Agricultural Economics Department


Date of this Version



Published in Cornhusker Economics. August 1, 2001. Produced by the Cooperative Extension, Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources, Department of Agricultural Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln .


A recent newspaper story line reads “178 Nations Reach Climate Accord; U.S. Only Looks On” (New York Times Interactive Edition, July 24, 2001). The underlying Press Release from the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) affirms that indeed many governments have adopted an agreement on Kyoto Protocol rules, including economic powers represented in Japan and the European Union, as well as our neighbors in spirit as well as proximity, Australia and Canada. The UNFCCC is the entity that organizes the meetings of the Conference of the Parties (COP), with 4,500 participants representing 180 nations at the recent July 2001 event, during which time the Accord was reached. It was the COP that originally agreed in 1997 to bring the Kyoto Protocol home in order to ask the people (at least in the countries that have democracies) whether we should ratify the Protocol. At that time in the U.S., our representatives in Congress said “No” we should not be a party to the 1997 Protocol. The current Administration has also recently said “No” to being a part of the now substantively revised 1997 Protocol as represented in the 2001 Accord. The issue is currently being debated among members of Congress, with the outcome not clear.