NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Warming Treaty is Fundamentally Flawed

December 10, 2003

The Kremlin leadership seems to have reached the conclusion that the Kyoto Protocol global warming treaty is a lot of hot air, says the Wall Street Journal. Andrei Illarionov, an adviser to Russian president Vladimir Putin, has repeatedly said that both the science and the economics of Kyoto are fundamentally flawed.

In remarks at an October international climate conference in Moscow, Illarionov noted that the science on which Kyoto is based has never been able to explain basic questions:

  • Most glaring is why the Earth warmed so much in the early part of the 20th century, before the boom in carbon dioxide emissions.
  • Another is why the near-earth atmosphere (measured by satellites) isn't warming as much as the Earth's surface.
  • There is also the nagging problem that temperatures more than 1,000 years ago at times appear to have been as warm, if not warmer, than today's.

Yet while Kyoto's science might be theory, its economic costs are real. Illarionov pointed out that the past 40 years of data show a correlation in 150 countries between increasing carbon dioxide emissions and higher gross domestic product (GDP); countries with no growth in emissions were marked by stagnation. This is of real concern to Putin, who has committed himself to doubling Russia's GDP by 2010.

"No country in the world can double its GDP with a lower increase in carbon dioxide emissions," says Illarionov.

Source: Editorial, "Global Warming Glasnost," Wall Street Journal, December 4, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB10705023739168500,00.html


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