m worth of credits were transacted in 2005. This would broaden the current carbon market far more than the current focus on the CDM/JI and EU ETS domains. The common theme across most of them is the adoption of market-based mechanisms centered on Carbon Credits that represent a reduction of CO2 emissions. the supporters of the protocol (led by the European Union) managed to get Japan and Russia in as well by allowing more use of carbon dioxide sinks. the EUA. rather than a single carbon market. the market value of CDM/JI credits transacted in 2004 was EUR 245 m. this market is at this point almost completely a forward market where purchases are made at a deep discount to their equivalent currency. arbitrageurs and private traders eventually participating. and are almost always subject to certification and delivery (although up-front payments are sometimes made). for example. CERs/ERUs are overwhelmingly bought from project developers by funds or individual entities. This market is expected to grow substantially. These include the New South Wales Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme. COP6 attempted to resolve these issues at its meeting in the Hague in late 2000. the UK ETS. CDM projects produce Certified Emission Reductions (CERs). Revisions The protocol left several issues open to be decided later by the Conference of Parties (COP). This market will exist alongside the EU’s scheme.
along with the United States. and even if Australia were to shut down all of its coal fired power stations it would not negate this increase. Furthermore. all of which have Labor Party governments. and the dependence of Australian electricity generation on coal. As of 2007. The Australian Prime Minister. Further. The opposition claims ratifying the protocol is a "risk free" prospect as they claim Australia would already be meeting the obligations the protocol would impose. along with the 11th conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC (COP11). This mandatory greenhouse gas emissions trading scheme commenced on 1 January 2003 and is currently being trialed by the state government in NSW alone. environmental matters are under the . the country was granted a limitation of an 8% increase. industrial growth within China is expected to increase pollution within 9 months. that country will be suspended from making transfers under an emissions trading program. agreed to sign the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate at the ASEAN regional forum on 28 July 2005. the Government takes the view that Australia is already doing enough to cut emissions. the UNFCCC is reporting that Australia's 2004 greenhouse gas emissions were at 125% of 1990 levels. In addition. The focus of NETS is to bring into existence an intra-Australian carbon trading scheme and to coordinate policy developments to this end. John Howard.  This claim relies heavily on changes to land clearing policies that can only occur once. This is slightly above its 108% Kyoto Protocol limitation. See United Nations Climate Change Conference. As of 2006 the scheme is still in place despite Prime Minister John Howard's clear dismissal of emissions trading as a credible solution to climate change. 2005. the National Emissions Trading Scheme (NETS) has been established as an initiative of State and Territory Governments of Australia. as a negotiation tool while other big players were negotiating. Australia remains committed to meeting its target despite not ratifying the Protocol. Uniquely this scheme allows Accredited Certificate Providers (ACP) to trade emissions from householders in the state. This is because Australia used its relative smallness. due to countries with booming economies and massive populations such as China and India not having any reduction obligations. Enforcement If the Enforcement Branch determines that an Annex I country is not in compliance with its emissions limitation. According to the Constitution of Australia. the Australian Labor Party. the Australian government has recently pledged $300 million over the next three years to reduce Greenhouse gas emissions.  The Federal Opposition. Current positions of governments Carbon emissions from various global regions during the period 1800-2000 AD See also: List of Kyoto Protocol signatories Australia Because Australia is one of the biggest emitters on a per capita basis (albeit the lowest on a per square kilometre basis due to low overall population density). then that country is required to make up the difference plus an additional 30%. is in full support of the protocol and it is currently a heavily debated issue within the political establishment.The first Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (MOP1) was held in Montreal from November 28 to December 9. By way of example. Following the example of NSW. Analysis has projected Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions at 109% of the 1990 emissions level over the period 2008– 12. has declined to ratify the Agreement and has argued that the protocol would cost Australians jobs. The result of the negotiation was reported in the Australian media as being to Australia's advantage. the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) commenced The NSW Greenhouse Gas Abatement Scheme (GGAS). The Australian government. while ongoing emission sources have all increased substantially.
