Climate Change
The Kyoto Protocol
What You Can Do
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Last Updated:
16 January 2003

Contact the Author:
Eric Bond

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Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol


The climate of the Earth affects all aspects of life in a fundamental manner. Variations in the climate are part of our daily experiences and are essential in governing health, food production, and well-being on this planet.1

Climate change is an entirely natural process that occurs over a wide range of timescales, from a few years to hundreds of millions of years.2 Recently, there has been a great deal of concern and debate about whether human activity is affecting the temperature cycles of the planet. Global temperatures have risen 0.6°C over the past two centuries alone, a fact that many scientists find alarming.3

The countries of the world have taken steps towards creating international agreements to help control the human activities that are believed to affect climate change. Under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol is one such agreement that aims to reduce global emissions of greenhouse gases by the year 2012. There is, however, controversy over the politics behind the agreement and whether it will actually have a measurable, beneficial effect on the climate.4

Despite the many differences of opinion, one fact remains clear: climate change is and will remain an issue that must be faced by the entire world as a whole. A better understanding of how, why, and when this issue should be addressed can be achieved by continuing your visit and examining any of the following sections: