Argument: Kyoto makes insufficient emission cuts to fight global warming

Issue Report: Kyoto Protocol


Leslie Evans. “Kyoto Protocol Said to Harm Effort to Stop Global Warming–But There Is Something Better”. UCLA International Institute. May 25, 2007 – “1. It is entirely insufficient. “Most scientists say we need a 50% reduction of current levels by 2050 to stabilize world climate. But human emissions of greenhouse gases are expected instead to quadruple in the next hundred years. A 5.2% reduction in the next sixteen years would compound to an 8% reduction by the end of this century, i.e., it allows a 92% increase. At this pace we would need another 29 protocols to get where we should be.” Apart from the fact that it has not been ratified by enough governments to implement it, its very modest goal has been bargained down still further. “Since 1997 the accepted goal has been cut to an effective 2% reduction. Russia, Australia, and Canada have been making the following argument: we have these extensive forests, if we cut them this would release carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas. If we don’t cut these trees we should get credit for that against our 5.2%. At every conference Russia finds a new forest in Siberia. What they argue is that modernization leads to cutting trees, and by forbearing they should be credited as much as if they actually did something.”

Sterling Burnett. “Was U.S. wise to reject Kyoto treaty on climate change?”. National Center for Policy Analysis. 1 May 2005 – If every country party to the treaty met their greenhouse gas targets, the Earth will be a negligible 0.07 degrees Celsius and 0.19 degrees Fahrenheit cooler than it would be absent Kyoto.

This is because swiftly developing powerhouses like China and India are not obligated to cut their emissions, even though they produce nearly half of all current greenhouse gas emissions and are predicted to produce as much as 85 percent of the future increase. Thus, if developed countries stopped all their greenhouse gas emissions, levels would still increase.