Green Weenie of the Century: The Global Climate Treaties

As I have mentioned before, the most satisfying thing about Trump withdrawing from the Paris Climate Accord is not that he did it, but that he did it in a way that maximized the outrage from the climatistas and their media toadies. It was a dial-it-to-eleven reprise of the outrage of when President George W. Bush took us out of the Kyoto Protocol, which was the previous treaty that would have saved the world if we hadn’t bailed on it.

One of my arguments about the Paris Accord is that even if you believe in Thermageddon, it is the climate diplomacy equivalent of the Kellogg-Briand Pact. That’s why chief climate alarmist James Hansen called it a “fraud.” (He also used barnyard epithets to describe it, but this is a family-friendly site.)

Comes now two European scholars who have done a deep dive into emissions statistics and concluded that the Kyoto Protocol had no effect whatsoever on the greenhouse gas emissions of the nations that pledged to reduce them. (In other words, emissions followed the business-as-usual path they would have if there had been no Kyoto Protocol.)

From the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management:

Analyzing the effectiveness of international environmental policies: The case of the Kyoto Protocol

Christian Almer and Ralph Winkler


We study the effectiveness of emission targets under the Kyoto Protocol with respect to reducing CO2 emissions. Using country-level and US state-level panel data and employing the synthetic control method, we find very little evidence for an emission reduction effect for the major emitters among the Annex B countries with binding emission targets. More generally, we also show that evaluating the effectiveness of international environmental policies at the country level comes with a number of empirical challenges that may invalidate findings based on more traditional panel data approaches.

(“Annex B” countries were the rich nations like the U.S. that signed up for specific emission reduction targets.) The study is very data rich and deep in statistical analysis, but the language of the conclusion is even more bracing:

We find very little evidence for a significant emission reduction effect for all 15 investigated countries, i.e. countries with binding emissions targets did not emit less CO2 over the period from 1998 to 2011 than they would have had in the absence of the GHG emission targets. . .  As a consequence, we are pessimistic that the Paris Agreement, which rests on similar principles, will have any discernible effect on the reduction of global GHG emissions.

So not for the first time, we award our coveted Green Weenie Award to the UN climate circus. Long may it meet in fancy hotels in exotic foreign locations.