In late March, the declaration by US President Bush that the Kyoto Protocol was “dead” dropped like a bombshell into the climate policy community. Bush argued that the Protocol's costs to the US economy would be too high and that it was unfair by not having set emissions targets for developing countries. While Bush had been known as an opponent of stringent climate policy measures, most observers had expected the USA to try to influence the ongoing negotiations in its favour as much as possible and then kill the Protocol much later in the domestic policy debate. The bluntness of Bush's declaration had an unexpected effect as it rallied the supporters of the Kyoto Protocol throughout the world – even such close US allies as Japan and Canada. Only Australia supported the USA. Encouraged by this stance, the EU declared itself leader in a strategy of ratification without the USA.
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