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Jay Currie

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5/09/2005

More Kyoto Unmasking

Over at TechCentralStation I read,

the EU is almost certain to miss its collective targets for the first Kyoto period. While the EU as a whole is committed to an eight percent reduction in emissions (on 1990 levels), the EU itself admits that policies currently in place (other policies are unlikely to be adopted) will lead to a reduction of only 1 percent in 2010. The implications of this are huge.

The EU's collective target is there because they put in place a burden-sharing agreement, hoping to take advantage of the inbuilt advantages of the UK, France and Germany in reducing emissions on 1990 levels -- the politically-driven phase-out of coal, heavy use of nuclear energy and the closing of East German smokestack industries respectively. By taking account of these advantages, other countries would not have to be as severe in their emissions policies as they would be under the original Kyoto agreement.

However, those other countries have for the most part massively increased their emissions from 1990 levels, wiping out the big nations' reductions. If the EU does not meet its collective target, as seems almost certain, then under Article 4 of the Kyoto Protocol itself, each individual country becomes responsible for a reduction of eight percent. At least 12 of the 15 EU countries concerned are on target to breach this target, nine of them spectacularly (having emissions increases of between 20 and 77 percent).
Quick, call Rick Mercer...