The Kyoto Protocol has been in force for than three months now. I haven’t read much development on it save that some countries are planning to leave the Protocol and its legacy behind after it expires. They say it is too costly to do a Kyoto part two. At the same time, I doubt many parties of the Protocol will be able to meet the reduction goal by the year 2012.
Don’t get me wrong. Though Kyoto is not as effective as most would want it with people on one side says it’s too costly and the other saying too little too late, it is still an important step to be taken. It essentially set the pace towards greener future.
But still, one will have to wonder what is going to happen after Kyoto. Many have mentioned the need to get China, India and other developing nations to join hand in hand. But whatever is going to happen, I’m noticing a new trend in combating climate change.
Kyoto has been targeting governments. Maneuvering with such target in mind is hard given the fact that the Protocol almost died with the pullout of the US. The Protocol only got through with Russian ratification.
The near death experience probably made a lot of people to have a second thought. Hence, attention has shifted from government to organizations down the hierarchy – states, cities, private firms.
Some states in the US have their own initiative to reduce emission despite the federal government refusal to ratify Kyoto. Development in those states, California in particular has been rather encouraging. California, San Francisco in fact, has always been a leader when it comes to taking care for the environment. When I was in San Francisco, I saw first hand why – large fleet of its buses is zero-emission buses, electrically powered. I have not seen anything like it before.
Today, UN World Environment Day that is be held in San Francisco. Though the conference itself is not about climate change in particular, it will however touch on renewable energy and in general, sustainability, which go in line with methods to cut emission down.
And all these sustainability ideas won’t come true without the green technologies which come from many firms such as Toyota, Honda and General Electrics. General Electrics lately has been campaigning hard to reinvent itself as a green company. Its Ecoimagination campaign to me is impressive so far. I’m not however sure whether this is a real effort or simply another green-washing as done by Exxon and others.
Yet, all of the steps and trend is useless if there is no green grassroots. Then again, these green steps started because of expanding green grassroots. What makes me wonder is how the green grassroots started and then skipped everything between private citizens and the governments. It is weird to see only after the jump was made, everything in between starts to build up.
But in the end, it is good to see green ideas are being embraced by the bases and more importantly at the moment, privates firms. I’d guess it is not too premature or showing too much confidence to say, welcome to the green century, despite the death of environmentalism.