What Didn't Kyoto Do?

Guest Post by Willis Eschenbach

There has been some discussion over the years regarding Tom Wigley’s 1998 estimate that even if Kyoto were to be 100% successful in meeting its targets, it would only have reduced temperatures by an estimated 0.05 degrees Celsius by 2050. Since Wigley was and is a strong supporter of Kyoto, this was a significant admission. Kyoto has been a crazy waste of money, Kyoto nations have spent billions and billions of dollars on the off-chance of cooling the earth by an amount too small to be measured …

Despite that 1998 calculation of a massive lack of cooling even if Kyoto were successful, the party-goers attending the latest climate carnival in Durban all seem to want to give us a brand new Kyoto II. They want a bigger and better and more binding brand new supersized Kyoto. Since the old Kyoto, even if successful in reducing emissions, cost hundreds of billions and delivered no measurable change in temperature, I’m unclear why a Kyoto ten times that big would be of interest to anyone.

But was Kyoto even successful in reducing emissions? Here’s a chart from Der Spiegel:

Figure 1. Per capita emissions in 2010 (red bars) and changes in per capita emissions since 1990 (arrows) for selected countries and the 27 countries of the European Union (EU27). Germany benefitted greatly in CO2 emission terms from the post-1990 reunion with East Germany, so it basically got a free pass and decreased the most.           SOURCE Der Spiegel

With the emissions from China and India going through the roof, whatever the industrialized nations do is meaningless. But here’s the real oddity of the graph.

The entire goal of Kyoto was to drop total country emissions (not per capita emissions) to 1990 levels. Since the population has gone up since 1990, to drop total emissions back down to 1990 levels means that per capita emissions have to drop even further, to well below 1990 levels. Kyoto was supposed to encourage the EU folks to undertake some serious reductions of emissions.

But at the end of the day, despite all of the noise and all of the fury, the US did a better job at reducing per capita emissions (down 14% compared to the 1990 values) than the EU27 did (down 12% compared to the 1990 values).

It is also interesting to compare the absolute values of the changes. In the EU27 with Kyoto, the emissions dropped since 1990 by 1.1 tonnes per capita. Remember that this includes Germany, which artificially decreased the average emissions. Bear in mind as well that one effect of Kyoto was to move energy-intensive industries outside the EU27, which also artificially decreased emissions.

In the USA without Kyoto, emissions dropped since 1990 by more than twice as much, a reduction of 2.8 tonnes per capita. The US had no Kyoto incentives and punishments, didn’t drive out energy-intensive industry, and despite all of that had larger emission reductions, both in absolute and in percentage terms, than the EU27. Go figure.

Meanwhile, Chinese emissions went up, not down but up, by a whopping 4.6 tonnes per capita … and there’s a whole lot more capitas in China than there are capitas in the US and EU27 combined. China by itself wiped out all the gains of the EU27, and all the gains of the US, and turned them all into a net increase. And that’s just China, doesn’t include Brazil and India and all the rest of the developing world.

So the Kyoto Protocol, which was confidently forecast by its supporters to make an unmeasurably small difference in reducing temperature if it succeeded in reducing emissions, was also a failure at reducing emissions. The EU couldn’t

Can we now please throw the whole “let’s cut emissions” approach, involving emission goals and cap-and-trade and and “Clean Development Mechanisms” and carbon offsets and “renewable energy quotas” and carbon taxes on the scrap heap of history? Can we agree that not only was Kyoto meaningless regarding the temperature, it was also meaningless regarding CO2 emission reduction?

Dream on … the answer to “What didn’t Kyoto do?” is “It didn’t do anything but cost money”, but that will never stop its supporters. The only good news is, at this point in the century nobody can afford it, so I think Kyoto II is DOA.

w.

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29 thoughts on “What Didn't Kyoto Do?

  1. Well it’s all baloney anyway, since the USA is a net carbon sink; so we are not the problem; and as it happens there isn’t any problem anyway.