In addition. and indicated interest in international trading. as Australia was the major beneficiary. A private member's bill. China is now building on average one coal-fired power plant every week. the bill would give the government 60 days to form a detailed plan of action. Canada ratified the treaty that came into force in February 2005. numerous polls showed support for the Kyoto protocol at around 70%. as is expected. . Rona Ambrose moved from environment to become Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. requiring it to reduce emissions to 6% below 1990 levels during the 2008-2012 commitment period. Canada's federal government has introduced legislation to set mandatory emissions targets for industry. and that this meant that their "baseline" was unusually high compared to other countries. If passed. By 2004. using arguments similar to those being used in the US. its per-capita emission of carbon dioxide from fossil sources was 3. Greenpeace argues that Australia had extremely high levels of land clearing in 1990. CO2 emissions had risen to 27% above 1990 levels (which compares unfavorably to the 16% increase in emissions by the United States during that time). and is now being considered by the Senate. while the Harper government develops a new plan to take its place. the New Democratic Party and the Bloc Québécois. from 1950 to 2002. 2006. On April 25. In particular. As of 2003. the country's energy intensity . As the co-chair of UN Climate Change Conference in Nairobi in November 2006. was put forth by Pablo Rodriguez. Because China has emplaced population control measures while maintaining low emissions per capita. which is 87% of the world average and 33 per cent of that of Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries. and in 2004." Ambrose told reporters. and the NETS is intended to facilitate ratification of the Kyoto Protocol by the Labor Party if they are elected to government in the 2007 Federal Elections. In 2005. or non-confidence motion once the bill becomes law." With the support of the Liberals. the former President of the Treasury Board.  and according to many other estimates. which may spark a constitutional crisis. primarily between the government of Alberta (Canada's primary oil and gas producer) and the federal government. there was a fear that since US companies would not be affected by the Kyoto Protocol that Canadian companies would be at a disadvantage in terms of trade. "We've been looking at the Asia-Pacific Partnership for a number of months now because the key principles around [it] are very much in line with where our government wants to go. In May 2007 Friends of the Earth sued the Canadian federal government for failing to meet its Kyoto Protocol obligations to cut greenhouse gas emissions linked to global warming. there was still some opposition.  On May 2. and plans to continue doing so for years. 2002.65 tons. The government has since begun working with opposition parties to improve the legislation.jurisdiction of the States. sponsored Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate.was lowered by 47 per cent between 1991 and 2005. the bill passed the House of Commons on 14 February 2007 with a vote of 161-113.  In January 2006. and energy concerns.7 of the Kyoto Protocol the "Australia Clause".". and in particular to the plan to participate in international emission trading.S. At that time. Rona Ambrose. Various predictions see China overtaking the US in total greenhouse emissions between late 2007 and 2010. The Environment portfolio went to John Baird. and with the current minority situation. People's Republic of China In 2004 the total greenhouse gas emissions from the People's Republic of China were about 54% of the USA emissions. aiming to force the government to "ensure that Canada meets its global climate change obligations under the Kyoto Protocol.  However. Canada and its government received criticism from environmental groups and from other governments for its climate change positions. lawsuit. 2007. has since endorsed some types of emission trading. but it will not take effect until an estimated 2050.33% of the global total in the same period. particularly by the Canadian Alliance. The Chinese government insists that the gas emissions level of any given country is a multiplication of its per capita emission and its population. On January 4. this already occurred in 2006.measured as energy consumption per unit of GDP . specifically with regard to Alberta . who replaced Stéphane Dion as the environment minister. Liberal. it was reported that environmental funding designed to meet the Kyoto standards had been cut. There were even fears that Kyoto could threaten national unity. who previously has expressed opposition to Kyoto. Greenpeace have called Clause 3. 2006. precursor to the governing Conservative Party. This was based on a clause in the Canadian Environmental Protection Act that requires Ottawa to "prevent air pollution that violates an international agreement binding on Canada. The government has flatly refused to abide by the bill. Canada On December 17. the result was limited to an ongoing "war of words". it claims it should therefore in both of the above aspects be considered a contributor to the world's environment. the federal government claimed to have spent or committed 3. some business groups. Ambrose announced that Canada would have no chance of meeting its targets under Kyoto. a Conservative minority government under Stephen Harper was elected.  Canada's obligation to the treaty begins in 2008. China’s carbon dioxide emissions from fossil sources accounted for only 9. and would look to participate in U. Despite strong public support.7 billion dollars on climate change programmes. The clause allows for Annex 1 countries with high rates of land clearing in 1990 to consider that year a base level.
In December 2002. an energy professor at the German Institute for Economic Research in Berlin said. Informed by the Energy White Paper 2003. Claudia Kemfert. rather than reducing 8%. the United Kingdom is likely to become the first country to set such a long-range and significant carbon reduction target into law. but by 2004 this had grown to 28%. 2006. "For all its support for a clean environment and the Kyoto Protocol. The Bill aims to put in place a framework to achieve a mandatory 60% cut in the UK's carbon emissions by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). Although the UK's overall greenhouse gas emissions have fallen. The UK currently appears on course to meet its Kyoto limitation for the basket of greenhouse gases. and paper/cardboard. 2002. 2007. The EU has consistently been one of the major nominal supporters of the Kyoto Protocol. Also. thus giving European economies a potential competitive advantage over the U. Transport CO2 emissions in the EU grew by 32% between 1990 and 2004. On 10 January 2007. The EU produces around 22% of global greenhouse gas emissions. emission levels of former Warsaw Pact countries who now are members of the EU have already been reduced as a result of their economic restructuring. a draft Climate Change Bill was published after cross-party pressure over several years.2% between 1990 and 2004. China responded that those criticisms were unjust. negotiating hard to get wavering countries on board. If approved. led by environmental groups. however.In June of 2007. and has agreed to a cut. China unveiled a 62-page climate change plan and promised to put climate change at the heart of its energy policies but insisted that developed countries had an “unshirkable responsibility” to take the lead on cutting greenhouse gas emissions and that the "common but differentiated responsibility" principle. The position of the EU is not without controversy in Protocol negotiations. Current EU projections suggest that by 2008 the EU will be at 4. cement. the German government announced it would exempt its coal industry from requirements under the EU internal emission trading system. all the EU member countries should cut 15% as the EU insisted a uniform target of 15% for other developed countries during the negotiation while allowing itself to share a big reduction in the former East Germany to meet the 15% goal for the entire EU. Germany Germany has reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 17.7% below 1990 levels. the cabinet decision is very disappointing. Both the EU (as the European Community) and its member states are signatories to the Kyoto treaty. with an intermediate target of between 26% and 32% by 2020. In response to critics of the nation's energy policy. on average. The energy lobbies have played a big role in this decision. starting at €40/ton of carbon dioxide in 2005. On March 13. The share of transport in CO2 emissions was 21% in 1990. and rising to €100/ton in 2008. One criticism is that. assuming the Government is able to curb rising carbon dioxide emissions between now (2007) and the period 2008-2012. glass. On June 28. by 8% from 1990 emission levels. as agreed up in the UNFCCC should be applied. steel.S. As a result it now seems highly unlikely that the Government ." United Kingdom The energy policy of the United Kingdom fully endorses goals for carbon dioxide emissions reduction and has committed to proportionate reduction in national emissions on a phased basis.  European Union See also: Energy policy of the European Union On May 31. The United Kingdom is a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. the European Commission announced plans for a European Union energy policy that included a unilateral 20% reduction in GHG emissions by 2020. the EU created an emissions trading system in an effort to meet these tough targets. all fifteen then-members of the European Union deposited the relevant ratification paperwork at the UN. annual net carbon dioxide emissions have risen by around 2% since Tony Blair's Labour Party came to power in 1997. brick making. There are also fines for member nations that fail to meet their obligations. This may mean that the region's 1990 baseline level is inflated compared to that of other developed countries. Quotas were introduced in six key industries: energy.
