This article throws light upon the five options for global warming mitigation. The options are: 1. Kyoto Protocol 2. Clean Development Mechanism 3. Possible Human Responses to Global Warming 4. Carbon Credit 5. Carbon Sequestration.
Option # 1. Kyoto Protocol:
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 is the stabilisation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. The Kyoto Protocol now covers more than 160 countries globally and over 55% of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Option # 2. Clean Development Mechanism:
The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is an arrangement under the Kyoto Protocol allowing industrialised countries with a greenhouse gas reduction commitment (so-called Annex 1 countries) to invest in emission reducing projects in developing countries as an alternative to what is generally considered more costly emission reductions in their own countries.
Option # 3. Possible Human Responses to Global Warming:
1. Mitigation—reduce greenhouse gas emissions;
2. Adaptation-change behaviour in response to climate change;
3. An appropriate combination of these two;
4. Global warming is causing profound effect on our planet earth and produce serious impacts on plants, animals, humans and on the total environment;
5. These impacts depend on human action. We need to learn how to conserve our use of fossil fuels to minimise production of greenhouse gases. This will slow down the effects of global warming.
6. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions (mitigation) and adaptation to impacts are both important responses,
7. Important initiatives are in progress across the world, but they need long term support to be successful.
Option # 4. Carbon Credit:
Carbon credit is defined by Kyoto protocol as a mode emissions trading. The carbon credit allocated to governments with Kyoto targets is called Assigned Amount Units (AAUs). In addition, there are three other types of credit called Certified Emission Reductions (CER), Emission Reduction Units (ERU) and Removal Units (RU) which are generated through the different types of project.
Carbon emission trading allows nations whose carbon emissions are below their Kyoto target to sell carbon credits to countries whose emission exceed their Kyoto target. The largest carbon trading scheme is that set up by European Union in an effort to meet its 8% Kyoto target.
Option # 5. Carbon Sequestration:
Carbon sequestration refers to the removal of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into a long-lived stable form that does not affect atmospheric chemistry. Currently, the only viable way to trap atmospheric carbon dioxide is via photosynthesis, where carbon dioxide is absorbed by plants and turned into carbon compounds for plant growth.
Carbon is considered sequestered if it ends up in a stable form, such as wood or soil organic matter. Soil carbon sequestration is an important and immediate sink for removing atmospheric carbon dioxide and slowing global warming.
As a developing nation, India (with population of over 1,079.72 million) is not yet obliged to make any cuts in greenhouse emissions under Kyoto. However, it recognises that many of its one billion people will be vulnerable to the effects of climate change and therefore ratified the Kyoto protocol in August 2002.
The same year its Prime Minister, Atal Behari Vajpayee, rejected calls for poor nations to set up efforts to tackle global warming, saying that countries like India produced only a fraction of the total greenhouse gas emissions, and could not afford to pay the extra costs of cutting them. Half a decade on, with India’s economy rapidly developing and its standard of living also rising, its emissions are beginning to climb.
They are estimated to have risen by more then 50 per cent in the 1990s and figures for 2004 now rate it as the world’s fifth largest emitter if the European Unions 15 Kyoto members are considered as a single entity.
A coordination committee chaired by Prime Minister of India called Prime Ministers Council on climate change was constituted in June, 2007 to coordinate national action for assessment, adaptation and mitigation of climate change. The first meeting of the council was held in July, 2007 and the second meeting of the Council was held in November, 2007.
One of the important decisions, among many other decisions, has been to prepare a National document compiling action taken by India for addressing the challenge of climate change and the action that it proposes to take, be prepared as India’s national report on climate change.