Climate Change: Key Players

Key Players in managing climate change

Kyoto Protocol

This was a global treaty which aimed to reduce carbon emissions by 2012. Countries such as America (1/4 emissions come from here), China, India, Brazil were not involved. All in all the treaty reduced emissions by less than 1%. They were two reasons for this failure (i) countries did not like the idea that this could change their economy and (ii) The major emitting countries were not signed up.

Big Businesses

Some big TNCs are larger than developing countries and so actions they take can have large impacts. At the beginning large motor companies and oil companies were against this because they felt they would financially suffer. However, large TNCs and other large firms are now taking the incentive to become energy efficient and use energy efficient appliance e.g. lighting because this is what consumers demand and it gives them a good PR hence increased profits. So they are cutting emissions and meeting the preferences of consumers. 

National Governments 

National governments play a large role in controlling carbon emissions. They can do this in many ways. For example, they can tax polluters, invest in other energy sources e.g. nuclear, encourage the usage of energy efficient appliance, give subsidies and grants to develop carbon neutral eco-towns and investing in sinks such as planting trees.

Local governments 

Local governments tend to implement strategies of national governments. London led the way with congestion charge and Leicester being the first environmental city. Local authorities can do a range of factors including using LED lights for traffic lights, improving bus services, providing cycle lanes, rewarding energy efficient companies etc. 


NGOs are great with educating consumers and governments with dangers of climate how and why we should act fast. They also put pressure on organisations and governments to act in climate change, having the role of a catalyst in coping with climate change.


The point when it comes to individuals is once they understand the meaning of carbon footprint and calculate their carbon footprint they can work on reducing it by doing various things. They can walk to school/walk, eat less meat, buy food locally, use energy efficient appliance, install small scale energy productions in their home e.g. solar panels etc.

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