Predicting Kyoto's Failure

Predictions of Kyoto's Failure
Due to the International Capping Requirement 

With the Kyoto Protocol, commitments were made not to actions but to results that were to be measured after a decade or more. This approach has disadvantages. … A government that commits to actions at least knows what it is committed to, and its partners also know and can observe compliance. In contrast, a government that commits to the consequences of various actions on emissions can only hope that its estimates, or guesses, are on target, and so can its partners. 
—Thomas C. Schelling, Nobel Memorial Prize, 2005 
What Makes Greenhouse Sense?, Foreign Affairs,2002 

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Setting target levels is so contentious because allowing a country high emission levels is tantamount to giving it money—a fact that has become more obvious with the advent of carbon trading. … Under the common [among all countries] tax proposal, all of these issues are avoided. … 

With the world having invested so much in the development of the targets approach, it is understandable that there will be reluctance to abandon it. Yet there is not even a glimmer of an idea at the moment of how targets can be set that will be acceptable both to the United States and to the developing countries. 
—Joseph E. Stiglitz, Nobel Memorial Prize, 2001 
Making Globalization Work, 2007 

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Developing countries will not accept internationally set caps. … a global carbon price can provide a fair and effective standard, and it is the best hope for international cooperation. 
—Stoft, Directory of Global Energy Policy Center
Carbonomics, 2008

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The focus has been on targets and timetables I think this is absolutely the wrong way to go. As climatologists, it makes sense. As humans, it makes sense. But as [the basis for] an international agreement, it doesn't make any sense. 
—Scott Barrett, Columbia University, 
Author of Environment and Statecraft: The Strategy of Environmental Treaty-Making. 
quoted in Nature Reports Climate Change, November 2009


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