International Trade, Kyoto Protocol and CO2
One of the clear obstacles that humanity has to improving the direction of the clean up of the world's ecology and the reduction of CO2 emissions and other pollutants is to address the imbalance in trading references that currently exist between some nations and others. Absolute changes are required in the respect some nations have towards their homeland environments because their actions are environmentally destructive, cannot continue forever, yet in the short term are economically profitable for them.
It is pointless to talk about CO2 reductions in one country and the introduction of zero emissions vehicles, while other countries ramp up with their own CO2 emissions at home by producing low technology cars and burning coal in huge volumes for power. In addition, countries that are heavy polluters but refuse to recognize international documents like the 1997 Kyoto Protocol to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are also not playing a fair game.
No names will be mentioned, but it is economically unfair to the concept of fair trade that a company in one country has to compete against another that does not adhere to globally understood environmental compliance laws. The economic disadvantage is impossible to overcome by the environmentally compliant company in its home nation. It is even more disastrous to the people of the countries that violate these laws as their leadership is advocating short term gain through homeland environmental devastation. The real internal cost of a violator nation's damage far outweighs any immediate profit the country gains. Everything has a price eventually or "there is no such thing as a free lunch".
The countries that will succeed in the long run are those that can motivate their people to respect and live in harmony with their environment. Nations that build economic and people infrastructures that support energy security in sustainable energies, and trade fairly amongst equivalent respecting countries will gain the leadership positions. These pace setting countries will have the new environmental technologies that people want and a homeland environment to promote sustainable growth in their econony for their people.