  2. Kyoto was never intended to ‘reduce emissions’. Just ask one of the authors:
    “What if a small group of world leaders were to conclude that the principal risk to the Earth comes from the actions of rich countries? And if the world is to survive, those rich countries would have to sign an agreement reducing their impact on the environment. Will they do it? The group’s conclusion is “no.” The rich countries won’t do it. They won’t change. So, in order to save the planet, the group decides: Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about? This group of world leaders form a secret society to bring about an economic collapse. ” — Maurice Strong, secretary general, 1992 UN Conference on Environment and Development
    Now consider our POTUS
    “We can’t drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times … and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK,” — Barack Hussein Obama
    His words and actions seem consistent with the intentions behind the fraud of Kyoto. Obama even made Holdren a Czar.
    No one is trying to ‘save the planet’. They are trying to rule over it’s inhabitants.

  3. Yeah, sure the USA dropped per capita CO2 from 1990 to 2010. The economy is idling. Who is traveling? We don’t manufacture much anymore. Imagine the CO2 from making aluminum, steel and concrete. Not so much now. The real trouble for our country is idleness, indirectly measured by the drop in CO2 production.
    Green policy creates poverty.

  4. [… the answer to “What didn’t Kyoto do?” is “It didn’t do anything but cost money”]
    Some people figured out a long time ago that was the only possible outcome.
    Canadian GDP grew by 3.5% at last report, in percentage terms a value nearly equal to the drop in the GDP of the countries in the un-developing world that believe in Kyoto.

    “Kyoto is essentially a socialist scheme to suck money out of wealth-producing nations.”
    “This may be a lot of fun for a few scientific and environmental elites in Ottawa, but ordinary Canadians from coast to coast will not put up with what this will do to their economy and lifestyle”
    “As economic policy, the Kyoto Accord is a disaster. As environmental policy it is a fraud”
    Stephen Harper, Prime Minister of Canada.

  5. Now do a similar analysis on the assumption that the goal of Kyoto was to redirect money.
    I think you’ll find it was quite successful, hence the push for a “10X larger Kyoto II”.

  6. Dead on as usual Willis.
    The economics and politics of Kyoto were as crooked as the science it purported to rest upon.
    The treaty was never really designed to reduce CO2 emissions, rather it was a Trojan Horse for wealth transfers from the West to the “less developed” nations. Sounds crazy but the genesis of the Kyoto wheeze was in Rio a few years before and the explicit goal of using “global warming” to effect “social justice” was never far from the surface at that confab.

  7. What is everyone fussed about? Koyoto has quite clearly halted the temperature rise. You can see the quite abrupt flattening of the temperature curve beginning about 1999-2000.
    My models show that temperature rise is strongly co-related with speeches, conferences and the transfer of large sums of money to climate organisations. I can find no other causes, so it must be this one. It is ESSENTIAL for the future survival of humanity that we continue to fund these selfless groups, who are selflessly undergoing a succession of rigourous parties in order to save the world.
    Please contribute generously. Oh, sorry, I forgot – you don’t really have any option, do you….

  8. Hoser says:
    December 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm
    “Yeah, sure the USA dropped per capita CO2 from 1990 to 2010. The economy is idling. Who is traveling? We don’t manufacture much anymore. […]”
    The US manufactures more than ever; but it needs less and less workers to do so. Here’s a chart.
    http://www.belligerati.com/?p=2457

  9. In the third from final paragraph there seems to be an incomplete sentence, “The EU couldn’t”.
    I don’t know what exposition was to follow, but it seems like you have accidentally discovered the most appropriate and shortest epitaph in all history.

  10. Kyoto was a success. We have had increasing co2 and flat temps for over a decade. What more can you ask for. / SARC
    It used to be about reducing temperature but has morphed into a money making scam. Its supporters know full well that whatever we do is meaningless regarding temps. Their worst nightmare is that global mean temp falls in the face of ever increasing co2 output. Their nightmare might be approaching soon and should put an end to this farce.

