The conclusion of Kyoto agreement a hundred years ago could ostensibly save the Planet as its renewable resources are permanently decreasing. At present, both nuclear energy and alternative energy sources are applied worldwide and so the issue is high on the environmental agenda. The Kyoto Protocol is an international environmental treaty within the UN Climate Change Framework Convention.
The protocol envisages legally binding commitments to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere to prevent hazardous anthropogenic interference within climate system. At that, the Kyoto Protocol initially aims to reduce greenhouse gases, including methane, carbon dioxide, sulfur hexafluoride, nitrous oxide, perfluorocarbons, and hydro fluorocarbons. After its adoption in December 1997, 187 world countries had declared their concern about the urgency of climate change problem, and so now 3 years have passed since 2005 while the agreement is in force.
This period has indicated the reductions of GHG emissions by the most of the developed economies. Furthermore, Greenhouse Gas Certificates and Carbon Credits are acquired as far as possible by the industries that produce adverse greenhouse gas affects and carbon dioxide emissions. The effects of Kyoto Protocol are apparent, though currently our Planet experiences significant shortages of renewable resources, and the peak of overall crisis is projected in 2030. With the permanent increase of global population and its demand in resources, the Planet’s capacities are shrinking. Therefore, the application of nuclear energy and alternative energy sources is equally important.
In 2005, nuclear power alone enabled 6.3% of the global energy and 15% of the global electricity consumption. The major countries that generate nuclear energy are the U.S.
, Japan and France. Four years ago, for example, France closed its last coal mine, and has been getting 80% of electricity from nuclear power which allows it to produce comparatively low CO2 emissions. Overall, 439 nuclear power reactors are operated in 31 countries.
In the EU alone, 30% of the electricity is gained from nuclear energy sources. In addition to this, nuclear energy resources are widely used in various industries. Alternatively, within the course of recent decades, scientists are considering the application of alternative energy sources to save the actual capacity of energy. This is done in a reasonable economic and environmentally friendly manner to face many global challenges related to the rising consumption of global resources. Alternative energy sources are not based on splitting of atoms or burning of fossil fuels.
This approach actually excludes otherwise atmospheric pollution from nuclear waste by-products and burning fossil fuels. Hence, the alternatives that produce less significant impact on the environment include: solar energy, wind power, geothermal and hydroelectric resources. In particular, solar energy is regarded as the most resourceful energetic sources to be widely applied in the foreseeable future. The energy potential of the sun significantly (by 35,000 times) outnumbers the actual consumption of energy by mankind.
Nonetheless, we do not get all this energy from the sun as 1/3 of it is absorbed by atmosphere and is reflected backwards to the space. Potentially, solar energy will be soon used to run power plants, cars, space ships etc. Next, wind power is widely applied as an alternative energy resource without producing harmful effects to nature. However, the application of this resource entirely depends on weather conditions and windmills location potentially able to produce up to 50 watts of energy. Furthermore, geothermal energy gained from the internal heat of the planet is applied to run steam turbines and generate electricity.
Finally, Hydroelectricity is a result of rivers’ damming and utilization of potential energy stored in water. Turbine blades are used to generate electricity, which assumes low maintenance costs and cheap power supply. All in all, for the time being, saving energy and cutting emissions are two primary concerns challenged by the developed economies considering the overall call for the sustainable development in the world.