One would think that countries that committed to the Kyoto treaty are doing a better job of curtailing carbon emissions. One would also think that the United States, the only country that does not even intend to ratify, keeps on emitting carbon dioxide at growth levels much higher than those who signed.
And one would be wrong.
The Kyoto treaty was agreed upon in late 1997 and countries started signing and ratifying it in 1998. A list of countries and their carbon dioxide emissions due to consumption of fossil fuels is available from the U.S. government. If we look at that data and compare 2004 (latest year for which data is available) to 1997 (last year before the Kyoto treaty was signed), we find the following.
- Emissions worldwide increased 18.0%.
- Emissions from countries that signed the treaty increased 21.1%.
- Emissions from non-signers increased 10.0%.
- Emissions from the U.S. increased 6.6%.
In fact, emissions from the U.S. grew slower than those of over 75% of the countries that signed Kyoto. Below are the growth rates of carbon dioxide emissions, from 1997 to 2004, for a few selected countries, all Kyoto signers. (Remember, the comparative number for the U.S. is 6.6%.)
- Maldives, 252%.
- Sudan, 142%.
- China, 55%.
- Luxembourg, 43%
- Iran, 39%.
- Iceland, 29%.
- Norway, 24%.
- Russia, 16%.
- Italy, 16%.
- Finland, 15%.
- Mexico, 11%.
- Japan, 11%.
- Canada, 8.8%.
World and U.S. opinion seems to revolve around who signed Kyoto rather than actual carbon dioxide emissions. Once again, stated intent trumps actual results. Can even the global warming believers possibly believe this treaty has anything to do with it?Update: In response to a reader request, here is a link to the table showing increases in absolute numbers, not percentages.