Case 265 - The U.S. Position on the Kyoto Protocol: Senate Ratification or Not?
Pitzl, Jerry and Emily Stewart
This case study deals with the complexities of the Kyoto Protocol, one of the cornerstones of a global campaign to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. President Bill Clinton signed the protocol in December 1997, but never submitted it to the Senate for ratification; nor has either of his successors. (Nevertheless, the treaty entered into force in 2005, and the United States has consistently abided by its provisions.) This study follows Ann North, an atmospheric scientist with the Department of Energy, as she and her team gather information and prepare themselves to eventually brief the Senate on specific aspects of global warming and the myriad of viewpoints surrounding this complex set of issues. The case ends in August 2000, following another international meeting addressing this global issue and reactions to the situation by industry and government. The study could be presented as a classroom simulation, in which students play the roles of various governmental and industrial leaders and experts.