  11. I don’t know why people are after accusing gases for global warming. There is not a single scientific explanation to prove the claim. on the contrary, gases are actually helping the earth to cool down by convection method of heat transmission. Please click on my name for causes and solutions to CC.

  12. Emissions do NOT matter, even if the theory of GHG’s etc were right, because human emissions are a tiny proportion of the total.
    To try to stop human development and progress because of a loony theory is totally crazy.

  13. Hoser says:
    December 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm
    “……………..Green policy creates poverty.”
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Hit it on the nail. Unfortunately, that is precisely what the Greens want so they would view their policies as a success. Even more so, if millions and millions of people die as a consequence of their policies. After all, they think that the planet needs saving from man and the best way to achieve this is to get rid of man.

  14. Coinciding with the Durban [snip . . you know the rules] Australias Climate Change Commission released their latest scare campaign. More droughts and more deaths due to heatwaves and even more dengue fever, storms and the usual crap. Now the difference this time is that the release was reported but minimally. The chief Climate Commissioner, Tim Flannery, was actually questioned about his current predictions and compared to his numerous failed predictions on the ABC of all places. Channel Seven ran a story about papers showing sea level rises of less than a mm per annum being prevented from being published because they went against the government line. Several newspapers, none from Fairfax, reported the revised doubt from the IPCC.
    Maybe Climategate II is having an effect. Gillard says she will spend $100 million to promote her carbon tax so they must figure they have a lot of ground to cover. Won’t change any opinions though.

  15. Excellent post, Willis. This information is another good reason to resist the dunderheads at EPA who continue to draft regulations related to CO2, in spite of their complete uselessness and the damage they will do to the American economy.

  16. @richard verney says:
    December 2, 2011 at 2:43 am
    Hoser says:
    December 1, 2011 at 11:57 pm
    “……………..Green policy creates poverty.”
    ///////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////
    Hit it on the nail. Unfortunately, that is precisely what the Greens want so they would view their policies as a success. Even more so, if millions and millions of people die as a consequence of their policies. After all, they think that the planet needs saving from man and the best way to achieve this is to get rid of man.

    =====================================================================
    Uh… get rid of all the other people; not themselves.

  17. In the USA without Kyoto, emissions dropped since 1990 by more than twice as much, a reduction of 2.8 tonnes per capita. The US had no Kyoto incentives and punishments, didn’t drive out energy-intensive industry, and despite all of that had larger emission reductions, both in absolute and in percentage terms, than the EU27. Go figure.

    _______________________________
    For the USA you left out two significant changes… well three.
    #1. The ratification of NAFTA (1995?)
    #2. The ratification of the World Trade Organization (WTO) (1995)
    #3. China joining the WTO (2001)
    All done during Clinton’s Admin. – So much for the progressives being a friend of the labor unions and third world peasants. Unfortunately US workers haven’t figured out that Clinton was actually in bed with the Mega-corporations. (Ain’t propaganda great!)
    What the trade agreements did was to get rid of import duties. Import duties allowed countries to protect their citizens from exploitation by the multinational corporations. With the WTO and NAFTA banning import duties and opening borders by banning any “trade restrictive laws”, the Ag cartel could use tax payer subsidized first world grain to bankrupt third world peasant farmers driving them to the cities. Mexico, for example lost 75% of her peasant farmers. Once in the cities the farmers became the source of desperate cheap labor for the outsourced manufacturing plants of other multinational corporations. A win-win for corporate CEOs and a big lose for the starving peasants and first world workers alike. This is the United Nations version of “Socialism” BTW.
    The results of these trade agreements were a major drop in US exports and a major increase in imports. Chart: http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/8/80/US_Trade_Balance_1980_2010.svg
    In the first five years, between 1995 and 2000 the trade deficits went from -100 billion down to -400 billion dollars. In the second five years it dropped another 300 billion to -700 billion dollars.
    The great lakes region is where much of the US heavy industry is. This study calls it the ”Great Lakes manufacturing belt.”

