This paper will discuss Canada’s support of the Kyoto Protocol and examine how Canada can implement the required changes to be in compliance with the treaty.
The start of the Kyoto Protocol was on December 11, 1997, when more than 160 nations met in Kyoto to discuss binding limits on greenhouse gases. The agreement, the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, called for the reduction of five percent of greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels during the 2008 to 2012 period. Canada’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol was a six percent reduction during the commitment period.
By 2002, the treaty had still not been ratified by Canada or the required number of nations. Alberta opposed the ratification of the Kyoto Protocol and argued that Canada should come up with its own climate change plan. The province proposed a plan that reduced emissions less drastically and over a longer period of time. Alberta’s plan was to cut the intensity of 1990 emissions by up to 50 percent by 2020, defining intensity as a measurement of harmful gases instead of the volume of overall emissions. On November 21, 2002, the federal government released its own Climate Change Plan, which promised annual cuts of 240 million tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions.
On December 17, 2002, Canada formally ratified the Kyoto Protocol, thus becoming the 99th country to ratify the agreement. According to Article 25 of the Kyoto Protocol, “this Protocol shall enter 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 per cent of the total carbon dioxide emissions for 1990 for the Parties included in Annex I, have deposited their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession.” With Canada ratifying the agreement, the total of 1990 emission was brought to 40.6 percent; Russia accounted...