The Kyoto Protocol represents nearly a decade of interational effort to reduce carbon emissions, but it has not been ratified by any major greenhouse emitter and it has been rejected by the US. This text argues that the contemporary approach of international negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol is going in the wrong direction, and it offers what the authors believe is a blueprint for more effective policy. They believe that managing uncertainty - particularly the future costs of any plan - is key to realistic climate policy. They maintain that sustainable policy should meet four basic criteria: it should slow down carbon dioxide emissions where it is cost-effective to do so; compensate those who are hurt economically; require a high degree of consensus both domestically and internationally; and allow countries to enter the programme easily and continue to participate even if they drop out of the agreement at certain times. The book summarizes the contemporary state of knowledge about climate change and discusses the history of negotiations since 1992 - in the process identifying the Kyoto Protocol as the wrong approach to the problem.
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