Analysis of the Kyoto Global Climate Conference
December 12, 1997
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in this forum:
A report from a correspondent in Japan. What reductions does the Kyoto agreement call for? Why has "global warming" become a big issue? Why were developing nations excluded from the agreement? Is there consensus amongst global leaders that global warming is for real? How should competing scientific claims about global warming be judged? Can the Kyoto Protocol be ratified by the Senate? Viewer comments.
December 11, 1997:
Two U.S. Senators discuss whether the Kyoto agreement will be ratified by the Senate.
December 10, 1997:
A member of the Clinton Administration reports on the negotiations in Kyoto.
December 9, 1997:
India's Ambassador to the U.S. explains why the developing nations should not be mandated to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions.
December 8, 1997:
The European Union's delegate to the U.S. talks about the rift between the EU and the U.S. at the Kyoto conference.
December 5, 1997:
A business leader questions the science behind global warming.
December 4, 1997:
A look at the the science and politics of global warming.
November 10, 1997:
An Online NewsHour forum on the U.S. plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
October 22, 1997:
A discussion of President Clinton's plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
June 25, 1997:
President Clinton is backing the EPA's push for tougher air quality standards, but critics say they're too costly.
February 18, 1997:
The federal Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new clean air standardsthat have been criticized by some industry, state and local officials.
March 6, 1997:
The fastest rise in temperature for perhaps ten thousand years is having a dramatic effect on the brittle ecosystem of Antarctica.
January 4, 1996
British meteorologists report that the Earth's surface temperature was higher than the average in 1995.
Browse the NewsHour's coverage of science and the environment.
EPA on global warming
Global Climate Information Project
Environmental Defense Fund
The Environmental Defense Fund's page on global warming.
Sierra Club's page on global warming
Global Change, a database of articles on climate change.
Mike Yentzer asks:
What is the true emission reduction required [by the U.S.] from today's level, at 7% below 1990 levels? I have heard 20% to 40%. (editors note: This would also be an opportunity to explain how the negotiators in Kyoto settled on the emission targets included in the treaty.)
Prof. Charles Weiss of Georgetown University replies:
The reduction targets agreed at Kyoto resulted from a political compromise, not from a technical analysis. The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that U.S. emissions of greenhouse gases in the year 2010 will have to be 37% less than they would have otherwise been (7% cuts plus 30% expected growth) in order to meet the targets. But this is just an educated guess, since there is no way to know how much the economy will grow between now and the year 2010,. What is more, since we don't know how successful we will be in developing low-cost ways to conserve energy and control greenhouse gas emissions, we don't really know how much money and how many jobs it will cost to do so. For all we know, it may even save money and jobs.