Quotes on Kyoto Protocol

"Estimates of the effect of the original 5.2% cut in Annex I emissions were that they would, if the science is accepted, shave about 0.2 degrees off a 'most likely' warming of about 2 degrees over the next 100 years if CO2 levels doubled---or slow the reaching of that target by five or six years. And it would have made little or no difference for the best part of a century. For that result, 1-3% per annum would have been shaved off the GDP of Annex I Parties (perhaps $250-500 per capita per annum)."

Aynsley Kellow
Lavoisier Group Conference, Melbourne
September 11, 2001
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol

"Several lessons are there to be drawn from Kyoto. One is that there are inherent dangers in employing the precautionary principle in such a regulatory regime, since it encourages regulatory ambition when there is still so much uncertainty in the factors upon which a regulatory regime must depend. This makes agreement on such complex issues unlikely.

But perhaps the most important lesson to be drawn from the Kyoto Process is that interests have to be respected more if we wish to develop detailed, workable international instruments. Where interests are important, attempts to impose normative and scientific imperatives appear unlikely to succeed."

Aynsley Kellow
Lavoisier Group Conference, Melbourne
September 11, 2001
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol

"The net global cost of the Kyoto Protocol is $716 billion in present value, (b) the United States bears almost two-thirds of the global cost; and (c) the benefit-cost ratio of the Kyoto Protocol is 1/7. Additionally, the emissions strategy is highly cost ineffective, with the global temperature reduction achieved at a cost almost 8 times the cost of a strategy which is cost-effective in terms of 'where' and 'when' efficiency. These conclusions assume that trading in carbon permits is allowed among Annex I countries."

William D. Nordhaus
Joseph G. Boyer
Yale University
February 8, 1999
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol

"Now, therefore, be it resolved, That it is the sense of the Senate that--

(1) the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of 1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which would--

(A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period, or

(B) would result in serious harm to the economy of the United States; and

(2) any such protocol or other agreement which would require the advice and consent of the Senate to ratification should be accompanied by a detailed explanation of any legislation or regulatory actions that may be required to implement the protocol or other agreement and should also be accompanied by an analysis of the detailed financial costs and other impacts on the economy of the United States which would be incurred by the implementation of the protocol or other agreement."

Senator Robert C. Byrd
Senator Chuck Hagel
1st Session
105th Congress
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol

"So what do I mean by 'the Kyoto Process?'...

The [Kyoto Process] has been 'codified' by Brenton, in his book The Greening of Machiavelli, and contains four features:

The use of toe-in-the door negotiating techniques, which involve little substantive content but are open-ended and allow for the development of more meaningful commitments subsequently (i.e. the Framework Convention on Climate Change). Reliance upon a scientific consensus to produce agreement (the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). Reliance upon strong normative injunctions to 'save the planet' which negotiators find difficult to resist (German newspapers calling George W. Bush a 'climate killer'; the Scottish leader of the Liberal Democrats calling him a mass murderer; talk of a 'holocaust' from the Nauru Premier). The activities of non-governmental actors in putting pressure on reluctant Parties---often in fact combining points 2 and 3 in an eco-centric moral discourse, such as Greenpeace's sworn allegiance to 'The Laws of Nature' which it places above the laws of man. This activity is important because the UN is prevented by the Charter from engaging in the domestic politics of its members, but NGOs can exert pressure on governments in favour of UN proposals.

The above elements were all there with Kyoto, and there by deliberate design. But they failed to deliver the goods."

Aynsley Kellow
Lavoisier Group Conference, Melbourne
September 11, 2001
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol
Library Topic
Library Topic: Kyoto Protocol

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Quote Page

Quotes on the Kyoto Protocol from the leading experts, scientists, and politicians regarding the failures and successes of the agreements.

Commentary or Blog Post

For developing countries, it may prove a rather attractive package with its shiny paper of guaranteed economic growth and its ribbons of exciting new technology, perhaps more enticing than the European offering of mandatory targets and sanctions.

Developing countries, such as China and India, were not required to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. In preparation for the 2009 Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, the EU is now pressuring those growing economies to reduce their emissions.

