Beyond Kyoto

Clive Crook on climate change delusions:

...the best chance of progress is to see Kyoto as the disaster that it was. Its impact on greenhouse-gas concentrations has so far been minimal, and not just because the United States stood aside. With every other rich country signed on, the decades-old upward trend in emissions has not slowed. Japan and Canada are hopelessly above their quotas. In western Europe, only three countries are now on pace to hit theirs. [...]

International action on global warming is called for. The best way forward is to switch from a tightly managed global regime based on quotas of carbon emissions to a more loosely coordinated system based on the price of carbon. To curb greenhouse-gas emissions, carbon-based energy has to get more expensive, whether you directly limit the amount emitted, or raise the price that emitters pay for the privilege. Steering the price and letting the market set quantities, rather than the other way around, has many economic advantages. But the best reason for doing it this way is geopolitical: it would make it easier for governments to act in concert and would give them less cover for shirking their responsibilities.