For the non-nerds out there, that’s “there ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” Everybody’s gotta pay sometime.

Which brings me to this: The European Union may apply a tariff on nations that don’t sign on to Kyoto, or who fail to meet their obligations. This would include America and Canada.

The effects of this kind of a tariff being levied against the U.S. by one country, or even by one large trading bloc, are unclear to me. How much does the U.S. export to Europe? It almost certainly would have minimal impact on Canada, as more than 3/4 of our exports go to the U.S.

However, any tariff of this sort will be challenged before the World Trade Organization, and if the WTO actually ruled against the U.S. … then all I can say is, look out.

Grist thanks its sponsors. Become one.

Bringing the full force and power of international trade law to bear in the fight against global warming? Call me a big, big fan.

Reader support helps sustain our work. Donate today to keep our climate news free.