Enviros Look Beyond Kyoto to Bring U.S. Into Climate Fold

The troubled Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is set to expire in 2012. With American sentiment for action on global warming building rapidly, environmentalists are focusing on drafting a follow-up agreement on which even holdouts like the U.S. and Australia can agree.

Environmental organizations like Friends of the Earth say the time is ripe to draft a follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol.© GETTY IMAGES

Due to the publicity generated by Al Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth and with environmentally friendly Democrats running the show in Congress, activists feel that the time is ripe for talking up the possibilities of an agreement—whether a renewal of Kyoto or a different agreement entirely—that meets the concerns of the U.S., namely that developing nations like China and India are not subject to the same restrictions as industrialized nations.

Despite such efforts, however, the Bush administration has not changed its stance on Kyoto or any similar future agreement. "At the moment I am really quite skeptical. I get no sense that [U.S. President George W.] Bush is about to move on this," Catherine Pearce, international climate change campaigner for the nonprofit Friends of the Earth, told reporters last week.

But that’s not stopping Pearce and her supporters from lobbying for a new all-inclusive global warming treaty, which would take as long as four years to iron out before it could be implemented. At that point, a new administration—one likely more concerned about staving off the myriad ill effects of global warming—will have moved into the White House.

Source: Reuters: Push for new climate treaty intensifies