Author Affiliations: O’Neill Institute for National and Global and Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Ms Wiley and Dr Gostin).
The most important global response to climate change—the Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)—is widely seen as a failure. Its greenhouse gas (GHG) emission target (a collective GHG reduction of 5.2% among industrialized countries compared with 1990 levels) was too low to make a significant difference; the treaty exempted highly populous transitional countries such as China and India; and the United States failed to ratify. President Obama has promised a dramatically different path based on steeper GHG reductions and leadership in global governance.1
Wiley LF, Gostin LO. The International Response to Climate ChangeAn Agenda for Global Health. JAMA. 2009;302(11):1218-1220. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1381