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Kyoto's next step: Corporate America

By Cheryl K. Chumley
web posted October 18, 2004

Just because the Kyoto Protocol hasn't been ratified in the United States doesn't mean both treaty and agenda aren't being pushed elsewhere. Of late, for instance, it seems the corporate world is under concerted pressure to conform to the strict environmental provisions contained within the U.N. treaty; witness, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and its recent "Facts and Trends to 2050: Energy and Climate Change."

The WBCSD report aims at instilling environmentally responsible consciousness in the business world, and does so by using compelling statistics that lead to a worldwide doomsday outcome if immediate energy policy reforms are not adopted. Of notable concern is the seeming correlation between last century's rise in atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and a simultaneous hike in "global average temperature, up by nearly a degree Celsius," according to page one.

"If these trends continue," businesses are told, "global temperatures could rise by a further one to four degrees by the end of the 21st century, potentially leading to disruptive climate change in many places. By starting to manage our carbon dioxide emissions now, we may be able to limit the effects of climate change to levels that we can adapt to."

Carbon dioxide emissions reductions – now where has that term been used before? Oh yes, in both the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change and its controversial off-shoot, the Kyoto Protocol. Both commit participating nations to rolling back the clock on allowable greenhouse gas emissions, the humanly exhaled carbon dioxide included, to those of previous year levels, but only one has been formally accepted by the United States. Never ratified was the Kyoto Protocol, which would have committed America to reduce its carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide and methane gaseous emissions to seven percent below 1990 levels, between the years of 2008 and 2012. Good thing, because rolled back then, too, would have been the ability of our nations' greatest producers to produce; impacted by these emissions restrictions would have been our energy, agricultural and manufacturing sectors.

Ratification of Kyoto may be a moot point, however. This WBCSD report has U.N. stamped all over it and its quest for responsible corporate environmental policy is a thinly veiled attempt to push Kyoto-like emissions controls and reductions into U.S. practice using back-door tactics.

WBCSD is itself a partnering agency of the United Nations. Formed largely by U.N. key policy wonk Maurice Strong (a man steeped in global socialism, as detailed in an excellent expose by reporter, writer and analyst Ronald Bailey at http://iresist.com/cdb/strong.html), this WBCSD report makes no bones about its favor for global environmental agenda.

The science cited in this study stems largely from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency. For insight on environmental matters, the IEA turns to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

"The OECD and IEA carry out analytical work…to support Annex I countries [this includes America] in the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change negotiations and to support national climate change policy development," OECD reports.

IPCC's bias toward promoting these U.N. treaties is even blunter. The group's core principle is to further "actions in support of the U.N.Framework Convention on Climate Change process," to include ratification of Kyoto.

Can it be that this WBCSD report is just a means of achieving in the corporate world what has so far failed at the U.S. congressional and administration levels?

Given a September 2004 policy paper by the Republican Policy Committee listing about five different flaws in IPCC's science, and a conclusion that finds the agency's predictions of temperature hikes between 1.4 and 5.8 degrees Celsius (2.5 to 10.4 degrees Fahrenheit) by the year 2100 a blatant overestimation based on a "manifest ignorance" of climate change truths and realities, the accusation seems possible.

Given, too, a common sense realization of the unusually cold summer, as reported last month by the likes of Fox News and the Washington Times, and the Climate Change treaty's own admission that "there are many uncertainties in predictions of climate change," it seems much more than possible: It's a probability already at play.

Cheryl K. Chumley is a freelance columnist and may be contacted at ckchumley@aol.com.

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