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Global Warming: The Gathering Storm

Russia resurrects the Kyoto Protocol and the prospect of either mandatory CO2 emissions cuts for U.S. utilities, or the start of a global trade war.
Fortnightly Magazine - August 2004

the risk of trade sanctions. Having undertaken aggressive measures to reduce CO 2 emissions, the EU perceives the U.S. retreat from Kyoto as irresponsible, particularly when the United States is by far the largest global emitter of greenhouse gases. The United States accounts for 36 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions from Annex I countries and 20 percent of total global emissions. While the EU has reduced its CO 2 emissions by 2.3 percent since 1990-1one-quarter of its 2012 target of an 8 percent reduction-U.S. CO 2 emissions have increased by 13 percent.2 Energy-related activities are the primary sources of U.S. anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 85 percent of total emissions on a carbon equivalent basis in 2002. Energy-related activities emit 97 percent of the nation's CO 2, 36 percent of its methane, and 16 percent of its nitrous oxide.


  1. See European Environmental Agency, Greenhouse Gas Emission Trends and Projections in Europe 2003, Summary.
  2. See U.S. EPA, Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, 1990-2002 (April 2004).

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This represents a huge amount of green house gas emissions that can be reduced with a view to mitigating climate change ... [as] the EU and Russia must work together to implement the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol, and co-operation should include capacity building regarding the monitoring of greenhouse gases and reporting in particular emissions trading and Joint Implementation. 6

Until the U.S. ratifies and implements the Kyoto Protocol, there cannot be fair and free trade with the U.S. and the U.S. will be in clear violation of the WTO Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures. 8

[4] Subject to the requirement that such measures are not applied in a manner which would constitute a means of arbitrary or unjustifiable discrimination between countries where the same conditions prevail, or a disguised restriction on international trade, nothing in this Agreement shall be construed to prevent the adoption or enforcement by any Member of measures . . .
[1] relating to the conservation of
[2] exhaustible natural resources
[3] if such measures are made effective in conjunction with restrictions on domestic production or consumption. 10