The stupidest international agreement since the Treaty of Versailles expired at midnight on New Year’s Eve. Fifteen years after its launch, the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change died a miserable failure. Few are likely to mourn.
According to Kyoto’s authors, it should by now have triggered a five per cent fall in the world’s carbon dioxide emissions. In fact, they have risen by 58 per cent because the world’s faster-growing economies never ratified Kyoto at all, nor the drastic cuts in the use of fossil fuel it prescribed.
China, America, Brazil and India simply ignored it, while Canada, New Zealand and Russia, although initially committed, later cast it aside.
In Britain, however, the Government remains wedded to a post-Kyoto strategy, and along with the rest of the EU has agreed to ‘extend’ the treaty’s provisions. One consequence of this is the new Energy Bill, which by 2020 will triple the subsidies paid by taxpayers and consumers to ‘renewable’ energy suppliers to £7.6 billion a year.
The bungs paid to operate offshore wind turbines – the most expensive form of energy ever devised – will rise 16-fold to an annual £4.2 billion. The hated onshore turbines will also get huge new subsidies, at least doubling their number to about 6,500.