Today is the United Nations World Ozone Day. This is another day that reminds nations of their responsibility to protect the globe from effects of climate change. The challenges left by Ozone layer depletion and climate change cannot be ignored as they both affect human lives and their ecosystems.
The two are distinct problems that cannot be totally separated since they both transform global climate cycles. Ozone being a poisonous gas, has claimed many lives due to its active radioactive compounds that are only fueled by the effects of climate change.
As a matter of fact, new research proves that Ozone is the third most important greenhouse gas after Carbon dioxide and Methane.
Over the past years, scientists have proved that, pollution due to the continuous emission of greenhouse gases continuously exasperates the state of the world’s environment and people’s health.
The outlook will be far worse in developing countries despite the fact that developed countries are responsible for over 75 percent of greenhouse emissions.
For this very reason global governments are coherently forging ways of establishing policies that will curb climate change—currently, the Kyoto Protocol is the most aggressive.
As the Copenhagen meeting of December draws closer, different states under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to which Rwanda is party to, will have to be ready with a presentation of their countries commitments to alleviate greenhouse gas emissions.
One of the key elements to this will be Emissions Trading— commonly known as the ‘Carbon Market.’ The very essence of this trade is to balance the scale of emissions through an investment in Carbon Credits.
In other words, developed countries that are party to the Kyoto Protocol will invest into fellow party developing countries in cost effective mechanisms that will reduce that effects of global warming in the next couple of years.
This simply means that in a few years time, the biggest source of foreign exchange could be Carbon credits. Carbon credits are measured in tonnes of carbon dioxide and 1 credit = 1 tonne of CO2.
Breaking this equation down for a layman, 1 tonne of CO2 = a filled swimming pool the size of 10 by 25 metres and 2 metres deep.
These carbon credits are then given a monetary value set by the market and can be bought and sold between states on the national and international markets.
Reality is, the investments on trading carbon credits are proportional to the amount of greenhouse gases emitted. This only nails developed countries, which emit monstrous amounts of greenhouse gases to pay huge sums of money to the developing world.
This has become the only logical answer to the climate change dialect around the world which has taken on a new dimension of debates.
While some developed countries are not yet party to the Kyoto Protocol, at the end of the day, their underlying ethics of power, justice and development towards climate change will have to be done away with as they invest in curbing their effects of Ozone layer depletion and climate change.
The author is a journalist with The New Times