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Thread: Fight against Global warming : Kyoto Protocol becomes international treaty.

  1. #1
    Olivier
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    Fight against Global warming : Kyoto Protocol becomes international treaty.

    Kyoto becomes an international treaty thanks to Russia's ratification.

    The fight was though because russia was both under UE pressure to ratify the treaty while the US demanded that they oppose it.

    Now the treaty is quite weakened because
    1/ the countries respecting it will have to make industries "pay for pollution" but will be handicapped competing with countries which will go on polluting at no cost. EU has already passed a series of laws in anticipation in 2002 to reduce pollution, so they will stand by their promises. But it's not that easy for others : Canada has to put up a though fight (+20% while target is -6% in 2010).
    2/ the US, which fight the treaty and won't respect it, is the biggest polluter on earth (both per inhabitant and total). e.g. US alone represents one-third of the total carbon dioxyde emissions by indutrialized countries.


    So in the end it's an good news for the US : others will carry the burden of fighting climate change for the world while the US can maintain they polluting lifestyle ... and even benefit from increased competitivity.


    NB : Israel has signed the treaty.
    http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Kyoto-Treaty



    And let me anticipate a bit : as some would observe, Bush made a more radical contribution to reducing petrol consumption .. by making it considerably more expensive the oil barrel is still up ... around €43. I do not think this is intentional, though.

    Note that as usual they is no real difference between Bush and Kerry on this issue... read below




    US won't ratify Kyoto pact
    Cristophe de Roquefeuil
    Posted Sat, 23 Oct 2004

    The United States, flying in the face of snowballing world opinion, said on Friday it would not follow Russia's lead and ratify the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

    "We have no intention of signing or ratifying it. We have not changed our views," a defiant deputy State Department spokesperson Adam Ereli said after the European Union and environmentalists across the globe hailed Moscow's decision and urged Washington to follow suit.

    Delight as Russia cabinet approves Kyoto pact

    Heading the chorus of delight after the Russian cabinet approved the Kyoto pact and sent it to lawmakers for ratification was the EU, which has been battling to save the accord thrown into disarray by the US walkout.

    "This is a huge success for the international fight against climate change," declared European Commission President Romano Prodi. "Today (Russian) President (Vladimir) Putin has sent a strong signal of his commitment and sense of responsibility.

    "We are happy that the Russian Duma has decided to ratify. We hope that the United States will now re-consider its position."

    US leaves no room for hope

    But the State Department left no room for hope.

    "We note the actions taken today," said Ereli, "but I'd refer you to the Russians for opinion or comment on their rationale for ratifying it. Our position against it remains the same."

    EU Environment Commissioner Margot Wallstroem said Russia's action "sends a very forceful signal to the rest of the world... It is also very much a victory for the European Union".

    German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, a Green party member, said: "For the first time there can be global responsibility for the world's climate and the management of its resources."

    "This is an important signal to the entire international community," said German Environment Minister Juergen Trittin, also a Green, the junior partner in Germany's governing coalition.

    French Ecology Minister Serge Lepeltier said he was "delighted".

    And Greenpeace International campaigner Steve Sawyer said US President George W. Bush, whose rejection of Kyoto in 2001 pushed the pact toward extinction, was now isolated.

    "A major blow to President Bush"

    Getting Russia on board, he said, dealt "a major blow to President Bush and his paymasters in the fossil fuel industry.

    "His administration and other climate criminals like Exxon-Mobil have failed in their attempt to wreck Kyoto, even going so far as to suppress the work of their own scientists."

    On the other side, Frank Maisano, a Washington lobbyist for the US utilities industry, dismissed the Russian move as "largely symbolic", and called the treaty "meaningless, ineffective and toothless".

    And Japanese industry fretted over the economic cost of meeting anti-pollution targets and doubted whether Kyoto was workable.

    "It is questionable if the treaty, which commits only one-third of the world's countries to obligations, will prove effective while the United States and China stay out of it," said Yuzo Ichikawa, executive director of the Japan Iron and Steel Federation.

    China is a Kyoto member but as a developing country does not have to meet specific targets for cutting emissions.

    Russia's ratification is vital for transforming Kyoto from a draft 1997 agreement into a working international treaty. Moscow had for years hedged on whether it would approve the pact.

    The Protocol requires industrialised signatories to trim output of six "greenhouse" gases by 2008-2012 compared with their 1990 levels.

    Kyoto not the answer - Kerry

    In the United States, in the throes of a hotly contested presidential race just days from the November 2 election, Democratic challenger John Kerry made little effort to distance himself from incumbent Bush, saying Kyoto "is not the answer".

