Kyoto: Targets Set, and Missed

By February 19, 2007Energy

We’ve written a fair amount in this space about the much-ballyhooed Kyoto Accords. We like to point out that it was defeated 95-0 in the US Senate — during the Clinton Administration, while Al Gore was President of the Senate — with John Kerry, current Kyoto champion as one of the 95. We’ve also pointed out that it is a political document, not a scientific document. Some continue to urge the US to sign on to it, ignoring the fact that neither India nor China are signatories, not do they have any plans to become signatories any time soon. Remember that China’s emissions are expected to exceed ours by the end of this decade.

Now comes this article about Christopher Horner, a Senior fellow with the non-partisan Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) who said noted Thursday just how far behind the European Union is falling in hitting their targets. In fact, according to Horner, the US is doing far better in reducing emissions than the Kyoto signatories. Says Horner,

“The 15 European nations participating at the time – the so-called E.U.-15 – made a commitment to collectively reduce their emissions to the point where they would be eight percent lower than 1990 levels. Since the treaty went into effect, however, Europe’s CO2 emissions have increased quite substantially – and at a rate three times faster than America’s – Horner said. At the same time, Kyoto-related regulations have led to higher energy costs for E.U.-15 citizens.”

However, the EU is not alone. Ironically, according to this Time magazine story from last month by Bryan Walsh, even Kyoto itself is having trouble hitting its targets, and will likely miss them by a mile.

So the next time you hear people talking about Kyoto Protocol, just keep this in mind. It’s just more “Do as we say, don’t do as we do.” When people are ready to get serious, we are as always willing to listen, and to talk. But until then, let’s call the lip service what it is.