The issue of Russian ratification was particularly closely watched in the international community. Res. At the G-8 meeting in June 2005. it is expected to gain from the protocol in terms of transfer of technology and related foreign investments. President Putin had earlier decided in favour of the protocol in September 2004. 1997. It is debatable whether Russia will benefit from selling emissions credits to other countries in the Kyoto Protocol. Russia See also: Energy policy of Russia Vladimir Putin approved the treaty on November 4. 2002. of the Ministry for Industry and Energy and of the then president's economic adviser. Andrey Illarionov. France now has the cleanest air of any industrialized country. France In 2004. India Among the major world economies.  unless immediate and drastic action is taken under after the passing of the Climate Change Bill. Because of this. India signed and ratified the Protocol in August. although a signatory to the Kyoto Protocol. and a penultimate draft was finished). which have accumulated emissions over a long period of time. the earth has enough uranium to provide all of the world's energy needs until the sun blows up in 5 billion years.S. China was projected to take over at the top of the table by late 2007. As anticipated after this. On July 25. as its current emission levels are substantially below its limitations. has neither ratified nor withdrawn from the Protocol. along with the Russian cabinet. Senate unanimously passed by a 95–0 vote the Byrd-Hagel Resolution (S. as have their greenhouse gas emissions. which . India's economy is the least energy intensive. Since India is exempted from the framework of the treaty.  against the opinion of the Russian Academy of Sciences. The signature alone is symbolic. before the Kyoto Protocol was finalized (although it had been fully negotiated. as the Kyoto Protocol is non-binding on the United States unless ratified.  United States The United States (U. Russia should have no problem meeting its commitments under Kyoto. Following the principle of common but differentiated responsibility. the U. 98).). The United States was. and in exchange to EU's support for Russia's admission in the WTO. 2005). Because of this. as of 2005. India maintains that the major responsibility of curbing emission rests with the developed countries. France shut down its last coal mine.  Under various assumptions. including the use of breeder technology. 2004. and now gets 80% of its electricity from nuclear power. and the cheapest electricity bills in all of Europe. 2004 and Russia officially notified the United Nations of its ratification on November 18. the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels. as the accord was brought into force 90 days after Russian ratification (February 16. Since 1990 the economies of most countries in the former Soviet Union have collapsed. however one study now concludes this has already occurred. The Kyoto Protocol limits emissions to a percentage increase or decrease from their 1990 levels.S. ratification by the lower (22 October 2004) and upper house of parliament did not encounter any obstacles.will be able to honour its manifesto pledge to cut carbon dioxide emissions by 20% from 1990 levels by the year 2010. Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pointed out that the per-capita emission rates of the developing countries are a tiny fraction of those in the developed world.
Bush said of the treaty: This is a challenge that requires a 100% effort. Supporters of the pact see it as complementing the Kyoto Protocol while being more flexible. however. Critics point to the administration's close ties to the oil and gas industries. It is believed that the state-level program will indirectly apply pressure on the federal government by demonstrating that reductions can be achieved without being a signatory of the Kyoto Protocol. 2007. In June 2002. former oil industry advocate and current ExxonMobile officer. . is concerned with broader exemptions of the treaty. Congressional researchers who examined the legal status of the Protocol advised that signature of the UNFCCC imposes an obligation to refrain from undermining the Protocol's object and purpose. Other economic analyses. demonstrated a potentially large decline in GDP from implementing the Protocol. The Administration's position is not uniformly accepted in the U. a pact that allows those countries to set their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions individually. State Department papers showed the administration thanking Exxon executives for the company's "active involvement" in helping to determine climate change policy. the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the "Climate Action Report 2002". In June 2005. 1998. Congress can create compatible laws on its own initiative. my administration is committed to a leadership role on the issue of climate change … Our approach must be consistent with the long-term goal of stabilizing greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere. which concluded that with emissions trading among the Annex B/Annex I countries. including the U. Both Gore and Senator Joseph Lieberman indicated that the protocol would not be acted upon in the Senate until there was participation by the developing nations.  Local governments As of January 18. The world's second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases is the People's Republic of China. prepared by the Council of Economic Advisors.S. ours. and others. and that while the President probably cannot implement the Protocol alone. but because of the exemption granted to China (the world's second largest emitter of carbon dioxide). and the rest of the world's. Paul Krugman notes that the target 18% reduction in carbon intensity is still actually an increase in overall emissions. Energy Information Administration (EIA). George W.S. the United States is on track to fulfill its pledge to reduce its carbon intensity 18% by 2012. In September 2006 the journal Nature reported that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration had blocked an internal report which concluded that global warming caused by greenhouse gas emissions may be contributing to the frequency and strength of hurricanes. Some observers have interpreted this report as being supportive of the protocol. watered down descriptions of climate research that had already been approved by government scientists. Yet. the U. In 2002. the U. has indicated that he does not intend to submit the treaty for ratification. Vice President Al Gore symbolically signed the protocol. prepared by the Congressional Budget Office and the Department of Energy . India was also exempt from Kyoto … America's unwillingness to embrace a flawed treaty should not be read by our friends and allies as any abdication of responsibility. To the contrary. which is a state level emissions capping and trading program.S. but critics have said the pact will be ineffective without any enforcement measures. the Bush Administration has taken no specific actions towards mitigation of climate change. For example. Input from the business lobby group Global Climate Coalition was also a factor. India and Germany are among the top emitters. Yet. According to those same officials. does not support the split between Annex I countries and others. The Clinton Administration released an economic analysis in July 1998. eight Northeastern US states are involved in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI).stated the sense of the Senate was that the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol that did not include binding targets and timetables for developing as well as industrialized nations or "would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States". For example. but with no enforcement mechanism. Furthermore. The White House has also come under criticism for downplaying reports that link human activity and greenhouse gas emissions to climate change and that a White House official.S. not because he does not support the Kyoto principles. he emphasizes the uncertainties which are present in the climate change issue. On November 12. China was entirely exempted from the requirements of the Kyoto Protocol. stance on Kyoto. Bush. At the G-8 meeting in June 2005 administration officials expressed a desire for "practical commitments industrialized countries can meet without damaging their economies". and participation of key developing countries in the "Clean Development Mechanism" — which grants the latter business-as-usual emissions rates through 2012 — the costs of implementing the Kyoto Protocol could be reduced as much as 60% from many estimates. The United States has signed the Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate." In keeping with its refusal to submit the protocol to Congress for ratification. The current President. Philip Cooney. although the report itself does not explicitly endorse the protocol. Bush also opposes the treaty because of the strain he believes the treaty would put on the economy. The Clinton Administration never submitted the protocol to the Senate for ratification. charges the White House denies.
as a big importer of natural resources. and Nauru added notes to this effect when signing the protocol). 2006. Observer states and regions: Pennsylvania. Chicago. Portland. This is supported by attribution analysis.• • Participating states: Maine. Vermont. to coincide with the Meeting of the Parties in Montreal. The planned demonstrations were endorsed by the Assembly of Movements of the World Social Forum. and the inactivity of the former Soviet Union was overlooked and could even generate big income due to the emission trade. there is at least one student group. On August 31. New Jersey. New Hampshire. Providence. Lansing. The Cook Islands. Connecticut. Opposition Some public policy experts who are skeptical of global warming see Kyoto as a scheme to either slow the growth of the world's industrial democracies or to transfer wealth to the third world in what they claim is a global socialism initiative. However. New York. This resulted in the Global Warming Solutions Act which effectively puts California in line with the Kyoto limitations. as it can reveal inactivities and responsibilities among countries. some believing the standards which Kyoto sets to be too optimistic. New Orleans. 2007. • • Support Large participating cities: Annapolis. Some environmental economists have been critical of the Kyoto Protocol. Tacoma. New York City. but at a date later than the 2008-2012 Kyoto commitment period. that this opposition is not unanimous. had to improve its efficiency after the 1973 oil crisis and its emissions level in 1990 was better than most developed countries. West Palm Beach. Wisconsin. as well as not using per capita emissions as a basis. Many see the costs of the Kyoto Protocol as outweighing the benefits. Salt Lake City. Massachusetts. On the other hand. representing more than 60 million Americans support Kyoto after Mayor Greg Nickels of Seattle started a nationwide effort to get cities to agree to the protocol. the former Soviet Union and eastern European countries did little to tackle the problem and their energy efficiency was at its worst level in 1990. Japan. For example. such efforts were set aside. A group of major Canadian corporations also called for urgent action regarding climate change. 418 US cities in 50 states. In the United States. Eastern Canadian Provinces. Seattle. the California Legislature reached an agreement with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to reduce the state's greenhouse-gas emissions. San Jose. Most prominent among advocates of Kyoto have been the European Union and many environmentalist organizations. District of Columbia. Kyoto Now!. others seeing a highly inequitable and inefficient agreement which would do little to curb greenhouse gas emissions. however. Los Angeles. Further. Full list of cities and mayors: Advocates of the Kyoto Protocol state that reducing these emissions is crucially important. Rhode Island. Little Rock. and have suggested that Kyoto is only a first step. Philadelphia. the year just before their communist regimes fell. and that the inclusion of emissions trading has led some environmental economists to embrace the treaty. Madison. Others argue the protocol does not go far enough to curb greenhouse emissions (Niue. San Francisco. Denver. which aims to use student interest to support pressure towards reducing emissions as targeted by the Kyoto Protocol compliance. by 25% by the year 2020. The governments of all of the countries whose parliaments have ratified the Protocol are supporting it. Boston. An international day of action was planned for 3 December 2005. as carbon dioxide is causing the earth's atmosphere to heat up. and Maryland. It should be noted. The United Nations and some individual nations' scientific advisory bodies (including the G8 national science academies) have also issued reports favoring the Kyoto Protocol. As of March 11. Delaware. there is controversy surrounding the use of 1990 as a base year. Countries had different achievements in energy efficiency in 1990. Michigan. . There is an argument that the use of per capita emissions as a basis in the following Kyoto-type treaties can reduce the sense of inequality among developed and developing countries alike. No country has passed national legislation requiring compliance with their treaty obligation. which rank at 12th-largest in the world. Minneapolis. Austin.
