Did the Kyoto Protocols Succeed?
It's fairly common to hear the Kyoto protocols dismissed as a well-intentioned failure. This is generally a reflection on the first year or two of the program, which got off to a bumpy start. But since then, the program has been doing quite well, and the "Annex B" countries -- the industrialized countries that ratified Kyoto and are legally bound to cut emissions -- are, as Bill Chameides details, "not only keeping up with but are in fact exceeding their Kyoto commitments. In 2007, their collective emissions were about 17 percent below the 1990 base year emissions." Conversely, as you can see on the graph atop this post, countries that didn't sign onto the protocol and haven't been making much of an effort have seen their emissions rise. Or, in the case of China, rocket.
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