    Bearing the Brunt: Manufacturing Job Loss in the Great Lakes Region, 1995-2005
    July 2006 —
    Findings
    Analysis of manufacturing employment and production in seven Great Lakes states and their metropolitan areas from 1995 through 2005 finds that:
    More than one-third of the nation’s loss of manufacturing jobs between 2000 and 2005 occurred in seven Great Lakes states: Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. Between 1995 and 2005, the United States lost more than 3 million manufacturing jobs….. http://www.brookings.edu/reports/2006/07useconomics_wial.aspx

    This next article does not cover the effects of the first five years of the WTO on US manufacturing but does cover the last five years.

    Trade Deficit with China Has Cost 2.8 Million U.S. Jobs Over Past Decade, New Study Finds Manufacturing Hit Hardest with More Than 1.9 Million Jobs Lost
    The growth of the U.S. trade deficit with China since that country entered the World Trade Organization in 2001 has had a devastating effect on U.S. workers and the domestic economy. Between 2001 and 2010, 2.8 million U.S. jobs were lost or displaced….Between 2001 and 2010, the computer and electronic parts industry was hit the hardest, as more than 909,400 jobs were displaced….
    The report cited other industrial sectors hit hard due to the growth in the trade deficit with China between 2001 and 2010, including apparel and accessories (178,700 jobs), textile fabrics and products (92,300), fabricated metal products (123,900), plastic and rubber products (62,000), motor vehicles and parts (49,300), and miscellaneous manufactured goods (119,700)….
    “This report offers conclusive evidence that immediate action by the Administration is needed to curb China’s currency manipulation, which, along with China’s blatant trade violations, are having the same devastating impact on high-tech production that they’ve already had on the nation’s longstanding industrial base,” http://americanmanufacturing.org/press-releases/trade-deficit-china-has-cost-28-million-us-jobs-over-past-decade-new-study-finds

    This is from a 2008 US government bulletin on Labor Force Trends. It shows that the US government is very much aware that they are CAUSING the loss of American jobs and that “U.S. government tax and immigration policies are actually speeding up offshoring.” That is on top of the trade treaties.

    ….Since 1980, jobs have shifted from manufacturing to the service sector, but white-
    collar service jobs are increasingly lost overseas……
    The increasing mobility of labor, goods, and capital associated with globalization also potentially affects wages. Industrial restructuring, which has been characterized by a decline in manufacturing…
    Since 1980 there has been a downward trend in manufacturing employment…… the percentage of all nonfarm workers in manufacturing declined from 24 percent in March 1973 to 10 percent in March 2007…..
    An Overview of the Offshoring of U.S. Jobs
    …[A] study by Princeton University economist Alan Blinder. He estimates the 10 most vulnerable occupations, where U.S. workers in these jobs now face competition from overseas workers. These jobs have the potential of being offshored, but not all of these jobs will be lost overseas. Blinder’s study estimates that about 30 million jobs, accounting for a little more than one-fifth of the U.S. workforce, are vulnerable to offshoring…….
    U.S. government tax and immigration policies are actually speeding up offshoring. U.S.-based multinational corporations that outsource work offshore receive tax breaks.
    4 And offshore outsourcing firms have exploited loopholes in U.S. immigration policy, particularly in the H-1B and L-1 guest worker visas, to facilitate the transfer of work overseas……
    In a global economy, a country such as the United States is affected not only by its own demographic trends, but also by the trends and policies in other countries. Many U.S. and foreign-owned multinationals are shifting production from high-wage to low-wage countries, with China as one of the primary destinations for jobs. According to one study, companies shifting jobs tend to be large, well-established, publicly held corporations.49 Manufacturing firms are the main source of exported jobs, but offshore outsourcing of information technology jobs and customer service jobs continues to grow.
    http://www.prb.org/pdf08/63.2uslabor.pdf

    You do not have to pass a “Cap and Trade” bill or sign Kyoto all you have to do is export all the jobs in the country. The EU did it above board and the USA did it underhandedly. Both methods got the job done and the bankers and corporations sucking down tax payer money are satisfied. Again a Win-Win-Win-Win for the politicians, bankers, corporations and the progressives trying to drive the entire world into universal poverty so we will all be “equal” What an unholy alliance!

