1.- What is the Kyoto Protocol and how did it come about?

The Kyoto Protocol is an international treaty whose prime purpose is to achieve, in its first stage (2008 – 2012), that global warming emissions will be reduced in developed countries to a level 5% lower than that of their 1990 emissions.

This Protocol came about due to uneasiness in the nineteen eighties as scientific data first began to appear regarding a possible permanent and irreversible worldwide climatic change. This change is due to the increased production of greenhouse gases and led to the creation of the United Nations General Framework Convention on Climatic Change dated 9th May 1992.

2.- How does the Kyoto Protocol function?

It was organized as follows:

The countries adhering to the Protocol were split into industrialised and developing countries. The former represent 20% of the world’s population and are responsible for more than 60% of the present greenhouse gas emissions. They must reduce their global warming emissions of gases to a level 5.2% lower than their level in the year 1990 during the first period (2008 – 2012)of the Protocol. Likewise, developing countries are invited to implement projects in their own countries to help industrialised countries in exchange for financial assistance in developing CO2 reduction projects. . For this purpose what are referred to as adaptation mechanisms were created in order to facilitate the reduction of emissions as required by the Protocol and which include both participants.

3.- Which gases cause global warming?

The six principal gases that cause the problem are: CO2, CH4, N2O, Perfluorcarbonate (PFC) compounds, Hydrofluorcarbonate (HFC) compounds, and Sulphur Hexafluor that come mainly from human activities in connection with the burning of fossil fuels (petroleum, coal, natural gas), agriculture and changes in land use.

4.- What is Chile’s position in the face of the global warming issue?

After the United Nations General Framework Agreement was signed in 1994 Chile made it law in 1995. Subsequently in the year 2002 Chile ratified its adherence to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol and commenced to develop forms inherent to the Protocol’s requirements. Chile has now reached the stage whereby projects geared to Clean Development Mechanisms can be marketed as they represent important business opportunities and commercial openings for this country.

5.- What would be the consequences of global warming should there be no concern regarding this problem?

The main problems caused by global warming are an increase of the sea level and alterations in rainfall patterns. The outcome would range from health problems (mortality, infectious diseases, respiratory diseases), to agriculture problems (affecting the growth of plantations, irrigation ), forestry problems (composition of forests, health and productivity), coastal area problems (erosion of beaches, additional costs of production in coastal communities, floods), species and natural areas problems (loss of habitat and of species, dwindling glaciers) amongst other potential consequences.

6.- What is a CDM project and what does it comprise?

These projects are focussed on the reduction of emissions or the setting of CO2 levels to enable an investment in an Appendix I Country (industrialised) to be counter balanced in another country that is not in this category (i.e. a developing country). This scheme enables the Appendix I Country to receive the Emission Reduction credits corresponding to their project, which are then traded to comply with Appendix I Country’s commitment under the Kyoto Protocol.

This mechanism has a threefold purpose: firstly the investor country will make use of the Certificates Emission Reduction (CER’s) to achieve the objectives relating to reduction and limitation of emissions; secondly the country receiving the investment obtains sustainable development through the transfer of clean technology; and thirdly both parties contribute towards the ultimate objective of the Convention on Climatic Change.

7.- Which are the possible areas that have the scope to develop CDM Projects?

These areas include:

• Energy: co-generation, generation by hydraulic power plants, wind power generation, utilisation of renewable energy.
• Transportation: projects for the substitution of fuels, improvements to vehicles.
• Capture of Emissions: through forestation and re-forestation projects, and projects for gathering bio-gas from sanitary fill.
• New technologies: treatments for agriculture and transformation of production processes.
• Construction: sustainable construction processes, new materials.

8.- How can a CDM Project be undertaken?

To carry out a CDM Project it must first demonstrate that the reduction of global warming gases is “additional” to the reductions that would have been achieved had the project not existed at all. Next a firm specialised in the matter, such as EcoTrust S.A., must be contracted ) to undertake the project, handle the formalities, follow the terms of reference plus arrange the necessary the financing. Finally, the Certified Carbon Bonds must be marketed in industrialised countries that need these emission reductions and are willing to pay for them.

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