Rationality in the Statements of President Bush?An Assessment of Whether the Kyoto Protocol is Fatally Flawed

In International Review for Environmental Strategies (IRES) Volume 2 Number 1 (Summer 2001)
Peer-reviewed Article

The paper assessed the rationality of the "official" reasons why the Bush Administration opposes the Kyoto Protocol and judges the Kyoto Protocol to be "fatally flawed". Most of the reasons why the Bush Administration made this judgment-lack of long-term goals, exclusion of developing countries and lack of linkages between the scientific base and policy-can be dealt with in the process of the development of the Kyoto Protocol much more easily than through the establishment of an alternative from scratch. We find some rationality in the Bush Administration's opposition to the ratification of the Protocol by the United States based on recognition of increases in U.S. greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions above the "payable" level, in addition to security concerns involved in purchasing permits from EIT countries. Other stances of the Bush administration, such as devaluing or neglecting the existing international framework which the international community has achieved through a decade of intense negotiations, e.g. the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Intergovern-mental Panel on Climate Change, may cause delays in addressing climate change issues.


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