[EDITORIALS]Preparing for Kyoto Protocol

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[EDITORIALS]Preparing for Kyoto Protocol

The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, the Kyoto Protocol, will go into effect in January, seven years after its adoption in 1997. Despite the universal belief that global warming should be prevented to protect the human race, the ratification of the protocol has been delayed because its implementation will significantly influence industries.
In order to reduce emissions of six kinds of greenhouse gases that accelerate global warming, the industrial structure of a country must be changed so that the consumption of fossil fuels, such as coal and petrol, are reduced. But the restructuring will cost a great deal. The United States, which produces the largest amount of greenhouse gases, has not joined the treaty for this reason.
It is fortunate for the human race that the Kyoto Protocol goes into effect next year, thanks to Russia’s recent decision, though it came belatedly.
The effects of global warming and climate change could threaten humans in the near future. The sooner we take measures against such threats, the better it will be for our future.
In that sense, it is regrettable that the United States is neglecting its duty as the only world superpower by refusing to sign the convention for economic reasons.
The Kyoto Protocol stipulates that the whole world must reduce the emission of greenhouse gases to the level produced in 1990.
Korea ratified the treaty in November 2002. Its greenhouse gas emissions have consistently increased in the last 10 years, becoming the ninth-largest producer of greenhouse gas in the world in 2002.
Moreover, no effort was made to reduce the emissions in recent years. The volume Korea must reduce will be decided through negotiations, and the reduction plan will go into force from 2013. Some estimate that Korea will have to spend trillions of won for this purpose.
Although compulsory reduction will be in force almost 10 years from now, we will be in trouble if we are not fully prepared by then.
It is difficult to reduce the amount of energy we use every day. From now, we have to restructure our industries according to an energy-saving model and eliminate energy waste. Especially, the government and businesses must establish practical plans through close consultations. There is no time to waste.
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