The Kyoto Protocol is burdening Europe's industries and consumers with soaring costs that are undermining Europe's international competitiveness without improving environmental conditions.

The global environmental movement calls it a historic victory, but critics in the industry and elsewhere say the bang could end in a whimper: Emissions of carbon dioxide will continue to rise, many of the cuts in greenhouse gases claimed under Kyoto probably would have happened anyway.

It is clear that during the 2000 Global Warming treaty meeting in the Hangue that the EU's unstated but overriding goal in passing the Kyoto Protocol was to make the US pay for being the richest country in the world.

Motivation behind Russia's acceptance of the Kyoto Protocol and how Russia actually stands to benefit from Kyoto since its emissions levels are already below its 1990 emissions levels and can therefore sell its pollution quota credits to other countries.

The science is by no means settled. We are not in a position to confidently attribute past climate change to carbon dioxide or to forecast what the climate will be in the future.

Aynsley Kellow describes the four parts of what he calls "the Kyoto Process" (which he sees as a negotiating instrument for eco-groups to achieve their political goals), why the process failed, his concerns about the politicization of science, and what it means for future international instruments.

The authors explain why the Kyoto Protocol has failed to reduce emissions and describes a relatively new approach put forth by the Bush Administration that focuses on the need for technological innovation to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

The new agreement reached between the U.S. and five major Asian-Pacific nations to respond to global warming in a way that will not compromise the economic growth of both developing and industrial nations, and why the Kyoto Protocol failed.

Chart or Graph

Many models the Kyoto Protocol depends upon for justification project continuing rises in carbon dioxide levels.

129 developing nations are exempt from any restrictions under the Kyoto Protocol.

Analysis Report White Paper

Explains why the current emission scenarios are almost certainly too high and ought to be revised as quickly as possible.

An essay discussing the proposed benefits of the Kyoto Protocol, and concluding that it would not improve American health.

The report, published by the Chamber of Commerce of Saskatchewan, gives a brief explanation of the Kyoto Protocol, touches upon the science of global warming, and then mainly details the economic impacts of Kyoto on Saskatchewan, Canada, and the world.

Climate change is mainly projected to add to existing problems, rather than create new ones. Of particular significance are four categories of hazards to human health and safety which have frequently been cited as major reasons for controlling greenhouse gas emissions.

Yale economists William Nordhaus and Joseph Boyer examine the economic impacts of Kyoto and conclude it will be highly cost-ineffective. They find the net global cost of the Kyoto Protocol is $716 billion; the United States bears almost two-thirds of the global cost; and the cost-benefit ratio of the Kyoto Protocol is 7 to 1.

A wide range of economic models predict that reducing U.S. carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions to either 1990 levels or to the Kyoto target (7 percent below 1990 emission levels) would reduce U.S. GDP and slow wage growth significantly, worsen the distribution of income, and reduce growth in living standards.

This is a collection of essays that answers questions like, "Who is paying for Kyoto?"; "Will Kyoto make the world safer?"; and "How do we know whether humans are influencing climate change?"


The science underlying the Kyoto Protocol is seriously flawed and that the Canadian government should delay implementation of the Kyoto Protocol.

A short overview of the Kyoto Protocol debate, as given by an intellectual from Monash University in Melbourne, Australia.

Dr. Michael MacCracken is Chief Scientist for Climate Change Programs with the Climate Institute, a group that supported Kyoto and believes that climate change is a crisis and requires immediate action.

Primary Document

The resolution expressed the sense of the Senate that the Kyoto Protocol posed a threat to US economic viability, and to other "Annex - 1" countries including the former Soviet Union and Eastern European countries.

Negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) were completed December 11, 1997, committing the industrialized nations to specified, legally binding reductions in emissions of six “greenhouse gases.”

A comprehensive list of countries who have signed and ratified the Kyoto Protocol and are legally bound to its conditions, as of 2006, put together by the UNFCCC.

"The Kyoto Protocol is an international agreement linked to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The major feature of the Kyoto Protocol is that it sets binding targets for 37 industrialized countries and the European community for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These amount to an average of five per cent against 1990 levels over the five-year period 2008-2012."