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US Reneging on Kyoto is the Worst Form of Protectionism

Originally Published 5 June 2001
"While the world moves one way and many global businesses sign up to the UN's Global Compact on human rights, labour standards and the environment, the Bush administration appears to be flying in the face of world (including US) public opinion by not ratifying the Kyoto agreement"

says Dr Malcolm McIntosh of Warwick Business School's Corporate Citizenship Unit.

"What interests are being represented here? Is he denying the connection between burning fossil fuels and global warming? Does he understand the science? Why is most European business thinking on global warming out of kilter with the US administration? Is it a grown-up argument to say that as the US produces a significant amount of wealth, it is only fair that they should be allowed to guzzle disproportionate amounts of finite resources?" he asks.

On 26 July 2000, fifty world business leaders met at the United Nations building in New York and pledged their support on human rights, labour practices and environmental protection under a new Global Compact. They were joined by many significant NGOs and international labour organisations. The UN Secretary-General, Kofi Annan, was supported by the heads of the UN Environmental Programme, the UN High Commission for Human Rights and the International Labour Organisation. What has happened since that meeting?

The Corporate Citizenship Unit at Warwick Business School has established the Global Compact Learning Forum with funding from the UN, the Norwegian Government and others to take forward the lessons of business engagement with what Kofi Annan has called 'shared values for the global market.' In a conference at Warwick Business School on 23 April Dr McIntosh will discuss the principles of the Global Compact and how they can be turned into strategic advantage, demonstrating that shared values can also create value for shareholders.

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Founded in 1967, Warwick Business School is one of the most successful and highly regarded business schools in Europe. It has a turnover of £24.6 million. The current student population of 1,070 undergraduates, 170 research students and 2,824 taught masters, MPA and MBA students, come from 108 countries worldwide.