Jonathan Pershing, State Department deputy special envoy for climate change and top U.S. negotiator at the Copenhagen (2009) and Cancun (2010) climate conferences, says the Kyoto Protocol “didn’t work,” Politico reports. Pershing explained:
Under Kyoto, which is the old model, emissions between 1990 and 2007, from [carbon dioxide], climbed on the order of 40 percent. So, if you think that that was a successful model, then you should think again. It didn’t work.
The Politico article continues:
Noting that the Kyoto Protocol was never ratified in the U.S., Pershing said that despite its popularity abroad, “it is equally clear that the structures of Kyoto would not work for us.
“It is clear that it would not work politically; we couldn’t move forward under that framework,” he added. “We need a different process.”
Agreed. But what does that tell us about the Obama administration’s core approach — impose CO2 controls via EPA regulation under the aegis of the Clean Air Act? The only reason that “works” politically, or seems to, is that it bypasses Congress and the legislative process entirely.
U.S. rejection of the failed Kyoto “model” doesn’t have much point if EPA can ignore the people’s representatives and ‘enact’ an even riskier regulatory scheme. Republicans and centrist Democrats in the 112th Congress should take courage from the defeat of Kyoto and Waxman-Markey and stand up to EPA’s attempt to ‘legislate’ climate policy.