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September 16, 2009

The International Response to Climate Change: An Agenda for Global Health

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: O’Neill Institute for National and Global and Health Law, Georgetown University, Washington, DC (Ms Wiley and Dr Gostin).

JAMA. 2009;302(11):1218-1220. doi:10.1001/jama.2009.1381

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

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