Discussion Paper

Near-Term Greenhouse GasEmissions Targets

Nov 24, 2004 | Raymond J. Kopp


At the present time no widely accepted temporal emissions path for greenhouse gases hasbeen developed and adopted at either a country or a global level. What does exist is a set of nearterm,country-level emissions targets associated with the first commitment period of the KyotoProtocol and a process for the determination of targets for subsequent commitment periods.However, the first commitment period targets specified by the protocol have been heavilycriticized on the grounds that they are arbitrary and ad hoc. The purpose of this paper is toexamine the conceptual foundations upon which one might base a domestic climate policy forthe United States and to attempt to determine whether a near-term emissions target can indeed bederived from structured decisionmaking resting upon these conceptual foundations.