Magazine article Geographical

Climate Calamity

Magazine article Geographical

Climate Calamity

Article excerpt

When the Kyoto Protocol was agreed at the Kyoto Climate Summit in 1997, it could have been the first legally binding international treaty committing leading countries to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases.

But four years later, and the United States, the world's largest greenhouse polluter, has pulled out of the agreement, leaving the world fearing the consequences.

US President George W Bush's reasons behind the withdrawal have angered European politicians, including Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott, who has accused the United States of "free-riding" on the rest of the world.

The recently elected Republican said he would not accept the plan to reduce US emissions by seven per cent below 1990 levels by 2012 because he felt it would harm the economy. Bush also says that the Protocol affectively allows developing countries exemption, which he argues is unfair. However, if US policy remains the same, [CO.sup.2] output by 2012 is expected to be about 30 per cent higher than in 1990.

Reacting to the decision, green groups called for a boycott of US companies that back Bush, and thousands of angry emails from people around the globe blocked the White House server. …

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