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Global Climate Change Treaty Negotiations and Related Issues

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Publication Date: November 1997

Publisher(s): Library of Congress. Congressional Research Service

Series: 97-1000

Topic: Environment (Weather and climate)

Abstract:

The United States and other parties to the 1992 Climate Change Convention signed at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro will meet December 1-12 in Kyoto, Japan, to conclude year-long negotiations on a legally binding protocol or amendment to reduce or stabilize emissions of greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. proposal to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases to 1990 levels between 2008-2012 is less ambitious than environmentalists and many other treaty Parties urge, but represents a commitment that others, including many in business, fear could damage the economy. A key aspect of the negotiations also is what should be expected of developing nations, whose current emissions of greenhouse gases are relatively small, but are expected to increase rapidly over the next decade with economic development. A sense of the Senate resolution calls for all countries to meet scheduled reductions, and would agree to U.S. participation only if harm to the domestic economy is avoided. If agreement is reached in Kyoto, Senate approval would be required for U.S. ratification, and legislation to implement commitments would also likely be necessary.