    "The near-term emission reductions it would require of the United States are unfeasible, while the long-term obligations imposed onm all nations are to litle to solve the problem," he said on his website.

    Bush, in the second debate on October 8, said, "Had we joined the Kyoto treaty... it would have cost America a lot of jobs. It's one of these deals where, in order to be popular in the halls of Europe, you sign a treaty...I think there's a better way to do it."

    Kerry at the time had accused Bush of not "living in a world of reality with respect to the environment.

    "The fact is that the Kyoto treaty was flawed," he said. "But this president didn't try to fix it. He just declared it dead... and we walked away from the work of 160 nations over 10 years."




    http://www.iafrica.com/pls/cms/iac.p...73&p_site_id=2

  2. #2
    Olivier
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    btw Russia was so important because "Although 126 nations have already ratified the treaty, it could only take effect if supported by enough nations to represent at least 55 percent of the industrialized countries' emissions"

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/22/news/kyoto.html

  3. #3
    Canajew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olivier
    btw Russia was so important because "Although 126 nations have already ratified the treaty, it could only take effect if supported by enough nations to represent at least 55 percent of the industrialized countries' emissions"

    http://www.iht.com/articles/2004/10/22/news/kyoto.html
    don't get me wrong, I am a big environmentalist. But Kyoto sucks. it is a completely dysfunctional treaty with dysfunctional obligations that do very little and are not adjusted for changes in population. Europe's per capita emissions basically already meet standards, while growing countries like Canada need to reduce emissions by about a quarter on a per capita basis.

    Extending this treaty is impossible, as allocating quotas worth trillions of dollars among hundreds of coutnries, by agreement, no less, is virutually impossible.

    What is needed is a taxation system where externalities are taxed and these revenues accrue to national governments to provide incentives for more efficient technology and research and to reduce other non-distortionary taxes.

    And yes, higher oil prices are a step in the right direction. problem is this revenue accrues to Iran, Saudi Arabia and the like (and Alberta too), and if the price were to drop back down and the spread made up by taxes, we could reap all the benefits of higher prices without the drain on the economy of syphoning billions into foreign dictators' coffers.

    My biggest worry about Kyotot, besides the fact that even if implemented it will do very little, is that it will be so econmomically harmful and such a collosal failure that it will sap initiative for future, well structured efforts.

  4. #4
    Canajew
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    oh yeah.

    Forgot I was on Olie's black list.

    Well, he can discuss this with himself then ...

  5. #5
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    http://www.spiked-online.com/Articles/0000000CA750.htm

    Interesting article about ecoenivironmentalism and how it condemns billions of people to poverty in the name of polemics (excerpt):

    The World Wildlife Fund warns that we are consuming 20 per cent more natural resources a year than the planet can provide. Are we living beyond our ecological means?

    One of the most striking but least noticed aspects of the rise of environmentalism is the way that it has helped to redefine economics. Economic production and consumption are viewed in a fundamentally different way than they were before environmentalism became central to the dominant worldview.

    Environmentalist assumptions that, at the very least, should be the subject of debate are unquestioningly accepted. Environmentalism has become central to the mainstream outlook, rather than the particular property of green parties or organisations.

    This development isn't just important at the level of ideas. A gloomy view of economic development plays an important role in holding back human potential. At its starkest, the acceptance of the idea that economic growth has to be curtailed is a tragedy in a world where billions of people still live in dire poverty. According to the latest available figures from the World Bank, 2.7 billion were living on less than $2 (£1.10) a day in 2001 of which 1.1 billion lived on less than a dollar (1).

    The discussion of global warming provides a striking example of how this works. Almost everyone accepts that climate change means that the world needs to cut back on emissions of greenhouse gases. Yet this would almost certainly mean holding back economic growth, meaning that a large part of the global population will remain poor. There is hardly any discussion of how to deal with global warming while generating substantial economic growth at the same time. Indeed it will be argued that economic growth, far from being the problem, is central to humanity's capacity to handle climate change.

    There are two recurring themes running through the environmentalist approach to economics. First, an obsession with the need for limits. The environmentalist debate, in numerous different ways, assumes that strict limits must be put on economic activity. Such premises ignore or at least downplay the power of human creativity. Economic activity does indeed often throw up problems - such as pollution - but it also, it will be argued, provides the means to overcome them.

