Statement of Myron Ebell, Director of Global Warming and International Environmental Policyat the Competitive Enterprise Institute, on the breakdown in talks at the recent United Nations meeting on climate change in the Hague
Washington, DC, November 30, 2000 – The lack of any agreement at the United Nations’ recently concluded negotiations on climate change in the Hague is a victory for consumers around the world. The European Union’s refusal to accept the almost complete capitulation by the United States delegation to European demands deals a strong blow to the agenda of energy suppression, higher taxation, and economic stagnation embodied in the Kyoto Protocol.
The collapse of COP-6, contrary to the spin put on it by many environmental groups, was not caused by the stubbornness or intransigence of the United States. Under direct orders from President Bill Clinton, the United States delegation agreed to a deal that sold out the US position on carbon sinks and gave the Europeans at least eighty per cent of they demanded. But that wasn’t enough for the radical environmentalists who control European policy, and so they blew up the deal.
Given the ever-weaker scientific case for believing in future catastrophic global warming, the European Greens’ all-or-nothing approach has inadvertently led to a good result. It means that the huge reductions in energy use and lower standards of living that would be required by the Kyoto Protocol are far from being forced on us by a UN bureaucracy.
The real motivation of these proponents of the Kyoto Protocol was made clearer in The Hague. French President Jacques Chirac in his address on November 20 told the delegates that the Kyoto Protocol was “the first component of an authentic global governance.” Their failure to take that first step is good news for all those who value national sovereignty, personal freedom, and economic prosperity.
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