Thursday, December 16, 2004

Why Kyoto Will Never Work

UPDATE: Hat tip to Instapundit for the link confirming the title above. Talk about the final nail in the coffin.

The Kyoto accord could never have delivered meaningful emissions cuts and progress on climate control because it exempted the bulk of the developing world. In a globalizing world, the number of countries achieving modern economic development has increased and will continue to increase in the years to come. Regardless of what the industrialized north does in terms of emissions, the cuts will be swamped by the growth in emissions from the remaining 4/5 of the world.

China is an excellent example of this. Yahoo News reports:
The International Energy Agency said it was not asking China to reduce its energy consumption in years to come, nor its greenhouse gas emissions which increase with economic growth.

"The IEA clearly knows that China is going to have to increase its energy consumption considerably and thus its CO2 emissions in the coming years," said IEA chief Claude Mandil.

"Our scenarios take into account China's future," he added, "What we are asking of China -- and it is doing so already -- is for it to reduce its ... energy consumption per production unit."

Mandil spokes on the sidelines of the annual UN climate change conference here.

Monday, the head of the Chinese delegation Gao Feng said "there are some who say we should reduce our energy consumption, That is unacceptable and totally wrong," he told AFP pointing at the IEA.

"In the long term," Mandil said, by around 2050, "all of the world's countries must lower their CO2 emissions considerably" to have a chance at stabilizing the greenhouse effect.

Until there is a truly global effort on climate change, emissions will continue to rise and rise steadily. Given that newly industrializing countries have less rigid emissions standards, they will be especially dirty polluters in the years to come.