  18. Kumbaya Willis, kumbaya.
    Kyoto was about feeling better about ourselves because we’re all working together for the common good of humanity and Mother Earth.
    And moving towards a world government that has jurisdiction over national sovereignty.

  19. DirkH says:
    December 2, 2011 at 1:06 am
    “…The US manufactures more than ever; but it needs less and less workers to do so.”
    Uh, that depends on which manufacturing sector to which you refer. Despite more wood available almost everywhere in the lower 48 (and most especially in the west where the federal government steadfastly refuses to manage the majority of timberlands under their control), the forest products sector is in steady decline. The combination of environmental wackos (and their spurious lawsuits that US taxpayers are forced to finance) and the looming specter of Cap and Tax conspire to slowly but surely grind down the only heavy industry we have based on an infinitely renewable resource.

  20. Part of the international agreements was that the “West” would transfer technology to India and China.
    Now the US government is transferring sensitive technologies to China including sharing technology that might have military applications. However US CITIZENS are blocked from FOIA request on climate because it might have military applications????
    It seems the USA deems it’s own people the enemy and our old enemies bosom pals. GRRRrrrr
    http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/01/business/worldbusiness/01iht-transfer.4.8978324.html
    “The Bali Action Plan, a decision made at the UNFCCC meeting in 2007 called for strengthened efforts to move technologies from developed to developing countries.” http://www.wri.org/stories/2010/11/copenhagen-cancun-technology-transfer
    Direct from a World Trade Organization website:

    TRIPS: ISSUES
    Technology transfer

    Developing countries, in particular, see technology transfer as part of the bargain in which they have agreed to protect intellectual property rights. The TRIPS Agreement includes a number of provisions on this. For example, it says one of the purposes of protecting intellectual property is to promote innovation and technology transfer, and it requires developed countries’ governments to provide incentives for their companies to transfer technology to least-developed countries.
    More precisely, Article 7 (“Objectives”) states that the protection and enforcement of intellectual property rights should contribute to the promotion of technological innovation and to the transfer and dissemination of technology, to the mutual advantage of producers and users of technological knowledge and in a manner conducive to social and economic welfare, and to a balance of rights and obligations.
    The obligation for developed countries to provide incentives for technology transfer are in Article 66.2….. The council adopted a decision setting up this mechanism in February 2003. It details the information developed countries are to supply by the end of the year, on how their incentives are functioning in practice….
    http://www.wto.org/english/tratop_e/trips_e/techtransfer_e.htm

    I sometimes wonder if CAGW is the dog and pony show used to keep us busy while the United Nations and the international corporations and bankers put their “Global Governance” plans in place right under our noses.
    We are so busy fighting CAGW we do not have the time to go after WTO, a worldwide version of the early EU trade agreement. Pascal Lamy, Director-General of the World Trade Organization, makes it clear that he thinks the EU is a good example of an intermediate “stepping stone” on the way towards “Global Governance”
    It really worries me that the idea of “Global Governance” is out of the closet and talked of as a goal by very powerful people like Pascal Lamy, Maurice Strong and worse the World Bank and the UN.

  21. Just wait, the next thing somebody will propose is to count the carbon where it’s consumed, not where it’s produced.
    At best, Kyoto just moved the problem around. Factories closed in the USA and Europe and dirtier factories opened in Asia. There was no net decrease in emissions. (I know, that wasn’t really the point of Kyoto, keep following me, please.)
    So the new method of accounting will be yes, China emitted this, India admitted that, but the finished goods were shipped to England, Australia and the USA. The emissions should be counted where the consumers who purchase those products live.
    The righteous finger of green blame will be pointed back to us, of course, which is also of course, the point.

