American Leadership: What Could Have Been

I was just reading Industries Allied to Cap Carbon Differ on the Details from the NYTimes when something struck me. The US did the right thing in not signing up to Kyoto, but for the wrong reasons. You know why it should have refused? Because. Kyoto. Didn’t. Go. Far. Enough.

We should all be paying a lot more attention to the Climate Action Partnership, which includes both major polluters and environmental groups.

In January 2007, the eclectic group endorsed a bold national policy that called for reduction in carbon dioxide emissions of 60 percent to 80 percent by 2050, an aggressive target that is in line with recommendations from an international panel of scientists. But the group, which now has 33 members, has failed to reach consensus on a variety of issues, including how to allocate carbon permits and whether to include a price cap for carbon credits.


  1. April Dunford says

    It’s interesting to watch what is happening in the U.S. election around this. McCain is saying 60%, Dems say 80%. The other thing to watch for is what reference year they are using (this is also an issue with how corporate targets for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions are set). 60% from 1990 levels is difficult to compare against 12% from 2004 levels. Kyoto gets confusing here too. We need a better way to talk about this stuff.