Some argue that the protocol does not go far enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions (Niue, the Cook Islands and Nauru added guidelines when the protocol was signed).  Some environmental economists have criticized the Kyoto Protocol.    Many [who?] consider the costs of the Kyoto Protocol to be predominant, some believe that the standards set by Kyoto are too optimistic, others a very unfair and ineffective agreement that would do little to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  [full citation needed] The protocol also creates a kind of « policy toolbox » to reduce emissions. For example, it encourages countries to set up markets for the purchase and sale of carbon credits. The idea is that a low-emission company could sell its clean air credits to a company with higher emission levels. A similar mechanism allows companies to obtain carbon credits by financing projects such as solar farms or tree plantations that suck up carbon in developing countries. President William J. Clinton signed the Kyoto Protocol but did not ratify it, while President G.W. Bush completely abolished the signature. Clinton believed that a country-by-country approach to reducing greenhouse gases was the best way to address the problems of climate change caused by human activities.
However, he was not entirely convinced of the treaty and the Senate refused to sign it without further negotiation. According to the World Climate Coalition, « the Clinton administration recognizes that the protocol is a `work in progress,` does not meet the requirements that the Senate unanimously set last year to sign the protocol, and does not want to be submitted to the Senate for approval. » It requires developed countries that have ratified the treaty to reduce their emissions by an average of 5.2% from 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. For some countries, this represents a 15% reduction compared to projected emissions for 2008. One of the biggest problems with the treaty is the fact that it has not been ratified by the United States, a country that emits 35% of the world`s greenhouse gases under Annex I of the Kyoto Protocol. Although the Kyoto Protocol can be implemented without ratification by the United States, it accounts for a significant share of the world`s emissions. Obama administration President Obama was elected under the widely held belief that shortly after taking office, he would take swift and decisive action to join the world in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and thus help fight global climate change. According to The American, « it was generally expected that Obama would quickly adopt a Kyoto-style national cap-and-trade program that would allow America to gain the moral upper hand in Copenhagen, inciting (or forcing) China and India to agree to emissions targets. »  Signing the Kyoto Protocol seemed like the first logical step, so it was surprising that he rejected the Kyoto Protocol for reasons similar to those of former President Bush. According to The American, « the fundamental shortcomings of the treaty were well understood: it set very ambitious – and costly – targets for the United States, while emissions from developing countries could continue to rise uncontrollably. (And indeed, today, despite Kyoto`s ratification, China has become the world`s largest emitter of greenhouse gases.) The Americans do not hesitate to contribute to a solution, but Kyoto has demanded a lot of sacrifices for little reward.  President Obama was also scheduled to represent the United States in Copenhagen and negotiate the terms of the extension of the Kyoto Protocol beyond 2012. But instead of the U.S.
helping to craft and sign a Kyoto-like treaty, the U.S. is proposing extreme changes to Kyoto`s emissions management system, sparking intense debate and confrontation over which treaty Kyoto will follow. Many countries fear that these new treaty changes will cripple negotiations and prevent many countries currently under the Kyoto Protocol from re-signing, as well as new countries such as China and India from signing them. « The Obama administration`s proposals could undermine a new global treaty and weaken the world`s ability to avoid the worst effects of climate change. »  While the signing of the Kyoto Protocol is an important step forward, it does not make the agreement binding on the United States and does not commit to its implementation. The Protocol may be ratified by the United States only with the advice and consent of the United States Senate. President Clinton has made it clear that he will not present the minutes to the Senate until major developing countries have meaningful participation in the fight against climate change. To date, an additional 59 countries have signed the Protocol and two have ratified it. Are participating countries on track to achieve the objectives of the Protocol? Some have strongly criticized the protocol for setting emission reductions only for rich countries, while such commitments have not been set for fast-growing emerging economies, such as China and India.B (Stern 2007, p. 478). Australia (under the leadership of Prime Minister John Howard) and the United States subsequently did not ratify the protocol, although Australia has since ratified the treaty. A number of other countries have not taken strong steps to implement it.
Although developing countries have made commitments under the Protocol, they have not been quantified and have made it possible to combat climate change as part of a broader national sustainable development policy. In terms of content, the Kyoto Protocol can be assessed on the basis of its overall environmental target, namely the reduction of average annual Emissions from Annex I between 2008 and 2012 by around 5% compared to 1990 levels. Would non-ratification by the United States inevitably lead to this objective not being achieved? Strictly speaking, the answer must again be negative, because the decisive parameter in this case is not ratification, but implementation. The question must therefore be: would non-ratification by the United States mean that the protocol would not be implemented in the United States? The fact is that there are a number of international treaties that are signed by the United States and that it respects without ratifying them. However, given the restrictions imposed by Congress on all ATTEMPTS by the United States to implement the Protocol prior to its ratification, it seems unlikely that the Kyoto Protocol could become one of them. In other words, while not inevitable, it is very likely that non-ratification of the Protocol by the United States would not mean significant mitigation measures in the United States, which would negate the overall environmental objective of the Protocol. In the year since Kyoto, new discoveries have reinforced the strong scientific consensus that human activities affect the climate. The recent El Nino offered a window into the extreme weather that global warming could bring.
In general, the Bush administration says there is not enough bang for the money. The pace and scale of the cuts demanded by Kyoto would hurt the U.S. economy without bringing significant environmental benefits. The White House also says more research is needed to understand the warming trend and how the technology can be used to reverse or slow global warming. And she argues that to gain industry support, more emphasis should be placed on economic incentives and more flexible voluntary measures. Carbon dioxide, which is a major product of burning fossil fuels such as coal and oil, is the greenhouse gas that people worry the most. In other words, the answer to our question about the power of the U.S. Congress to destroy the Kyoto Protocol is « yes and no »: by not ratifying, Congress is effectively ensuring that the Protocol`s environmental objective is not being met. However, assuming the rest of Annex I is ratified, Congress` refusal will not run counter to the procedural purpose of the protocol, and there is a good chance that the same will apply to its political objective. .