EU Does It Again

From the August 2001 Trumpet Print Edition

It was touch and go at the recent G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy. Wracked by riots instigated by the professional summit-disrupters that are now common at such events, the battle-scarred city was witness to the European Union delegates’ triumph in negotiating agreement between 178 countries that are signatories to the Kyoto protocol on global warming.

As the G-8 countries (Group of Eight major nations—U.S., Britain, Germany, Japan, Russia, Italy, Canada and France) wound up their tortuous discussions on July 22, it seemed that Kyoto would fail. However, some adroit arm-twisting by the EU countries, and one small concession by them, by which they agreed to delay the final decision on the compliance mechanism, gained a final compromise which garnered the support of all signatory nations.

The U.S. had already, previous to the summit, announced its withdrawal from the Kyoto protocol. This leaves America, in the eyes of Europe in particular, as a pariah. It is claimed that the U.S. produces 25 percent of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. America’s enemies would dearly like to see its industrial base constrained (the likely effect of U.S. agreement to the protocol) and American competition for the lion’s share of world trade thus reduced.

However, the U.S. is sticking to its guns on this issue. The fact that it was the EU that negotiated the final Kyoto deal, at a G-8 meeting in the EU’s third most influential country, Italy, will not be lost on the world. It is yet another feather in the EU cap as it pursues world dominance as a negotiator of treaties and accords in the trade, economic, defense, security and now environmental global political arenas.