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Tue, Nov. 21st, 2006, 12:07 am
cyotha: UN's 2006 climate change talks conclude

The annual UN climate change convention and Kyoto Protocol meeting ran from November 6 to November 17, 2006 in Nairobi, Kenya. Outcomes included additional help for developing nations to diversify their economies and reduce fossil fuel dependence.

Under the Kyoto Protocol, developing nations are not bound to reduce their carbon emissions; the burden of reducing emissions falls on industrialized, developed nations, such as the EU and the US. While the US, under President Clinton, signed the convention, it has never been ratified by the Senate. The US Constitution requires ratification by the Senate before the US can be bound by any treaty, so the US, to date, has not participated in the Kyoto emission-reduction goals.

President George W. Bush and others have justified the US's refusal to ratify the treaty with two arguments: first, that developing nations (China, in particular) should have emission-reduction goals as well; and second, that it could hurt the US economy.

Do the decisions taken in Nairobi address these concerns at all? Are these reasons sufficient justification for the US to abstain from Kyoto?

Links:

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (official website). Includes press releases and full text of decisions and conclusions adopted by the Nairobi conference.

Kyoto Protocol: Wikipedia article. An excellent overview of the convention's complexities.