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:
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.
What we need in environmental action is a plan that doesn’t require us to sacrifice the benefits of modern society, while we can discard the useless stuff — fast food, truck pulls, extra population — and then move on to a realistic solution. People will accept some sacrifice but not something that requires they destroy what their ancestors worked for; they’d rather die than submit to that.
As it turns out, Kyoto not only fails to achieve any meaningful carbon emissions goal, but would have been destructive. No results and losing ground… sounds like a treaty all environmentalists should have desecrated, but instead they accepted it because in their low self-esteem state they couldn’t believe meaningful action would ever happen, so they settled for the sop surrogate.