Can international environmental agreements be successful?Have the actions of Canada and America demonstrated the failure of international agreements that address climate change?Has the Paris Accord now replaced the Kyoto Protocol as the epitome of international environmental legislation or is it just the latest version/incarnation of an international environmental agreement? Yes Paris replaced Kyoto as the epitome of international environmental legislation because:It has become the new and improved edition”Paris is a realistic goal, so long as the federal and provincial governments take action.
That is what was missing with Kyoto” said Clare Demerse, federal policy advisor with Clean Energy CanadaIt is attainable, unlike the KPIt has new factors that make it more accomodating for everyoneParis, unlike Kyoto, is non-binding and incorporates a system for enforcing each individual country’s developmentDoes not include a general global emissions target, each country can establish their own targets The Paris Accord includes more countries (172 countries) than Kyoto and gives them more flexibility to meet their own goalsThe Paris Accord does not have particular consequences if target carbon emissions are not met by a specific date, whereas the Kyoto Protocol has financial repercussions that numerous countries fearIt has ensured everybody contributesRich countries such as Canada were expected to contribute more for the Kyoto protocol- there was a schism between developed and developing countriesThe Paris Accord understands that this is a global problem and everyone should be pitching inFor example, China wasn’t even subject to an emissions target for KP because it was seen as a developing countryPA emphasized the Green Climate Fund, which sends money from affluent countries to more developing ones. This helped attract many developing nations to sign onto the deal. The U.
S deposited $500 million to this fund. (Although, the Republicans were fighting against future deposits.)These differences in the PA are all results of the fact that countries have realized the financial benefit of clean energy, and are more willing to participate now than beforePA has “Marked policy movements” which was missing from Kyoto 2. Considering international law, should the Canadian Government (as a UN member who signed the Kyoto Protocol) be subject to penalties within the UN for its actions? Considering that the Protocols were ratified in the House of Commons should the politicians who arbitrarily pulled Canada out of Kyoto be held to domestic penalties?No, couldn’t be subject to penalties within the UN because they were able to legally and formally withdraw from the ProtocolIn 2011, Canada’s Environment Minister, Peter Kent claimed that the country would have to face the crippling penalties of failing to meet the levels set out by the Kyoto Protocol. (Richard 2011).
Canada’s Kyoto target reductions were not being met, and the target soon became unrealistic. If Canada did not withdraw, the approximate fines would have been $13.6 billion. This would have severely affected the Canadian economy and its citizens.The politicians who subjectively withdrew Canada out of Kyoto must be punished on the grounds that they didn’t abide by the proper procedure of pulling out of an international and legally binding agreement. If the House of Commons made the decision to withdraw, it would have been seen as a lot more serious rather than fickle. If the decision was made on a united front, the decision might’ve received less flack.
Our reputation, which Canada is so intent on retaining, was harmed. It is vital that legislators handle international law carefully because one wrong decision could cause lots of harm for us.An appeal was filed with the Supreme Court hoping to debate the Government. The government is breaking the Canadian law by not adhering to the KPIA. It was the first climate change lawsuit in Canadian history.3. Why do you think Canada chose to pass the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act (KPIA) in the House of Commons in 2007? This action arguably forced Canada to fulfill obligations under the Kyoto Protocol according to Canadian law and International law.
In Canada, the Paris Accord has been fully ratified, just like the Kyoto Protocol was; so how might this history of ours impact this new legal commitment?This action arguably forced Canada to fulfill obligations under the Kyoto Protocol according to Canadian law and International law. In Canada, the Paris Accord HELPThe KPIA established incentives and measures to be taken in order to meet the target levels for Canada established by the Kyoto Protocol itself “Chretien’s September 2002 announcement to ratify Kyoto was a surprise to many people,” Hill said. “You had western oil producers, provinces and industries putting together a major campaign to fight the Kyoto protocol and looking for alternative actions.” However, Godfrey’s petition, Hill continues, outlined that a majority of the Liberal MPs would vote for the Kyoto Protocol regardless of the cost and, in so doing, set the political context for the ratification of the treaty that summer.4. Prior to this assignment were you even aware of the Kyoto Protocol or Canada’s actions in that agreement? How bothered should Canadians be with the U.S for pulling out of the Paris Accord considering our behavior in the Kyoto Protocol? Does Canada’s behavior with the Paris Accord repair our reputation after the KP? No, I was not awareCanadians do not have the right to be angry with the U.
