21 November, 2007
There are three ways of looking at the new greenhouse emission figures presented by the UN’s climate change secretariat yesterday.
The pessimist will observe that the “total greenhouse gas emissions of 40 industrialized countries rose to a near all-time high in 2005” and that the trend since 2000 is going in the wrong direction, notwithstanding all political mitigation efforts of the Kyoto signatories.
The optimist will see the silver ligning in the fact that “the countries that signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol are projected to achieve reductions on the order of 11 per cent for the first Kyoto commitment period, from 2008 to 2012, provided policies and measures adopted by these countries deliver the reductions as projected. The Kyoto Protocol commits industrialized countries to a 5 per cent reduction target in 2008-2012 compared to 1990 levels”.
The realist (some would say the cynic) will, of course, see that it is only the historical collapse of the Eastern European economies which made Kyoto a small success.
So has Kyoto REALLY worked?
In view of the upcoming Bali climate summit, it would be good if there were a serious (and not a spin-) analysis of Kyoto’s successes and failures.
- UNFCCC secretariat: press release 20 November
- UNFCCC secretariat: presentations given at the Bonn press briefing
- AFP: Carbon pollution from industrialised countries rises again