masthead-highres

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Climate Change Hypocrites v. the U.S., China, India, Japan, Australia and Much of the Developing World

From husband David, blackberried earlier today from the airport as he left the U.N. global warming conference:
As things wind down here in Montreal, I thought I'd offer a few closing thoughts.

From the beginning, the official delegations to the U.N.'s Climate Change Conference were divided into two camps.

One camp includes the United States, China, India, Japan, Australia and much of the developing world. This camp opposes strict greenhouse gas emissions caps on economic grounds.

The other camp includes the hypocrites.

Those paying the most lip service to the Kyoto Protocol have been amongst its most flagrant violators.

For example, Canada, whose Prime Minister, Paul Martin, lashed out against the United States for failing to support the Kyoto Protocol, has increased its greenhouse gas emissions from the treaty's 1990 baseline by between 22 and 24 percent. By contrast, U.S. emissions increased by between 14 and 18 percent from the 1990 baseline and actually dropped somewhat between 2000 and 2003.

From Kyoto's inception, the Europeans -- without question the most fervent supporters of the Kyoto process -- have worked to find loopholes to avoid any significant emissions reductions. That was the idea behind the so-called "European Bubble" through which original members of the European Union (EU-15) could exceed their emissions targets by essentially borrowing from EU members that fell below those targets. With 11 of these 15 European states failing to meet their targets, there is increasing talk that this target averaging could be extended to all 25 members of the EU, including those that are from the former East bloc and countries that have no targets whatsoever.

And speaking of hypocrites, former President Bill Clinton was scheduled to speak at an event, rumor has it, that was sponsored by the Sierra Club. He had been expected to be critical of Bush Administration policy on global warming, not only violating presidential etiquette, which stipulates that one American political leader not criticize administration policy while abroad, but also showing his hypocrisy. While President, Mr. Clinton did not submit the Kyoto Treaty to the U.S. Senate for ratification.

I missed the former president's speech while waiting for my delayed flight home.

Was it delayed due to airplane tires melted to the tarmac? Was it delayed due to a driving tropical rain? No, the culprit was snow and ice in Philadelphia.

Incidentally, the French word for delay is retarde.

You can say that again.

Posted by Amy Ridenour at 12:21 AM

Copyright The National Center for Public Policy Research