Maybe Signing the Kyoto Protocol WAS a Bad Idea

Twenty nations including Japan, Italy and Australia may be releasing more greenhouse-gas pollution than they agreed to under the Kyoto treaty to curb global warming.

They're failing to rein in carbon-dioxide output enough to meet their pledges signed in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan, according to reports by individual countries. As a penalty for missing their goals under the treaty, the nations are required to buy permits for every excess ton of the heat-trapping gas released through 2012. That will total 2.3 billion permits for 20 nations, New Carbon Finance, a research firm in London, has estimated.

The potential penalty, 36 billion euros ($46 billion) for the group based on current permit prices, and the fact that only a minority of 37 Kyoto signatory nations may meet their pledges bodes poorly for international efforts to limit global warming.


Read between the lines:

  • Only a minority made their pledges - the treaty was unrealistic.

  • Those who did not pay out a lot of money - money that could go to fixing the problem.

The Crowd loved Kyoto because it "sounded good" - get serious about climate action! - but it was completely unrealistic. You don't just make a treaty to fix a problem; you fix the problem, and then sign the treaty. Looks like George W. was right about this one.


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