Current Directions in the Climate Change Debate in the United States

2007/2008 Occasional Paper
By Arroyo, Vicki; Linguiti, Peter

The United States – with 5 percent of the world’s population – is responsible for approximately 25 percent of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and its emissions continue to increase.1 Having declined to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and as the world’s largest economy and biggest emitter of greenhouse gases, the United States is central to any long-term global strategy to address climate change. As the international community works to agree on actions appropriate after the Protocol’s first commitment period ends in 2012, the domestic actions and international positions taken by United States are vitally important. Accordingly, this chapter of the 2007 Human Development Report aims to provide a global audience with an overview of the climate change debate in the United States.