According to Stella, the rise in greenhouse gas emission over the past 50 years serves as a major factor in the modern day global warming. Even if the excessive carbon dioxide emissions were controlled, the climatic changes would still take place for many years to come, leading to a drastic shortage of water for more than 5 billion people. It is further forecasted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) that Northern Europe would experience increased flooding by 2025 owing to global warming.
Scientists and environmentalists have come up with a range of solutions from decreasing the use of fossil fuels to incentives for using refined forms of energy. These measures are believed to be sufficient to make a real and positive impact on climatic change.
Proposed in 1997, Kyoto Protocol focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions and halting the climatic changes. Kyoto Protocol declares the developed countries as the world's greatest polluters. It aims at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 5 % of the 1990s levels over the period of 2008-2012. Though the Protocol has been ratified by many developed industrial nations, there are others who have been resistant towards signing it.
Such nations argue that it is unfair to exempt the developing countries from the Protocol. Businesses, scientists and politicians of developed countries also give the following reasons for not signing the Protocol:
1. Doubt about the effect of carbon dioxide emission on global warming
2. Concerns about the negative effect of the Protocol on their own economies
3. Rejection of the need for an imposed reduction in carbon dioxide emission
Developed countries versus Developing countries
Many critiques of the Kyoto Protocol declare that global warming is a global problem which requires the developing countries to participate just as much as the developed countries.
Stella acknowledges the fact that both developed as well as developing countries have a role to play in curbing the carbon dioxide emission. However, she argues that the developed countries have a greater obligation to address this issue for the reason that they contributed most towards it.
As Stella writes in her article, "However, for developing countries, the argument that they should be subject to exactly the same restrictions as developed countries does not carry weight. After watching developed countries build their wealth and power on extensive use of fossil fuels this appears to be a case of 'do what I say, not what I do".2
Factors discouraging the Developed Countries
Stella makes note of the following factors which discourage the developed countries from signing the Kyoto Protocol:
1. Reluctance to offend giant fossil fuel companies which contribute largely to the economies of the developed countries
2. Large scale unemployment if these giant fossil fuel companies are forced to shut down
3. Fear of giving a competitive advantage to emerging economies such as China and Korea as they would not be subject to the terms of the Protocol
Developing countries' Roles
Stella further states that some developing count