However, I do not believe that the Kyoto accord is necessarily the ultimate answer to this problem. Throwing piles of money at something that will likely deliver questionable results at best, does not seem to be a reasonable approach in my humble opinion. Also, there are pollution problems other than greenhouse gas emissions plaguing our planet.
First I have to give thanks to SDA reader "Willy" for a reference to a very interesting article in Tuesday's Financial Post - Kyoto sinks Europe: Billions in costs make it more and more unlikely that the EU can continue to go it alone slashing carbon emissions by Benny Peiser who is a researcher at Liverpool John Moores University:
The crisis centres on a fundamental conflict between economic realism and environmental idealism, between national interest and green ideology. It has exposed the increasing tension between Europe's green enthusiasm and the realization that its unilateral framework comes at a hefty cost that is beginning to erode the economic stability of a waning continent.
Instead of reducing EU's carbon emissions significantly, the carbon-trading strategy for meeting its Kyoto target has actually had the opposite effect:
Instead, year after year, most EU countries continue to increase their greenhouse-gas emissions. Rather than proving its effectiveness, the trading system has pushed electricity prices even higher while energy-intensive companies are forced to close down, cut jobs, or pass on the costs to consumers.
Gunter Verheugen, the EU's industry commissioner, has warned that by "going it alone" Europe is burdening its industries and consumers with soaring costs that are undermining Europe's international competitiveness. Instead of improving environmental conditions, Europe's policy threatens to redirect energy-intensive production to parts of the world that reject mandatory carbon cuts.
Verheugen's warning reaffirms what U.S. administrations have been saying for many years. It is aimed at the rapidly evolving challenges posed by Asian competitors such as China and India that are set to overtake Europe's sluggish economy within the next couple of decades. Indeed, Europe's imprudent unilateralism is not only constraining its trade and industry; worse still, it has led to a significant slowdown in European R&D budgets, a sliding trend that is hampering the development of low-carbon technologies.
Did you catch that last bit? Kyoto has had the effect of slowing down low-carbon technology development.
In recent weeks, even U.S. Democrats have cautiously started to lower expectations. They now concede that even under a Democratic administration, the United States is unlikely to join any international climate regime that would exclude Asia's looming superpowers and burden its economy with unilateral obligations.
What's that? Even the Democrats are having second thoughts about Kyoto?
Meanwhile, the environmentalists are trying to wring as much political capital as they can from Stephen Harper's shaky minority government. Two noteworthy editorials from today's Toronto Sun chastise Harper and other politicians for jumping on the popular bandwagon.
A respected Canadian climatologist, Dr. Tim Bell, says "the Kyoto Protocol is a political solution to a non-existent problem without scientific justification."
More to follow.