The head of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, Yvo de Boer, has admitted that the principle behind the Kyoto Protocol is “illogical.” He noted that the idea that developed countries must tackle their own emissions expensively while developing nations continue to emit without restriction did not make sense and that it would be cheaper for the world if developed nations paid developing nations not to emit on their behalf.
On the surface, de Boer’s rethink is welcome, but it is actually an example of green imperialism. Developing nations must be allowed to develop, and this laudable goal of the original Kyoto agreement must not be forgotten. Taken literally, de Boer’s suggestion forces the developing world into environmental welfare dependency, remaining poor to keep the world’s emissions low.
It seems that de Boer has realized that Europeans have failed to reduce emissions and wants someone else to do it for them. Instead, he should realize that Europe’s experience shows that the game of emissions reduction might not be worth the candle and that other approaches are needed.