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The Fortnight

Cashing in on Kyoto

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Jun 15, 1999 | From the print edition

american farmers can survive and possibly make money off the Kyoto global climate change treaty if market-based incentives are included in a final agreement, a study by the us department of agriculture ( usda) said. The report was the latest analysis on the prospective economic impact of us compliance with the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. Terms of the Kyoto pact called for industrialised nations to cut heat-trapping emissions by an average of 5.2 per cent below 1990 levels in the years 2008-12. For agriculture, the report said the scientific reasons for acting on climate change were mixed, with regional winners and losers resulting from expected alterations in growing seasons, water availability, soil moisture, precipitation and the incidence and distribution of pests. The usda concluded that studies showing severe economic impacts on the us agriculture failed to account for adjustments farmers would make to production costs.

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