Morocco and Roll
The success of the next round of climate change negotiations, which open in Morocco next week, will be determined by the European Union, Russia, and Japan. The talks will attempt to translate the principles of the Kyoto treaty on climate change into a set of binding rules that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 5.2 percent below 1990 levels. For Kyoto to take effect, it must be ratified by countries that together produce more than 55 percent of the industrial world’s greenhouse gas emissions. That puts the E.U., which is responsible for 24.2 percent of the emissions, Russia (17.4 percent), and Japan (8.5 percent) in the hot seats, because the U.S. (36.1 percent) abandoned the agreement when President Bush took office. Those in the know say the E.U. and Japan are poised to ratify, but Russia is trickier to predict.