The Kyoto cul-de-sac – why the Kyoto Protocol is not working
The core of the Kyoto Protocol is limitation or penalisation. Countries with high CO2 emissions are branded as "sinners." Climate-protection activists call repeatedly for direct limitation of CO2. The consequence: the call for reduction is answered more or less energetically, depending on the policy of each country; the best solution seems to be contractual limits on CO2. The central problem lies in the approach: every proposed limitation on CO2 in a country triggers a reflex action from the economy of that country, involving loss or relocation of jobs. And mutual confidence in any willingness to abide by treaties is bound to be low; fear that others will snatch an advantage is high. In the last resort the questions remains: who will monitor the rules at an international level, and what will the consequences be of any breach?
The result: haggling every year about the level of CO2 emissions like hucksters at a fair; mutual accusations and mistrust have led finally to the cul-de-sac which is climate policy. With the successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol adopted at the Paris UN climate conference and the detection of climate change contributions from states and countries in 2015 rethinking in international climate protection for the first time is recognized.