The kinetic energy of an object is the extra energy which it possesses due to its motion. It is essentially ‘the work needed to accelerate a body of a given mass from rest to its current velocity.’ The object maintains this ‘kinetic’ energy gained during acceleration until its speed changes. Kinetic energy is an expression of the fact that a moving object can do work on anything it hits; it quantifies the amount of work the object could do as a result of its motion. Kinetic energy can be transferred, converted and stored into other forms of energy.
The Kyoto Protocol, which was adopted in December 1997 and came into force in February 2005, is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Its main feature is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialised countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The European Union (EU) target is set at a reduction of 8%, which is to be met by 2008-2012 and is based on reduced GHG levels in comparison to 1990 levels. The EU has ratified the Kyoto Protocol and the UK’s legally binding target under an EU burden sharing agreement is 12.5% of 1990 levels by 2008-2012. The United Kingdom is the world’s 8th largest emitter of carbon dioxide and London is responsible for 8% of these emissions, producing 44 million tonnes of CO2 each year. This implies a target of stabilising London and the UK’s emissions at 60% below 1990 levels by 2025.