NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Another Setback for Kyoto

October 29, 2003

Coming on the heels of Russia's apparent decision not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol on climate change, the Wall Street Journal reports that the European Union's efforts to implement the agreement on their own may be stalling.

The EU is having trouble keeping its promises to cut so-called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, by 8 percent from 1990 levels by the end of the decade.

  • Based on current trends, the European Environment Agency predicts emissions will fall only 4.7 percent by the time the targets become binding between 2008 and 2012.
  • Furthermore, the European Parliament is delaying consideration of a bill to regulate the trading of credits for greenhouse gas emissions reductions -- risking a 2005 deadline for implementation.
  • Use of pollution credits would allow the EU to cut its Kyoto bill by about 20 percent from an estimated 3.4 billion euros.
  • The EU, along with several industrialized nations, promised two years ago to contribute $523 million to developing countries beginning in 2005 to help them combat greenhouse gas emissions.
  • But EU environment ministers meeting Monday in Luxembourg failed to agree on the share each country will contribute, with Spain, Greece and Portugal arguing that they are poorer than their Northern European counterparts.
  • The southern European countries want their combined contribution reduced by about €20 million a year -- but countries are supposed to pay in proportion to their pollution, not their gross domestic product.

Source: Victoria Knight (Dow Jones Newswires), "EU Effort to Fight Global Warming Hits Money Snag," Wall Street Journal, October 29, 2003.

For text (WSJ subscription required),,SB106737036861747000,00.html


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