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January 16th, 2007
Beyond Kyoto

There is nothing new in this view. The Kyoto protocol was a compromise between those who wanted to increase the level of emission cuts and those who wanted ‘business as usual’.

But the evidence seems to be that even the current level is too high. Mankind must scale back its impact on the environment sooner rather than later.

Controversially, Omi argued that any new convention must include the three big polluters, the United States, China and India.

The US has refused to sign the protocol. It does not apply to either China or India because they are classified as developing countries – which are not covered by Kyoto.

In, fact, Omi noted that Kyoto covers only about 30 percent of the world’s total current carbon emissions. What’s more, this ratio is projected to decline further as emissions from developing countries increase.

In a presentation to the forum of the Washington-based Centre for Strategic and International Studies, Omi said: ‘it is important to go beyond the Kyoto Protocol to create a new, practical and effective framework in which all countries, including the United States, China and India, will participate.’

He urged the US, the world’s biggest polluter, to respond to the issue.

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