5% -8% Portugal +41% +27% -8% EU-15 -0. Moreover. Just as in the case of climatology. there is an argument that a much lower discount rate should be utilized. While it has been difficult to arrive at a scenario under which the net benefits of Kyoto are positive using traditional discounting methods such as the Shadow Price of Capital approach. Over a long time horizon such as that in which benefits accrue under Kyoto. this difficulty is generally not applicable to "relative" comparison of alternative policies under a long time horizon. together with production costs. there is disagreement due to large uncertainties in economic variables. the precautionary principle could apply to any political. small changes in the discount rate create very large discrepancies between net benefits in various studies. but it could be equally argued that the study of the allocation of resources does include how those resources are allocated over time. Some of the estimates indicate either that observing the Kyoto Protocol is more expensive than not observing the Kyoto Protocol or that the Kyoto Protocol has a marginal net benefit which exceeds the cost of simply adjusting to global warming.8% 0% -8% Greece +27% +25% -8% Ireland +23% +13% -8% Japan +6. social.  Change in greenhouse gas EU Assigned Objective Treaty Obligation 2008-2012 Emissions (1990-2004) for 2012 Germany -17% -21% -8% Canada +27% N/A -6% Australia +25% N/A +8%* Spain +49% +15% -8% United States +16% N/A -7%* Norway +10% N/A +1% New Zealand +21% N/A 0% France -0. to identify energy strategies. they set the political precedent for bigger (and more effective) cuts in the future.8% N/A -8% Country . and that failure to do so could risk a recession worth up to twenty percent of global GDP.  They also advocate commitment to the precautionary principle. but have a superficial overall benefit. Defenders of the Kyoto Protocol argue.5% N/A -6% United Kingdom -14% -12. however. This is because changes in discount rates tend to equally adjust the net cost/benefit of different policies unless there are significant discrepancies of cost and benefit over time horizon. This may appear to be a philosophical value judgement. overall costs.  However. outside the realm of economics. Increase in greenhouse gas emission since 1990 Below is a list of the change in greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 to 2004 for some countries that are part of the Climate Change Convention as reported by the United Nations. However. economic or environmental consequence. that while the initial greenhouse gas cuts may have little effect. The Stern Review (a UK government sponsored report into the economic impacts of climate change) concluded that one percent of global GDP is required to be invested in order to mitigate the effects of climate change. making such defence moot. which might have equally devastating effect in terms of poverty and environment. not higher. Discount rates One problem in attempting to measure the "absolute" costs and benefits of different policies to global warming is choosing a proper discount rate. that high rates are biased toward the current generation. Critics point out that additional higher curbs on carbon emission are likely to cause significantly higher increase in cost. " The recent Copenhagen consensus project found that the Kyoto Protocol would slow down the process of global warming. a study in Nature found that "accounting only for local external costs. making the precautionary argument irrelevant. compliance with the Kyoto Protocol would imply lower.Cost-benefit analysis Economists have been trying to analyse the overall net benefit of Kyoto Protocol through cost-benefit analysis.
3 points. In addition.5%. China. 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. This naturally has led to questions and debate about the merits of a mandatory emissions cap approach (as currently adopted under Kyoto) versus a voluntary approach to emissions reduction (as adopted by the United States. From 2000-2004. America's rate of growth in CO2 emissions was eight percentage points lower than from 1995-2000. but are not required to meet numerical limitations. Mexico and South Africa agreed in principle on the outline of a successor to the Kyoto Protocol.5% from 1999 to 2004. 2007. Italy. but from 2000-2004. the US emissions were up by 16%.8% between 1990 and 2004. leaders at the 33rd G8 summit agreed that the G8 nations would 'aim to at least halve global CO2 emissions by 2050'. but with no enforcement mechanism. Japan. Below is a table of the changes in CO2 emission of some other countries which are large contributors. At the same time. Japan. Within the past year. . being part of the cluster of countries implementation (see objectives in the list above).1%.* Since Australia and the US did not ratify the treaty. Building on these activities. as a group. While UN statistics indicate that. Russia. That happened while the US economy was expanding 38% faster than the economies of the EU-15 while experiencing population growth at twice the rate of the EU15. the EU-15 group of nations (a large subset of EU-23) reduced their emissions by 0. and the United States. long-term projects are schedule to deploy clean energy and environment technologies and services. the emissions targets are not a treaty obligation. with irregular fluctuations from one year to another but a general trend to increase. the United Kingdom and Sweden were the only EU countries on pace to meet their Kyoto emissions commitments by 2010. 2007. United Kingdom. Successor Main article: Post-Kyoto negotiations on greenhouse gas emissions In the non-binding 'Washington Declaration' agreed on February 16. Presidents or Prime Ministers from Canada. Supporters of the pact see it as complementing the Kyoto Protocol whilst being more flexible while critics have said the pact will be ineffective without any enforcement measures and ultimately aims to void the negotiations leading to the Protocol called to replace the current Kyoto Protocol (negotiations started in Montreal in December 2005). Germany. Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate See also: Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate The Asia Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate is an agreement between six Asia-Pacific nations: Australia. the six nations have initiated nearly 100 projects aimed at clean energy capacity building and market formation. and hoped that this would be in place by 2009. The partnership had its official launch in January 2006 at a ceremony in Sydney. the 36 Kyoto signatory countries can meet the 5% reduction target by 2012. The pact allows those countries to set their goals for reducing greenhouse gas emissions individually. Part of the increases for some of the European Union countries are still inline with the treaty. while emission rose 2. Australia. the United States. compared to the EU-15's 4. On June 7. China. South Korea. India. most of the progress in greenhouse gas reduction has come from the stark decline in Eastern European countries' emissions after the fall of communism in the 1990s. India. the EU group of 23 (EU-23) Nations had reduced their emissions by 5%. Further complicating the debate over the Kyoto Protocol is the fact that CO2 emissions growth in the US was far ahead of that of the EU-15 from 1990-2000. the United States' CO2 emissions growth rate was 2. France. As of year-end 2006. while the EU-15 saw an increase of 2. Country China India Change in greenhouse gas Emissions (1990-2004) +47% +55% Comparing total greenhouse gas emissions in 2004 to 1990 levels. Brazil. They envisage a global cap-and-trade system that would apply to both industrialized nations and developing countries.
