Monday, November 07, 2005

Kyoto reduces Europe growth, shocking...

EU: There is some serious backpedaling happening behind the scenes.

Meeting Kyoto Protocol targets on greenhouse gas emissions will reduce European economic growth significantly. That is the finding of a new study from the International Council for Capital Formation, a market-based think tank. It projects that by 2010, Spain's growth will have fallen by 3%, and that Italy's will shrink by 2%. These are bigger figures than previous studies have found, and their release comes as world leaders struggle to find a successor to the Kyoto treaty. In recent weeks, British Prime Minister Tony Blair has become the latest leader to suggest that constructing a "child-of-Kyoto" agreement involving firm targets for reducing greenhouse gas emissions will be tricky. "No country will want to sacrifice its economy in order to meet this challenge," he told a London conference last week, commenting further that talk of frameworks and targets "...makes people nervous". ....The ICCF figures arrive at a time when the picture of a possible international agreement to follow the Kyoto Protocol is murkier than ever. The European Union remains committed to a follow-up treaty specifying targets and timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, like the Protocol itself. But in July, a group of six nations announced a rival agreement, the Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, which, it was claimed, would bring emissions down through technology alone. The partnership appears to be in some disarray, with its inaugural meeting, originally scheduled for this month, postponed until next year because ministers could not find a mutually convenient date. Nevertheless, its message that technology can take the place of targets finds support in some powerful capitals, and has resonated with developing countries suspicious of what they see as western attempts to curb their economic growth through emissions restrictions.

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