G8 Rejects Kyoto Logic

Tech Central Station’s Carlo Stagnaro opines on the global warming statement that emerged from the G8 summit:

So the expectation was that the meeting would produce a joint “agreement to disagree” on climate policies. In other words, the G8 was expected to result in no significant political change. Instead the group issued a joint statement on climate: the leaders of the eight most industrialized countries agreed (although they didn’t put it this way) that seven of them were wrong and just one was right. The one was President Bush. The extent to which the American position on Kyoto has been endorsed by the others doesn’t lie just in the fact that the Kyoto Protocol is not even mentioned in the document — as the White House negotiators had asked long before the meeting. The point is that Kyoto supporters — especially European leaders — rejected the very logic behind Kyoto. […] Do you see “cap & trade”? I don’t. Do you see mandatory limits to emissions? I don’t. What I rather see is the awareness that emerging economies are playing a key role in creating the problem — so the problem can’t be solved by developed countries alone, as is the fatal conceit behind Kyoto. Also I see a tendency to look beyond 2012 — if the problem is in the long run, you can’t address it just by cutting emissions in the next decade or so. Finally I see the acknowledgment that to pursue long-term reductions in GHGs emissions you need cleaner technologies — not bureaucratic mechanisms — and to have cleaner technologies you need societies that are wealthy enough to invest in research & development on the one hand, and to afford a widespread adoption of new technologies on the other hand.

Well put.

Leonard Gilroy is vice president of government reform at Reason Foundation and senior managing director of Reason's Pension Integrity Project.