Often. accepting or approving it. States that signed the Convention become Parties by ratifying. Participation is voluntary. By the end of 2003. and countries that have agreed to be bound by the Convention are known as Parties. export. 50% of Parties lacked one or more of the four major requirements for a Party: designation of Management and Scientific Authorities (see below). Trust Fund money is not available to Parties to improve implementation or compliance. a formal warning. Species may be proposed for listing by Parties other than the range states and may be listed despite objections by range state nations if there is sufficient (2/3 majority) support for the listing. which has to adopt its own domestic legislation to make sure that CITES is implemented at the national level. recommendations to all Parties to suspend CITES related trade with offending party (see ). or with penalties incommensurate with the gravity of the crime and insufficient deterrents to wildlife traders . will notify all other parties. These activities. domestic legislation is either non-existent (especially in Parties that have not ratified it). species specific programs such as Monitoring the Illegal Killing of Elephants MIKE) must find external funding (often from NGOs and bilateral aid) Although the Convention itself does not provide for arbitration or dispute in the case of noncompliance. Not one species protected by CITES has become extinct as a result of trade since the Convention entered into force in 1975 (but see case studies in  and Stiles 2004 for more nuanced discussions of the role CITES has played in the fate of particular species). and failing to produce annual reports (the most common. on 3 March 1973. a visit by the Secretariat to verify capacity. and all those outside Secretariat activities (training. States that were not signatories may become Parties by acceding to the Convention. laws prohibiting the trade in violation of CITES. These discussions are usually among the most contentious at COP meetings. Other actions (not provided for in the Convention itself. Its aim is to ensure that international trade in specimens of wild animals and plants does not threaten their survival and it accords varying degrees of protection to more than 33. penalties for such trade. the dictation of corrective measures to be taken by offending Party before Secretariat will resume cooperation/recommend resumption of trade. it does not take the place of national laws.000 species of animals and plants.. Rather it provides a framework to be respected by each Party. As of September 2007. As of 2002. Bilateral sanctions have been imposed on the basis of national legislation (e.C. drafted as a result of a resolution adopted in 1963 at a meeting of members of the World Conservation Union (IUCN). when informed of an infraction by a Party. excessive trade. Each Party to the Convention must designate one or more Management Authorities in charge of administering the licensing system and one or more Scientific Authorities to make judgements about the effects of trade on the status of the species. CITES is one of the largest conservation agreements in existence.[2. 30 years of CITES in practice has resulted in several strategies to deal with infractions by Parties. United States. It was then open for signature until 31 December 1974. The Secretariat.g. but derived from subsequent COP 11 resolutions) which may be taken against the offending Party include: mandatory confirmation of all permits by the Secretariat. These require that all import. Funding for the activities of the Secretariat and COP meetings comes from a Trust Fund derived from Party contributions. on 1 July 1975. 172 States had become Parties to the Convention. suspension of cooperation from the Secretariat. Although CITES is legally binding on the Parties. Species are proposed for listing at COPs.] ENDANGERED SPECIES CITES (the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora ) is an international agreement between governments. . the USA used the Pelly Amendment to deal a blow to Japanese tortoiseshell exports in 1991). re-export and introduction of species covered by the Convention has to be authorized through a permitting system. lax enforcement. D. Infractions may include negligence with respect to permit issuing. laws providing for the confiscation of specimens  The text of the Convention was concluded at a meeting of representatives of 80 countries in Washington. the next of which will be held in the Hague in June of 2007. The Secretariat will give the Party time to respond to the allegations and may provide technical assistance to prevent further infractions. all signatory States had become Parties. It entered into force after the 10th ratification by a signatory State. CITES works by subjecting international trade in specimens of selected species to certain controls.
