The Kyoto Protocol, which has become a significant global treaty on combating climate change, was first signed in 1997. The agreement set targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions for 37 developed countries and the European Union. However, one notable absence from the list was China, which was exempted from the original Kyoto Protocol agreement.
So, why was China left out of the initial agreement? There are several reasons.
Firstly, China`s exclusion was based on the fact that it was seen as a developing nation at the time of the Kyoto Protocol negotiations. Developed countries argued that it would be unfair to impose strict emission targets on developing nations, as they would need to rely on fossil fuels to fuel their economic growth.
Secondly, China`s absence from the original agreement also reflects the country`s position on climate change at the time. In the mid-1990s, China was focused on maintaining its economic growth and viewed climate change as a problem for developed countries to address.
Furthermore, China was not considered a significant emitter of greenhouse gases when the Kyoto Protocol was being negotiated. However, since then, China`s emissions have skyrocketed, and it is now the world`s largest emitter of carbon dioxide.
China`s absence from the Kyoto Protocol has led to criticism from some quarters, who have argued that China should have been included from the outset. They point out that China`s emissions have since soared, and that the country`s current level of greenhouse gas output makes it impossible to tackle climate change without its cooperation.
In recent years, China has taken steps to address its greenhouse gas emissions, and the country has become more active in global climate talks. It has set targets to reduce its emissions, and in 2015, it joined the Paris Climate Agreement, committing to limit the temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius.
In conclusion, China`s exclusion from the original Kyoto Protocol was based on a combination of factors, including its status as a developing nation, its position on climate change in the mid-1990s, and its relatively small contribution to greenhouse gas emissions at the time. However, given China`s current status as the largest emitter of carbon dioxide, many argue that its inclusion in future climate agreements is essential if the world is to tackle climate change effectively.