S for pulling out of the Paris Accord due to our actions in regards to the Kyoto ProtocolNo, Canada’s behavior with the Paris accord does not repair our reputation because one action does not negate another. Just because we have signed a new agreement does not mean it will rectify our past decisions. Canada’s commitments under the Paris Accord are to “reduce annual emissions to 30 percent less than they were in 2005 by 2030” (Rabson, 2017) Canada is “one of the biggest laggards, with the UN saying that not only are Canada’s existing targets too low, it does not yet have the policies in place to even meet them” (Rabson, 2017) in the Paris Accord.
The gap between Canada’s promises and actions because of the development of fossil fuels in Canada. Emission reduction goals set by the KP were not met so who is to say Canada will adhere to the Paris guidelines (with the same target emission reductions), especially since Paris is not legally binding as KP was5. The U.S did not sign the KP and thus were not held to any standards there. The U.S DID sign the Paris Accord but did NOT fully ratify it.
Do you believe that Canada’s reputation should suffer more for having signed, ratified, and then withdrawn from Kyoto compared to the U.S which never signed Kyoto and never fully ratified Paris?No, I do not think that Canada should suffer more than the U.S in this case. Anytime someone releases a statement (especially that of the U.S who garners extreme amount of publicity and influence) should make sure they understand what they are saying.
It does not matter that the U.S did not actually fully sign the documents, they were committed to the Paris Accord the moment they announced their involvement. Both Canada and the U.S’s actions were equally despicable6.
If International law is not as legally binding as domestic law, is it right that various countries place moral, economic, and political pressures on countries that do not follow it? Should countries be forced to follow the KP or the PA or should they be permitted to act in their own interests despite the fact that these are global issues?It is definitely right that countries place moral, economic, and political pressures on countries that do not follow international law because the issues and agreements discussed worldwide are applicable to every country. In times of domestic social crisis, countries often seek international support. If countries are able to rely on international laws/countries when they need it, they are required to follow the rules. It works better at keeping/attracting countries to contribute to environmental legislation. Whether countries have the legal right to back out of their climate commitments is irrelevant because as happened in the past with the KP, countries will do whatever they want, regardless of the legal ramifications.
Therefore, countries should be permitted to act in their own interest, with the hopes that they will still want to contribute. 7. Considering that Canada backed out of the Kyoto Protocol and the U.S.
backed out of the Paris Accord, are these examples of western nations (specifically North America) putting their own economy and interests ahead of the world environment? What right do we, the western world, have to pollute the international environment for our own gain and what consequences can you foresee for Canada and America in the future if we do not change our position? Yes, these are prime examples of western nations self centric and self serving actions. We do not have any right to pollute the international environment, and there will definitely be dire consequences in the near future for us. Canada feigns environmental protection concerns. Canada exports most of the fossil fuels we produce, and therefore the resulting greenhouse gas emissions appear on other countries’ ledgers instead of ours. This has allowed us to overlook the ways we contribute to and prosper from global climate change. There will be an abundance of pervasive consequences ranging from environmental to economic, to endangerment of human life. Besides the extreme events, there will be a long list of dire effects including: urban heat islands, air pollution, ageing infrastructure, and the degradation of water quality.
This will expand the weight on natural resources, and prompt their over use. Additionally, “climate change will cost Canada about $5 billion a year by 2020” (Mulholland, 2011). Furthermore, the increase in heat waves will cause a lot more deaths. “Up to three in four people will face the threat of dying from heat by 2100” (Leahy, 2017).This will expand the weight on common assets, and prompt their over-misuse and fatigue8. Are countries obligated to put the world before the interests of their own national people? At what point should the international community step in during situations where the environment is being so violated as to have an international/global impact?This is a case of globalism versus nationalism. Although it would be beneficial if countries put the world before the interests of their own nation, generally that is ideological thinking. They are not obligated to do so and most choose not to.
Countries view patriotism/nationalism as a benefit; they think their nation is the most vital and worth protecting It is hard to give a solid answer to when the international community should intervene. 9. Is there ever a time where the international community should have the authority to override sovereign rights for the greater good of the planet or is this idea the same as a sovereign nation infringing upon rights of an individual for the good of the majority?Globalization has a significant effect on sovereignty, and rightly so. International unions should have authority to override sovereign rights under certain circumstances for the greater good. If a country does something that negatively impacts the world to a large degree, then intervening is important. 10. Is it likely that we, as a species/world society, will be successful in impeding environmental degradation or perhaps even reversing the negative environmental effects that we have had on the planet? Take into consideration the state of the world: culture, politics, the economy, communication and cooperation between nations.
I genuinely do not believe we will be successful in achieving this. There are too many conflicting barriers that impede this positive development.