Commerce in Air Pollutants, the Kyoto Protocol and the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change - Legal Aspects
Interdisciplinary Journal for Natural Resources and Environmental Management, University of Haifa
Tzvi Levinson, attorney at law
Israel lacks completely any experience in commerce in air pollutants. Following the Kyoto Protocol to the UN's Framework Convention on Climate Change a world of economic and environmental opportunities may open for Israeli firms, a non-annex 1 country. This article aims at proposing certain questions for the deliberation of policy takers. The article first looks at the American experience of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments. It then examines justifications for the extending of commerce in "Green-House Gases" to the international arena. A brief review of the three flexible mechanisms constructed into the Kyoto Protocol – JI; CDM; and ET – is followed by enumerating certain legal issues that will need extensive elaboration in any contractual initiative to implement these mechanisms. Concluding with the normative state-of-the-art in Israel we conclude that the sooner Israel enacts framework legislation to prepare a level playing ground for firms wishing to conduct commerce in air pollutants – the better.