Saturday, December 10, 2005

Kyoto: We have agreed to talk!...more...

Enviro: Well this was all sound and fury signifying nothing.

MONTREAL, Dec. 9 -- The United States, after fiercely resisting any new international talks to address Earth's warming climate, agreed Friday night to a nonbinding dialogue to respond to climate change as representatives of nearly 200 nations concluded two weeks of meetings on the issue. Brushing aside the Bush administration's initial protests, all the industrialized nations except the United States and Australia were near an agreement Friday night to embark on a new round of formal talks aimed at setting new mandatory limits on greenhouse gas emissions after 2012, when the existing pact known as the Kyoto Protocol expires. In a separate set of negotiations aimed at extending a second, voluntary climate compact, the United States dropped its resistance and brokered language that would allow for nonbinding talks. The agreement to begin a process that would extend the Kyoto pact underscored how many nations now see global warming as the world's most serious environmental threat. The Bush administration disavowed the Kyoto Protocol in 2001 and has opposed any kind of mandatory limits on carbon dioxide produced by burning fossil fuels, arguing that research, new technology and market forces are the best way to address warming linked to the buildup of greenhouse gases. "We would have wanted a stronger outcome, but we should not underestimate the strength of this package," Stavros Dimas, the European Union's commissioner for the environment, told reporters. "Kyoto is alive and kicking."
As I pointed out here, here, here, here, here, here. The Kyoto treaty is dead and was stillborn when it was created. Nearly all the countries are nowhere close to the goals they set, won't be close anytime soon. After all the huffing and puffing, what comes out of it which doesn't register with Juliet Eilperin who must be new to the Kyoto beat is more talks. But they get to bash America, so I guess that is a positive results for the EU. More from the AP which shows how empty this meeting was.
In days of haggling here, the proposal presented to the Americans had been watered down to the point of saying that the "dialogue" over future actions "will not open any negotiations leading to new commitments." In a parallel development, the 157 nations that do subscribe to the Kyoto Protocol were nearing agreement on a separate, more concrete plan to negotiate deeper, post-2012 cuts — without U.S. participation.
No one is close to meeting the cuts that are due in 2012, but we will have more "concrete" plans for post-2012. Tremendous.

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