On Newsnight yesterday Kirsty Wark introduced an item on the latest environmental summit with a throwaway reference to the "famous or infamous" Kyoto Treaty. For a moment, I thought she meant the BBC was about to start re-thinking its house policy. But no. In today's Times, on the other hand, Bronwen Maddox - an analyst who sees both sides of the argument - adds another obituary to the pile published elsewhere:
The best way forward now is not a "successor" to Kyoto, which covers the years until 2012. Another treaty that attempted to set fixed targets for cutting emisssions could be economically very damaging — in the unlikely event that countries ever reached agreement.
The better answer is in the plethora of bargains between a handful of rich and poor countries, which some are already exploring. It is also in the development of new technology to combat global warming, and in deals to spread these quickly to poorer countries.
At Montreal, there will be an enormous amount of cynical hot air expended in 'praising' the long-moribund Kyoto corpse. Nevertheless, the Kyoto Protocol will be buried as surely as Caesar... and it is most unlikely that a Son of Kyoto will rise, ghost-like from the chilly grave. Indeed, the sooner we put a stone cap over this coffin, the better (now that's what I call "capping" emissions).
Roger Simon, once a card-carrying member of the Sierra Club, sheds no tears either.
Plus an interesting aside in this BBC guide to the Montreal conference:
Although the US and Australia have pulled out of the Kyoto process, their emissions have risen less than some nations which remain within the treaty.