Handbook on Energy and Climate Change
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Handbook on Energy and Climate Change

Edited by Roger Fouquet

This timely Handbook reviews many key issues in the economics of energy and climate change, raising new questions and offering solutions that might help to minimize the threat of energy-induced climate change.
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Chapter 14: Long live the Kyoto Protocol!

Richard S.J. Tol


The international climate negotiations are widely considered to have stalled, if not failed. The main piece of international legislation on climate policy, the Kyoto Protocol, seems to have had little impact on emissions (Pielke, 2010). The 15th Conference of the Parties (COP15) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, in Copenhagen in December 2009, almost collapsed. The Copenhagen Accord was negotiated at the last minute by a handful of countries; it contains a long-term pledge but no concrete commitments. The main result of COP16, in Cancun in 2010, was that negotiations would continue in Durban in 2011. Expectations for COP17 are low. I take exception to this view. In this chapter I argue that, as it stands, international legislation for climate policy, here referred to as the Kyoto Protocol, is roughly what is needed. Obviously, many people are disappointed by the lack of progress but the Kyoto Protocol is, in my opinion, the best way forward given the current circumstances.

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