Those who do not believe CO2 is the most significant greenhouse gas form part of the opposition to the Kyoto Protocol. They believe that the effect of increasing CO2 levels will have little effect on climate, and this debate has lead to questions about the effectiveness of implementing the Kyoto Protocol.
The argument of the opposition is that if CO2 is not the most influential greenhouse gas regarding climate change, will cutting emissions really have a significant and worthwhile effect? Cornfield
Another view against the protocol publicised by Bjorn Lombourg (2001) in “The Sceptical Environmentalist”, accepts that humans have dramatically increased atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and the increase has had an adverse influence on temperature. However, rather than agreeing with the UNFCC and the IPCC that greenhouse gas emissions should be reduced or we will suffer the negative environmental consequences, Lombourg (2001) believes that climate change will not be as disruptive as popular opinion would have us believe. Furthermore, he suggests that even though it is happening it will be too expensive to try to rectify or reduce. He disagrees about the sensitivity of the global climate to anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, and criticises IPCC predictions claiming that the climate models are inaccurate with their representation of the effect of aerosols, water vapour and clouds will have on the system.
Lombourg (2001) claims that global warming will not decrease global food production, and probably not increase storminess or the frequency of hurricanes. He argues that the Kyoto Protocol should not be implemented, and the money saved will produce a richer world that can protect itself better. He believes it will be more expensive to cut CO2 emissions than to pay the costs of adapting to the increased temperatures and related effects. Lombourg (2001) estimates the cost of global warming at 5 trillion dollars and argues the affect of Kyoto, even if successful, will be very small in the order of 0.15 oC in 2100, or the equivalent of delaying the temperature increase by approximately 6 years. As an economist he produces calculations that suggest Kyoto represents a waste of global resources for very little benefit.