International Panel Asks for More Flexible Kyoto Protocol

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an international panel has called for a broader version of the Kyoto Protocol. It endorses the Bush administration’s gradual and voluntary reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions, in proportion to economic output, as one of a number of new approaches that might be used in 2012 when the treaty’s current regulatory regime expires.

According to a report in the Wall Street Journal, an international panel has called for a broader version of the Kyoto Protocol. It endorses the Bush administration’s gradual and voluntary reduction of carbon-dioxide emissions, in proportion to economic output, as one of a number of new approaches that might be used in 2012 when the treaty’s current regulatory regime expires. The Bush administration, however, said it isn’t interested in an early renegotiation of the protocol.

The international panel includes corporate and government officials from the U.S., Japan, the United Kingdom, and China. Its report, released yesterday by the non-profit Pew Center on Global Climate Change, calls for negotiators to revise the 1997 treaty to allow some countries to choose alternatives to international regulations that assign each country a quota and a timetable to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other gases thought to be contributing to climate change.

To date, 38 industrial nations have signed the Kyoto Protocol and thus have agreed to reduce their emissions from 1990 levels by an average 5.2 percent during the period from 2008 to 2012. The U.S. is one of 40 nations that haven’t joined the Kyoto treaty. China has ratified the treaty, but, as a developing nation, isn’t subject to its emission controls. The U.S. and China are the two largest emitters of man-made carbon dioxide.

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