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IPCC and Kyoto

IPCC stands for the United Nations appointed InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change. The panel was established in 1988 by the WMO (World Meteorological Organization) and UNEP (United Nations Environment Programme), and has the mandate to collect scientific data concerning anthropological climate change, and make reccomendations based on its findings. It has released 5 reports:

  1. IPCC First Assessment Report, 1990
  2. IPCC Second Assessment Report, 1995
  3. IPCC Third Assessment Report, 2001
  4. IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, 2007
  5. IPCC Fifth Assessment Report, 2014

These reports support the UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change), the principal treaty for coordinating international response to the threat of climate change. The aim of the UNFCCC is: "to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic [i.e., human-induced] interference with the climate system".

To support this aim, the IPCC investigates the "the scientific, technical and socio-economic information relevant to understanding the scientific basis of risk of human-induced climate change, its potential impacts and options for adaptation and mitigation." It does this by collating findings from a broad range of scientific publications, from thousands of scientifically-qualified authors. It upholds the peer-reviewed requisite for sources.

The IPCC reports also contain a "Summary for Policymakers", involving the approval of more than 120 governments.

In recognition of the outstanding quality of work, and its vital importance, in the face of fossil fuel industry anti-propaganda tactics and American vested interest obstruction and denial, the IPCC was awarded the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, shared with Al Gore, also a high-profile climate change activist. The award of the Peace Prize was also an acknowledgement that destabilising climate is a major cause of human socio-economic distress, deprivation, displacement, and political breakdown and consequent war.

The Kyoto Protocol is a 1997 agreement, which is part of the 1992 UNFCCC, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992.

A protocol is a supplemental treaty or agreement to an initial treaty. The UNFCCC (United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, 1992) set out a general framework for greenhouse gas emission reductions. More specific individual targets, provisions and regulations, were nutted out and set down in the Kyoto Protocol, 1997. Playing its part as perennial obstruction to international consensus, the USA demonstrated the principle that signing the original treaty does not oblige a state to sign and ratify the subsequent protocols, thereby undermining the will and spirit of the other 192 states who did sign and ratify both the treaty and subsequent protocol.

Content © Andrew Bone. All rights reserved. Created : June 17, 2015 Last updated :February 21, 2016

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