UN Global Warming Talks Go Nowhere – As Usual

As the United Nations climate negotiations in <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />Nairobi, Kenya come to an end, the failure of the path embodied by the Kyoto Protocol has become increasingly clear. Despite the participation of thousands of delegates from 190 countries, participants in the annual Framework Convention on Climate Change talks have been unable to commit to any meaningful advances in their stated goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“As usual, the annual UN global warming meeting in Nairobi has provided a world stage for empty rhetoric and moral posturing from bureaucrats, environmental pressure groups, and the European Union,” said Myron Ebell, Director of Energy & Global Warming Policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


Delegates had planned to begin crafting a new set of mandatory emissions reduction beyond the year 2012, when the current requirements of the Kyoto Protocol expire. So far, the parties have been unable to agree to any post-2012 framework, and have even been unable to endorse some related voluntary measures.


“No progress was made toward agreeing to a second round of emissions cuts after 2012 for the simple reason that emissions have been rising more rapidly in the European Union-15 than in the U. S. since Kyoto was negotiated in 1997,” said Ebell. “The gap between the pro-Kyoto rhetoric of the last decade and the inconvenient truth of rising emissions is finally beginning to sink in.” 


As in previous meetings, developing countries with rapidly rising emissions have resisted pressure to join the small group of nations which face mandatory emissions reductions under the Kyoto Protocol. Many delegates have instead argued that the wealthiest nations in the world fund the development of alternative energy technologies, particularly in Africa.