Comparing Kyoto with the AP6

Came across this short paper from Toronto law firm McMillan Binch Mendelsohn that does a good job comparing the Kyoto Protocol and the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, the latter being a partnership formed in January between the U.S., Australia, China, India, Japan and South Korea. Canada is looking at becoming a member.

Two key differences between the two plans are highlighted:

1) Kyoto is against reliance on nuclear power for emission reductions, while the AP6 endorses nuclear and renewables as a way to combat climate change.

2) Kyoto attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, whereas the AP6 relies exclusively on voluntary use of green technologies by the public and private sector.

The paper says AP6 members emphasize that their plan is meant to complement, not replace, the Kyoto Protocol.  “If properly implemented, the AP6 could complement Kyoto-driven GHG emission mitigation measures,” the paper concludes. “Regardless of the means, members of both groups acknowledge the need for a transition to carbon-neutral economies. Both agreements provide the means for doing this: the Kyoto Protocol by placing a price on C02 and its defined equivalents, and the AP6 by promoting growth in clean technologies.”

The paper makes this final point: “Perhaps a hybrid of the agreements, involving the regulation of GHG emissions and the promotion of ‘green technologies,’ will provide the best results.”

I have no problem with Canada joining the AP6, so long as it sticks with Kyoto and agrees to work within that framework. I agree that more emphasis must be placed on the use of clean technologies, but not at the exclusion of aggressive emission-reduction targets set by Kyoto. If Canada, and Japan, can stay vocal members of both groups perhaps this can serve as a bridge that will bring the U.S., India and China more willing participants in international emission-reduction efforts.