From Monday's Q&A with Harlen L. Watson, our man in Bali for the Thirteenth Session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (phew!):
Question: Tomorrow will be the tenth anniversary of Kyoto Protocol and the United States is the country in the developed countries who didn’t ratify Kyoto. So how do you evaluate Kyoto Protocol this moment? And is there possibility for the current administration to change the attitude towards Kyoto Protocol?
Dr. Watson: The last answer is “no”, there isn’t. It is not correct that we are the only developed country. There’s also Turkey. I know the focus has been on the United States and Australia, but if you read the Convention, Turkey is an Annex I country that has also not ratified Kyoto. Our feeling about Kyoto has not changed. It is not something that would work for the United States.Now that Australia's new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd, has ratified the Kyoto Protocol (see picture), the United States is, despite Dr. Watson's audaciously lame Turkish inclusion, the only country in the developed world not to do so. And as Dr. Watson made abundantly clear, his boss is perfectly happy to pass the buck to the next administration to do with Kyoto what it pleases.
Not that anybody expected as much. From last week's Economist:
It is not surprising that Bali is unlikely to achieve anything tangible, for it is aimed at the hardest part of climate-change mitigation—getting an international agreement which all the big emitters ratify. That won't happen until America adopts serious domestic emissions-control measures.