Evaluating the Bush Climate Change Initiative
RIVM offers a report evaluating the President's proposal to reduce the greenhouse gas intensity of the US economy by 18 per cent between 2002 and 2012. This policy target can be regarded as being very modest, when compared to historical trends and projected baseline developments. It will not prevent US emissions from rising and in fact, the proposal implies that US greenhouse gas emissions in 2012 will be 32 per cent above the 1990-level. The Bush Initiative further advocates using intensity targets in the international climate change regime but overlooks serious problems associated with this approach. The main problem is the inherent uncertainty about the environmental effectiveness.
The conclusion is that the Bush Initiative offers no credible alternative to the Kyoto Protocol as a basis for establishing an effective and acceptable regime. At the same time, the proposal is mainly of political significance as it explicitly accepts the importance of the climate change problem and the long-term objective of the Climate Change Convention. Thereby, the Bush Initiative improves the longer term prospects for US participation in a global climate change regime.
|Author(s)||Moor APG de ; Berk MM ; Elzen MGJ den ; Vuuren DP van|