    Second, the idea of precaution has more recently become more central to the debate. The prevalent assumption is that people need to be cautious about economic development because it could have harmful unintended consequences in the future. Often such fears are expressed in the language of 'sustainability'. The precautionary approach, unlike earlier forms of environmentalism, acknowledges the power of human creativity. But advocates of precaution tend to see such creativity as a source of problems, usually in the form of risk, rather than a positive attribute of human beings.

    Underlying both assumptions is a misanthropic view of humanity (2). Environmentalism can be seen as a counterattack against a key premise of the Enlightenment: that a central part of progress consists of increasing human control over nature. Instead, environmentalists argue that humans should accept their place as a mere subsidiary of the natural world (3). In practice this means reconciling humanity to poverty, disease and natural disasters.

    There is environmentalist confusion between the mastery over nature and the destruction of nature. Control over nature means reshaping the natural world to meet human needs - for example, developing medicines to fight against disease or building dams to prevent flooding or generate electricity. This is not the same as destroying rain forests or making animal species extinct.

  6. #6
    KettleWhistle
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    That's a pretty good article. A typical greenist strategy is to blame industrialized countries for all what's wrong in the world. Billions of people live in poverty because their governments do not provide for them in terms of labor laws, sound economic policies, etc. It has nothing to do with our standard of living, our industries, or how much natural resources we consume.

  7. #7
    Olivier
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    Quote Originally Posted by KettleWhistle
    It has nothing to do with our standard of living, our industries, or how much natural resources we consume.
    i'm afraid poor populations are more the victims of natural disaster that industrialized countries are.

    And to get back to the point, note Kyoto allows developping countries wide margins to increase pollution because it is a necessary byproduct of economic growth.



    I think the article on environmentalism is a false lead. It misses what Kyoto is - and this spiked-online article does not even refer to Kyoto, btw, so why post it there?

    Kyoto is a positive move for poor and developping countries, and why would they sign it if it wasn't ?

  8. #8
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    They would sign it not because of any particular environmentalist sentiment but because it would tend to level the ECONOMIC playing field in their favor over the long run.

  9. #9
    Olivier
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mediocrates
    They would sign it not because of any particular environmentalist sentiment but because it would tend to level the ECONOMIC playing field in their favor over the long run.
    I think they are concerned with the environment.. mostly because of climate change (desertification is wreaking havoc in many poor countries) and the increasing frequency of hurricanes, drought and the like.

    but yes, the economic argument plays in their favor as well..

    so what?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Mediocrates's Avatar
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    Because it's not about the environment or even about improving their own lives so much as hobbling everyone else. It's like burning down another town's hospital because you don't have one.

  11. #11
    KettleWhistle
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    The first country to ratify Kyoto was Romania. Do I need to say more?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Mil's Avatar
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    By the way Koyoto was rejected unanimously by the entire House and Senate by both Republicans and Democrats.

    The biggest flaw with Koyota as in regards to America is that US will never let a foreign body dictate American economic policy.
    Mil - stands for the countless MILlions of reasons not to work.

  13. #13
    Canajew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mil
    By the way Koyoto was rejected unanimously by the entire House and Senate by both Republicans and Democrats.

    The biggest flaw with Koyota as in regards to America is that US will never let a foreign body dictate American economic policy.
    what foreign body? The US enters into binding economic treaties all the time.

    The reason they didn't sign on to it is because it was bad for America and would have led to very little real benefit.

    And, proportionately, Canada, the US and Australia are completely screwed by this agreement. Meanwhile, the Uk and most of Europe are sailing, the UK because Thatcher shut down all of their inefficient coal operations and the rest of Europe becuase their population is not growing nearly as fast as ours.

  14. #14
    Senior Member Mil's Avatar
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    Posted by Canajew:


    what foreign body? The US enters into binding economic treaties all the time.

    The Koyoto protocol.


    The reason they didn't sign on to it is because it was bad for America and would have led to very little real benefit.

    From what I heard the main reason why it wasn't signed is because environmental protection in the US costs almost twice as much as in Europe. Thus a cement factory in lets Kentucky wouldn't be to compete with the one in Germany given the added costs.
    Mil - stands for the countless MILlions of reasons not to work.

  15. #15
    Canajew
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mil
    Posted by Canajew:


    what foreign body? The US enters into binding economic treaties all the time.

    The Koyoto protocol.


    The reason they didn't sign on to it is because it was bad for America and would have led to very little real benefit.

    From what I heard the main reason why it wasn't signed is because environmental protection in the US costs almost twice as much as in Europe. Thus a cement factory in lets Kentucky wouldn't be to compete with the one in Germany given the added costs.
    well, cement is a local product with a narrow geographic market, but I understand exactly what you are saying.

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