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How did the United States of America respond to the Kyoto protocol? What were the principal approaches adopted by the United States of America with respect to the protocol?
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Business and Its Environment
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In 1998 the Clinton administration signed the Kyoto Protocol on global climate change, which called for country-specific reductions in domestic carbon dioxide emissions averaging 5.2 percent from 1990 levels by 2012. The U.S. target was a 7 percent reduction from 1990 levels. The protocol had strong opposition in the Senate, which in 1997 adopted a resolution opposing the protocol unless developing countries, particularly China and India, made firm commitments to reduce their emissions. President Clinton chose not to submit the protocol to the Senate for ratification. The Clinton administration argued that the Kyoto agreement would have little effect on costs, but the Department of Energy predicted that gasoline prices would increase by nearly 40 percent and electricity prices between 20 and 86 percent in real terms by 2010. President Bush announced that the United States would not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and instead a voluntary approach was adopted with a 2012 goal of an 18 percent reduction in emission per unit of GDP. The Obama administration sought to establish a national cap-and-trade system, and soon after taking office introduced legislation. Many U.S. businesses participated with environmental groups in the U.S. Climate Action Partnership (USCAP), which had actively sought cap-and-trade
regulation of greenhouse gases. As the climate bill began to work its way through Congress, lawmakers were forced to be specific about provisions of the bill.
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