although this has been changing (see e. The African elephant (Loxodonta africana) is currently split-listed. Nile Crocodile. with all populations except those of Botswana. leopards (Panthera pardus). Suggestions for improvement in the operation of CITES include: more regular missions by the Secretariat (not reserved just for high profile species). while some are on another.g. The survival of the white rhino is attributed more to increased levels of field protection than exclusively to CITES listing. where there was adequate on-the-ground protection. The management authority of the exporting country must make a non-detriment finding. non-detriment findings require copious amounts of information. Jaguar (Panthera onca). it seeks to prevent unsustainable use. assuring that export of the individuals will not adversely affect the wild population.). the development of CITES Action Plans (akin to Biodiversity Action Plans related to the Convention on Biological Diversity) including: designation of Scientific/Management Authorities and national enforcement strategies. These species are threatened with extinction if trade is not halted. the dugong and manatees (Sirenia). more emphasis on enforcement-including a technical committee enforcement officer. Asian elephant (Elephas maximus). the species survived. the wildlife trade monitoring network and Parties). TRAFFIC.000 species of plants are protected by CITES against over-exploitation through international trade. In particular. The endangered species are grouped in the Appendices according to how threatened they are by international trade and the measures that apply to their trade. Development of a funding mechanism similar to that of the Montreal Protocol (developed nations contribute to a fund for developing nations) could allow more funds for non-Secretariat activities. the Management Authority of the exporting state is expected to check that an import permit has been secured and that the importing state will be able to care for the specimen adequately.000 species of animals and 28. and all Rhinoceros species (except some Southern African subspecies populations). Namibia. Some people argue that this is risky as specimens from a more protected population could be ‘laundered’ through the borders of a Party whose population is not as strictly protected. There has been increasing willingness within the Parties to allow for trade in products from well-managed populations. Any trade in these species requires export and import permits. Those of Botswana. tigers (Panthera tigris subspecies). but it is likely that field protection might not have increased without CITES protection.  . some populations of African Elephant (Loxodonta africana). Trade of captive bred animals or cultivated plants of Appendix I species are considered Appendix II specimens. sales of the South African white rhino have been able to generate revenues which were later applied to conservation. Trade in wild-caught specimens of these species is illegal (permitted only in exceptional licenced circumstances). with concomitant requirements (see below and Article VII). Asiatic lion (Panthera leo persica). Species may be split-listed meaning that some populations of a species are on one Appendix. non-reporting from Parties means Secretariat monitoring is incomplete. While listing the species on Appendix I not only increased the price of rhino horn (which fueled more poaching) in South Africa. CITES would benefit from access to GEF funds-although this is difficult given the GEFs more ecosystem approach-or other more regular funds. the chimpanzee species (Pan spp. not promote sustainable use (which generally conflicts with the Convention on Biological Diversity).Roughly 5. Shortcomings of and Concerns with CITES General concerns about the structure and philosophy of CITES include: it remains focused on species and does not address habitat loss. improvement of national legislation and enforcement. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). South Africa and Zimbabwe are listed in Appendix II. and it has no capacity to address domestic trade in listed species. South Africa and Zimbabwe listed in Appendix I. Listing the species over the whole of its range would prevent such ‘laundering’ but also restricts trade in wildlife products by range states with good management practices. African elephant. the 'household effects' clause is often not rigid enough/specific enough to prevent CITES violations by means of this Article (VII). Notable animal species include the gorilla (Gorilla gorilla). and funding does not provide for increased on the ground enforcement (must apply for bilateral aid for most projects of this nature Specific weaknesses in the text include: it does not stipulate guidelines for the 'non-detriment' finding required of national Scientific Authorities. better reporting by Parties (and the consolidation of information from all sources-NGOs. South African white rhino case studies in Hutton and Dickinson 2000) it does not explicitly address market demand . ecosystem approaches and the effect poverty can have on its effectiveness. incentives for reporting and timelines for both Action Plans and reporting. Namibia.
commercial fishers dump more than 20 million tons of nontargeted fish alone— most of them dead or dying—back into the oceans. Every fish caught is entangled in the net. The sea was very rough for half the day. was the overwhelming stench of fish vomit. landing with a thud. many were vomiting up their guts. I jumped at the chance to raise awareness about the horrors that these beautiful creatures endure on the journey from sea to supermarket. sea birds. It’s a more invasive process.” I silently told them—and myself. I was expecting to go out on a large trawler. the birds will take care of it. On the boat I was on. like the one you see here. where they twitched and gasped. with just my face peeking out. These boats use huge nets. who commonly swim with large tuna. Fish come out of the nets with their flanks scraped completely raw from being forced to rub against rocks. which is the primary method of catching tuna but is also used for a variety of other fish species. and the fish come aboard one by one as the net is reeled in. thinking. when a filmmaker from Norway’s TV2 contacted me about producing a documentary about PETA’s Anti-Fishing Campaign. but it turned out to be a tiny twoperson gill netter. slowly bleeding to death. I Was Covered in Vomit A few fish were considered too small to take and were tossed back into the sea. The rest was torture … I Had to Watch Them Twitch and Gasp The documentary crew wanted to film me aboard a commercial fishing boat in Norway.K. on the northern tip of the country. feeling animals—who value their lives as we value ours—needlessly killed because we humans can’t seem to break our addiction to the taste of flesh. and each and every fish is handled by the workers. So. But anyone who knows me will tell you that I have a soft spot in my heart for fish. And for what? So many beautiful. the head and viscera—half of the dead animal—were thrown overboard. I watched as cod after cod was violently extracted from the net—hundreds of fish squeezed and torn out of the tangle. the fish were gutted and beheaded. To catch tuna fish. However. Later. their eyes bulging from the pressure change. which is even worse—though it hardly seems possible—for the fish who are caught. a more personal one. Purse seining for tuna has aroused public outrage because dolphins are sometimes caught in the nets. office. some of which stretch for miles. Such waste is not unusual. I’ll stand up for any animal who needs help—from the tiniest mouse to the mightiest elephant. Every year. fishers track pods of dolphins. This figure doesn’t even take into account the other hapless animals—turtles. physically. Some of these fish may have been struggling in the nets for up to 24 hours.[3. On a trawler or purse seiner.] FISHING IN THE HIGH SEAS Commercial Fishing: A Firsthand Account They Die Slowly … by Dawn Carr As the director of PETA’s U.” From the net. boasting about how it uses all parts of the cod. and he said. my coworkers at PETA’s headquarters in the U. the ship’s captain. After a few minutes.” I told Bjorn. The edges of the net are slowly cinched together. But the absolute worst thing for me. dubbed me “Miss Fish” because of my efforts to let others know how fish suffer when hooked for fun or food. and it was extremely cold—I was bundled up in a huge Arctic suit. some were too tired. so we traveled to Mehamn. Some were still thrashing. trapping hundreds of tuna (usually weighing between 6 to 40 pounds each) in the net. Fish Overboard The magazine that I read on my flight to Mehamn had an article about the fishing industry in Norway. well into the frigid Arctic. the net slicing into their bodies. “That fish will not survive. It was not long before I was covered with fish blood. that’s one-fourth of all the fish caught worldwide. and drop a net into the water to surround the schooling tuna. seals—who are unfortunate enough to be caught in the boats’ massive nets. “It will soon be over. But a gill netter is even worse for the fish.S. their gill arches were slit and they were thrown into the next bin. vomit and guts. which is then drawn up and closed like a laundry bag. Before I came to England. debris and other fish trapped in the net with them. “Oh. that indiscriminately swallow up everything—and everyone—in their paths. Purse Seines Another type of net is a purse seine (pronounced purse 'sAn). the fish were roughly tossed into a metal bin. purse seines also kill . fish are hauled up in masses and dumped onto the deck.
