Argument: The Kyoto Protocol is showing little progress in reducing emissions

Issue Report: Kyoto Protocol


Gwyn Prins and Steve Rayner, British economists. “Time to ditch Kyoto”. Nature. October, 22nd, 2007 – “The Kyoto Protocol is a symbolically important expression of governments’ concern about climate change. But as an instrument for achieving emissions reductions, it has failed…It (Kyoto) has produced no demonstrable reductions in emissions. And it pays no more than token attention to the needs of societies to adapt to existing climate change.”

“Kyoto: The next generation”. 9 May 2007 – Although a crucial piece of legislation with good intentions, the treaty nonetheless experienced difficulties from the outset…According to the U.N., the world’s major industrialized nations are now severely off-target, with experts predicting a 10 percent rise in 1990 greenhouse gas emissions by 2010 rather than the hoped for 5.2 percent reduction.

Even in the European Union, where advocacy of Kyoto is at its strongest, results are poor. Sweden, France, Germany and the UK are just about on track to achieve the 8 percent reduction to which the EU committed itself in the Protocol.

Other EU nations such as Spain, Portugal, Ireland and Italy, however, are well behind, with the result that by 2004 the EU as a whole had only made a collective reduction of 0.9 percent of emissions.