Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/20/2005
Publication Date: 5/20/2005
Citation: Reicosky, D.C. 2005. Impact of the Kyoto Protocol ratification on global transactions of carbon. In: Proceedings of Plantio Directo E Meio Ambiente:Sequestro do Carbono E Qualidade da Agua, May 18-20, 2005, Foz do Iguacu, Brazil. p. 118-125.
Technical Abstract: Increased levels of greenhouse gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere require all nations to establish international and national goals and policies for GHG reductions. Most climate scientists say that the targets set in the Kyoto Protocol are merely scratching the surface of the problem. The agreement aims to reduce emissions from industrialized nations only by around 5%. While we learn more about soil C storage and its central role in environmental benefits, we must understand the secondary environmental benefits of conservation agriculture (no-till) and what they mean to sustainable production agriculture. Understanding these environmental benefits and getting the conservation practices implemented on the land will hasten the development of harmony between man and nature while increasing production of food and fiber. The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change strengthens the international response to climate change. Complete implementation of the Kyoto Protocol may require policy changes to increase the acceptance of and provide financial incentives for C sequestration and the associated benefits. Our current understanding of the role of the biosphere in the global C balance, however, may not be adequate to support policy decisions satisfactorily. The potential and actual C sequestration results may still be unknown and difficult to determine. Increasing soil C storage can increase infiltration, increase fertility, decrease wind and water erosion, minimize compaction, enhance water quality, decrease C emissions, impede pesticide movement and enhance environmental quality. The inclusion of sinks in the Kyoto Protocol is a major step forward in realizing a comprehensive C accounting system for the earth, but we continually need to improve our understanding of the terrestrial biosphere and soil sinks if we are to make the Kyoto Protocol work. Accepting the challenges of maintaining food security by incorporating C storage in conservation planning demonstrates concern for our global resources and our willingness to work in harmony with nature.