If they are still alive when they reach the deck of the boat. . dolphins. although schools may consist of several different species. Tuna have one of the largest ranges of any fish.500 pounds. Once hooked. sea turtles. luring any animal in the area to grab a free meal. and haddock are fully conscious when their gills are slit and they are disemboweled. The largest tuna are bluefin tuna. They will be dropped alive into the freezer compartment below. are dumped onto ice. Scientists estimate that fish endure up to 15 minutes of excruciating pain before they lose consciousness. which has caused their populations to decline by more than 90 percent in the past 50 years. slowly freezing to death or being crushed when thousands of their schoolmates are piled on top of them. are pulled toward the boat by the baited line.millions of tuna. weighing hundreds of pounds each.5 feet long and can weigh hundreds of pounds. and even eyes—any part of the fish that will allow them to haul the animals aboard without ripping out the hook. The top edge of a purse seine that has encircled and trapped fish is shown in this aerial photo. a school of dolphins has been caught in this purse seine. Young tuna travel in schools containing individuals of similar size. and with a top speed of 40 miles an hour. and other marine animals are injured and killed by long-lines each year. such as yellowfin and albacore. large fish such as tuna. and many others struggle for hours until the boat returns to reel them in. sharks. Tuna fish are consumed more than any other fish in the ocean. can grow to be 6. Ships unreel as much as 75 miles of line bristling with hundreds of thousands of baited hooks. Long-Lines Long-lining is one of the most widespread methods of fishing. like flounder. and they are clubbed to death or slowly bleed to death when their gills are sliced open. some animals drown or bleed to death in the water. Hundreds of fish are suffocating aboard this ship. sides. intelligent animals who are just as capable of feeling pain as dolphins. Billions of fish. Large fish such as swordfish and yellowfin tuna. Many of the fish are still alive. they can travel more than 100 miles in one day. The hooks are dragged behind the boat at varying depths or are kept afloat by buoys and left overnight. and the fish will be pulled aboard. Small fish. More About Tuna “Small” tuna species. So a long-line or purse seine might bring up dozens of 3-foot-long tuna of various species on one day because they were all schooling together. Fishers sink pickaxes into the animals’ fins. It will be drawn closed. which can reach 15 feet in length and weigh more than 1. birds. In addition to the hundreds of fish below the surface. cod.
squeezing some of them so tightly against the sides of the nets that their eyes bulge and burst out of their skulls. On some ships. crushing everything in their path. surviving fish undergo excruciating decompression. killing fish and other animals who had been protected by their rocky habitat. keeping the net close to the ocean floor while stirring up sediment and forcing all the animals in the net’s path into the closed end. Fish who survive this terrifying journey are tossed onto ice to slowly freeze to death or be crushed when piles of schoolmates are thrown on top of them. Bottom trawling literally scrapes the ocean floor clean of life and is considered to be the underwater equivalent of clear-cutting forests. bottom trawlers have huge wheels along the entire bottom edge of the net. This “advance” has dramatically expanded the range of bottom trawlers. and placed into the ships’ frozen storage areas. processing begins immediately. and ocean debris. . pops out their eyes. Bottom-trawling nets rip hundreds of tons of animals out of the ocean. The scales of many fish are completely ground off. catching every rock.Bottom Trawlers Bottom trawlers target species such as orange roughy. trapped fish are dragged along the ocean floor with netted rocks. bottom trawling is one of the most environmentally damaging fishing techniques. bottom-trawling nets were limited to parts of the ocean that had a soft sediment floor because rocks and coral tore holes in the netting. piece of coral. fish are sliced in half. coral. The heavy metal wheels roll along the ocean floor. Enormous bag-shaped nets are pulled along the ocean floor. When hauled out of the water. The intense internal pressure ruptures their swimbladders. and pushes their esophagi and stomachs out through their mouths. and fish in their paths. For hours. Click here to learn more about the environmental devastation caused by fishing. allowing fish to escape. so as they are suffocating or freezing to death. packaged. Now. cod. Consequently. but keep the nets just off the ocean floor to keep them from being torn. Large metal plates at each end of the net drag along the ground. Bottom Trawling “Advances” When first developed. and haddock.
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