Staying Cool About Global WarmingIssue: Fall 1999
Last November, delegates from almost all of the world's countries met in Buenos Aires to answer a question posed six years earlier in Rio de Janeiro: How to control the emissions of greenhouse gases? At their meeting in Kyoto in December 1997, representatives of the developed countries (plus those from several countries in transition from socialist economies) had agreed to a program for reducing these emissions, the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change. After Kyoto, however, their governments did virtually nothing to carry out these commitments, and it is fair to say that nothing of consequence took place in Buenos Aires either. The delegates there agreed only to a "plan of action" designed to resolve some uncertainties about how the Protocol could--or even whether it should--be implemented late in the year 2000.