  22. Willis, a good post, but something is missing. A large factor in the decline in US emissions was the large rise of gas-fired generation in the late 1990s and mid-2000s. By and large this new gas-fired generation displaced capacity from older coal-fired stations. It accounts for much of the reason in the rise in the price of gas from about $3 in 2000 to nearly $8 by 2007. It also had the effect of killing domestic ammonia production. Domestic production of agricultural fertilizer vanished over that period, with over a dozen plants in the US shutting down.
    In short, all of the changes noted in your graphic were entirely the result of natural developments in the economy, and Kyoto caused none of them.

  23. The people who want the US, Europe, Japan, etc. to significantly cut carbon emissions always strike me as being, for lack of a better word, in denial about Chinese, Indian etc. intentions when it comes to their own emissions.

  24. cgh says:
    December 2, 2011 at 10:54 am
    Willis, a good post, but something is missing. A large factor in the decline in US emissions was the large rise of gas-fired generation in the late 1990s and mid-2000s. By and large this new gas-fired generation displaced capacity from older coal-fired stations. It accounts for much of the reason in the rise in the price of gas from about $3 in 2000 to nearly $8 by 2007. It also had the effect of killing domestic ammonia production. Domestic production of agricultural fertilizer vanished over that period, with over a dozen plants in the US shutting down.
    In short, all of the changes noted in your graphic were entirely the result of natural developments in the economy, and Kyoto caused none of them.

    The USA didn’t sign Kyoto and our emissions went down. Does anybody attribute that to Kyoto? In Gusher of Lies, Robert Bryce postulates that as people become wealthier, they naturally want a cleaner environment and will seek out cleaner energy sources and will also naturally choose make more energy efficient choices.
    We didn’t adopt Kyoto and didn’t need to.
    ~More Soylent Green!

  25. Gail Combs, Maurice Strong ain’t quite so powerful these days. He’s hiding out in Beijing. Why? Well, there’s a few folks want to ask him some unpleasant questions about Oil for Food scandals, there’s the Costa Rican police who possibly want to ask him about land use scandals involving infringement on native reservations, and probably some old business about water rights scams in the western US from the 1980s. He fled Costa Rica and the bankruptcy of his World University, landed in Toronto and was off to Beijing before the dust had time to settle.
    MSG, read my last sentence again; NONE of the reductions in CO2 in the 200s had anything to do with Kyoto. It is and always has been utterly irrelevant for emissions reductions even presuming that such is a good and necessary thing. As evidence, the emissions trading mechanisms.

  26. Thanks, Willis, fine job as always! Of course, the US recession whacked our carbon emissions, and Figure 1 in this report is a very nice graphical view of the relative carbon emissions of the US compared to China.
    http://www.worldclimatereport.com/index.php/2011/04/14/biggest-drop-in-us-greenhouse-gas-emissions/
    Taming global warming (if such exists) will be nothing compared to taming the Chinese industrial complex! I’d say that is a hopeless task. See you on the other side, CRS

  27. Richard Verney says
    Hit it on the nail. Unfortunately, that is precisely what the Greens want so they would view their policies as a success. Even more so, if millions and millions of people die as a consequence of their policies. After all, they think that the planet needs saving from man and the best way to achieve this is to get rid of man.
    —————-
    But this theory is straining at the plausibility seams.
    On the one hand it’s is supposed to be a socialist conspiracy to transfer money to poor countries. And on the other hand this transfer of money is supposed to kill millions of poor people in those poor countries.
    And some how reduced wealth in the USA middle class is supposed to be caused by green policies. Maybe you need to check to facts first. Like:
    1. Improved energy efficiency in USA manufacturing. Is that happening?
    2. Economic failures during the previous Republican administration.
    3. Economic failures elsewhere in the USA economy.
    And 50 zillion other things that have more or less impact.

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