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The Benefits and Costs of the Kyoto Protocol


Jason Shogren

The University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY


The 1998 Kyoto protocol signaled a new earnestness of international intent toward addressing the perceived risk of climate change. Kyoto demands that developed nations turn their economies so as to hit differentiated, sub-1990 level carbon emission targets within the next decade or so. Meanwhile, developing nations sit on the sideline committed, serious in their refusal to stifle economic growth by controlling their swelling carbon emissions. The protocol asks for immediate action to address an uncertain, long-term, global threat in which the nations soon to be the world's largest emitters may never participate. Many experts then and now view the Kyoto accord as the best direction for climate protection, and few see the most recent rounds of negotiations as the direction that will change their opinion. The protocol's short-term comeback to a long-term question of climate change has left most experts demanding either deeper emission reductions or broader emission coverage or an entirely new process. This talk considers the driving elements behind the benefits and costs of climate protection via Kyoto or similar international agreements that follow.


AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90004©2002 AAPG Rocky Mountain Section, Laramie, Wyoming