Global Warming Treaty

January 26, 2001
Should the U.S. do more to cut greenhouse gases?
By Mary Cooper

Introduction

Coal-burning power plants are a major source of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases linked to global warming. (Corbis Images)
Coal-burning power plants are a major source of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse” gases linked to global warming. (Corbis Images)

The scientific evidence continues to mount suggesting that fossil fuel use is causing apotentially disastrous warming of Earth's atmosphere. But governments are still far from agreement on the best way to solve the problem. Three years after more than 150 countries signed the Kyoto Protocol agreeing to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other “greenhouse gases” implicated in global warming, no industrialized country has ratified the treaty. Prospects for prompt action dimmed in November when talks in the Netherlands aimed at implementing the protocol broke down amid charges that the United States -- the world's biggest greenhouse-gas polluter -- was seeking to exploit loopholes in the Kyoto treaty in order to avoid changing its energy-consumption habits.

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