"The rising trend is the worrisome part of it," said Yvo de Boer, executive secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. Since 2000, as their economies revived, countries in Eastern Europe also increased their emissions, rising by 4.1% according to the agency.That the EU is increasing the rate of emissions faster than the US inspite of its members pledge to reduce them illustrates how difficult it is to curtail emissions through restriction. Stateside, we're doing a better job of curtailing emissions growth without hampering economic growth. Oil prices probably have something to do with that, as US consumers switch from SUVs and other gas-guzzlers to more fuel efficient vehicles. Nonetheless, last year, the US economy grew 3.5%, while the European Union limped along at 1.7%. So the EU is growing its emissions faster but its economy slower than the US! No wonder the WSJ-types ridicule the Kyoto Protocols so relentlessly.
From 2000 to 2004, according to the U.N. data, the U.S., which isn't a party to Kyoto, had a slower increase in emissions (1.3%) than members of the European Union (2.4%). EU members have committed to drop their emissions by 8%, compared with 1990 levels, by 2012.
Even if anthopogenic warming is occuring, I'm not convinced it'll be bad, especially for those in cooler climates (largely the developed world). It'll boost agricultural yields, increase economic activity (mild winters are good for retail and entertainment), decrease natural gas prices, make more accessible fish and oil in the Arctic (estimated to contain about a quarter of the world's supply), and hopefully make mostly uninhabited freezers like northern Canada, Greenland, and Siberia more inhabitable, so that surrounding high IQ populations can 'settle' them and procreate.
But if it is catastrophic, the environmental movement needs to find a better way to get nations to respond to the threat. This seems to illustrate how mandating emission-reductions stifles economic growth. If you agree to take part, you're going to be shooting yourself in the foot now for some perceived benefit in the future that will be shared by all. Those refusing to reduce emissions putatively still benefit from your reductions without having to sacrifice economic growth. It's a win-win for those not actively trying to reduce emissions, and a rough situation for those who do. It seems to me the way forward has to be through innovation. Make greener technologies that are economically viable (photovoltaics, fuel cells, etc) and the problem fixes itself. Green crusaders need to invest in companies conducting this sort of research. SRI is preferrable to governmental regulation (especially on an international scale).