Where have we failed?

Jean-Francois Rischard: The dangerous climate change issue is one where the failure is the most glaring. It’s a failure on the U.S. side to be part of the Kyoto Treaty. And it’s a failure that actually already occurred during the Clinton presidency and was then magnified under the Bush administration later. But it wasn’t alone. Australia isn’t in the treaty, and all the big developing countries are not in it either. And China – which looked until about three weeks ago as if it was going to be interested in a second Kyoto after 2012 – now says it’s not going to do anything to damage its own growth prospect at this point. So it’s not playing ball either. And you could even argue that the Europeans, which spearheaded to Japan and others the Kyoto Treaty, were very unambitious because, as I said, the Kyoto protocol is a mouse of a treaty compared to what we really have to do to cut down emissions of carbon dioxide in order to level the concentration of carbon dioxide at about 500 parts per million 150 years from now. So no country has been very good at this. And for me that is the most preoccupying issue of the 20, and one where this failure of the nation state system to really tackle this issue is the most glaring.

Recorded on: 7/2/07

The Kyoto Protocol.

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