BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Business  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
E-Commerce
Economy
Market Data
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Thursday, 14 February, 2002, 10:51 GMT
Climate treaty 'will boost economies'
smokestacks
The report says Kyoto implementation could give a head start on new technologies
By BBC News Online's environment correspondent Alex Kirby

Conservationists say the economies of Europe and Japan will gain if they ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the global climate treaty.


In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you have to innovate and come up with new technologies. If the US does not ratify Kyoto and the EU and Japan do, they will gain a competitive advantage

Professor Kornelis Blok
Ratification is expected to take place this year after the treaty's details were finalised in the German city of Bonn in July 2001.

The claim seeks to refute US President George W Bush's assertion that Kyoto would damage the US economy.

It came in two reports commissioned by the World Wide Fund for Nature and published ahead of the Bonn talks.

Smart policies

One on the probable impact on the European economies, is entitled "Kyoto Without the US: Costs and Benefits of Ratifying the Kyoto Protocol".

Mr Bush has said the US will not ratify Kyoto, partly because he believes it would damage the US economy, and also because it does not yet require developing countries to cut their pollution in the way developed countries must.

But the report says unilateral implementation of the protocol by the EU could give its industries a head start in developing new technologies to cut emissions.

It says the EU could achieve from 85% to 95% of its Kyoto target without damaging its economic competitiveness, "with smart policies being able to offset the remaining competitive impacts".

Financial savings

The report says the cost of achieving its Kyoto target could be just 0.06% of the EU's gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010.

President George Bush
Bush believes Kyoto would damage the US economy

It states: "Since climate protection policies also reduce other air pollutants, this would lead to financial savings on end-of-pipe technologies that reduce acid rain and local air pollution in Europe. Those savings could substantially cover the small cost to the EU of meeting the Kyoto targets."

The report on Japan, "Will Ratification of the Kyoto Protocol Result in Economic Loss?", says actively implementing the treaty could mean a 0.9% increase in GDP, of around US $47.3 bn.

The authors say that "Japan could greatly benefit its own economy by going ahead with ratification. It is hard to understand why Japan's government and industry should hold back."

Economic springboard

The report's authors say ratifying Kyoto could give Japan a springboard out of its long slump, and they foresee spill-over benefits for its trading partners.

Their analysis projects GDP increasing by about $11.5bn in south-east Asia and India, and by $13.9bn in western Europe, as a consequence of Japanese ratification.

Japan's Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi
Japan is deferring ratification
By contrast, it believes the GDP of the US could shrink by about $45.5bn - around 0.6% - mainly because of a lack of pressure to innovate.

Professor Kornelis Blok, one of the authors of the European report, said that "in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, you have to innovate and come up with new technologies.

"If the US does not ratify Kyoto and the EU and Japan do, they will gain a competitive advantage."

Dr Ute Collier, of WWF, said that "by ratifying the protocol, Europe and Japan will be onto an economic winner. It will give them new opportunities in new markets... spurious economic arguments are no excuse for walking away from this treaty."

But those who remain sceptical that human activities are contributing to global warming still argue that there is no proven case for cutting emissions at all.

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
Ute Collier, Head of WWF UK Climate Change Programme
"There will be economic benefits for those countries who will implement the treaties"

Key stories

Features

CLICKABLE GUIDES
See also:

15 Jul 01 | Asia-Pacific
03 Jul 01 | Science/Nature
12 Jul 01 | Science/Nature
23 May 01 | Science/Nature
21 May 01 | Science/Nature
07 Apr 01 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Business stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Business stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes