25 April 2008

-What is the Kyoto Protocol and what can it do to curb climate change?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement, initially negotiated by government representatives meeting in Kyoto, Japan, in 1997, that sets targets to reduce the greenhouse gas emissions causing climate change. It requires a variety of actions by governments, including specific emission reduction requirements for industrial countries, as well as provisions to assist developing countries in limiting their emissions.

For the Protocol to “enter into force,” it must be ratified by at least 55 nations representing 55 percent of industrial-country 1990 carbon dioxide emissions. As of as of 15 April 2004, 122 countries (representing 44.2 percent of industrial country 1990 emissions) had ratified or acceded to the Kyoto Protocol, including those of the European Union, Canada, Japan, and a host of developing countries. But because the world’s largest emitter—the United States—withdrew from Kyoto, the 55 percent threshold that allows the treaty to enter into force will be crossed only if Russia ratifies the agreement.

According to many studies, enforcing the Kyoto Protocol would protect the environment, reduce air pollution, and create new jobs in industries such as energy conservation, solar energy, wind power, and hydrogen technology, all of which could become powerful growth sectors in the decades ahead.

The Kyoto Protocol, during its first phase (through 2012) is a modest, yet important first step. Perhaps its greatest contribution in the short term will be to put in place mechanisms that can be built on, such as emissions trading and the transfer of clean technologies (such as renewable energy) to the developing world. Even though it hasn’t yet entered into force, it is already spurring corporations and governments to action, from the U.S. to the E.U. to Japan, and many developing countries as well.

No comments:

Lebanon Time-Line

SEARCH This Blog

Loading...

Introducing Lebanon

Coolly combining the ancient with the ultramodern, Lebanon is one of the most captivating countries in the Middle East. From the Phoenician findings of Tyre (Sour) and Roman Baalbek's tremendous temple to Beirut's BO18 and Bernard Khoury's modern movement, the span of Lebanon's history leaves many visitors spinning. Tripoli (Trablous) is considered to have the best souk in the country and is famous for its Mamluk architecture. It's well equipped with a taste of modernity as well; Jounieh, formerly a sleepy fishing village, is a town alive with nightclubs and glitz on summer weekends.

With all of the Middle East's best bits - warm and welcoming people, mind-blowing history and considerable culture, Lebanon is also the antithesis of many people's imaginings of the Middle East: mostly mountainous with skiing to boot, it's also laid-back, liberal and fun. While Beirut is fast becoming the region's party place, Lebanon is working hard to recapture its crown as the 'Paris of the Orient'.

The rejuvenation of the Beirut Central District is one of the largest, most ambitious urban redevelopment projects ever undertaken. Travellers will find the excitement surrounding this and other developments and designs palpable - and very infectious.

Finally, Lebanon's cuisine is considered the richest of the region. From hummus to hommard (lobster), you'll dine like a king. With legendary sights, hospitality, food and nightlife, what more could a traveller want?

Introducing Beirut

What Beirut is depends entirely on where you are. If you’re gazing at the beautifully reconstructed colonial relics and mosques of central Beirut’s Downtown, the city is a triumph of rejuvenation over disaster.

If you’re in the young, vibrant neighbourhoods of Gemmayzeh or Achrafiye, Beirut is about living for the moment: partying, eating and drinking as if there’s no tomorrow. If you’re standing in the shadow of buildings still peppered with bullet holes, or walking the Green Line with an elderly resident, it’s a city of bitter memories and a dark past. If you’re with Beirut’s Armenians, Beirut is about salvation; if you’re with its handful of Jews, it’s about hiding your true identity. Here you’ll find the freest gay scene in the Arab Middle East, yet homosexuality is still illegal. If you’re in one of Beirut’s southern refugee camps, Beirut is about sorrow and displacement; other southern districts are considered a base for paramilitary operations and south Beirut is home to infamous Hezbollah secretary general, Hassan Nasrallah. For some, it’s a city of fear; for others, freedom.

Throw in maniacal drivers, air pollution from old, smoking Mercedes taxis, world-class universities, bars to rival Soho and coffee thicker than mud, political demonstrations, and swimming pools awash with more silicone than Miami. Add people so friendly you’ll swear it can’t be true, a political situation existing on a knife-edge, internationally renowned museums and gallery openings that continue in the face of explosions, assassinations and power cuts, and you’ll find that you’ve never experienced a capital city quite so alive and kicking – despite its frequent volatility.