This Article posits that in response to adoption of Kyoto Protocol targets by governments and multi-national corporations overseas that comprise significant portions of the global economy as well as global financial markets, businesses and state and local governments in the U.S. are also being driven by necessity to undertake sustainable commerce initiatives. Businesses in the EU and other Kyoto-compliant regions that have implemented sustainable commerce programs now require overseas vendors and suppliers-including those in the U.S.-to implement their own sustainable commerce initiatives as a condition of approved supplier status. New EU environmental regulations developed in part to meet Kyoto-specified emissions targets now prevent many U.S. goods, from electronics to industrial equipment, from being imported into EU countries. State and local governments that are creating economic development proposals to attract overseas business investment to their communities now find sustainable commerce initiatives among the site selection criteria considered by domestic and foreign firms. U.S. and international financial organizations, including multi-national insurance firms as well as U.S.-based venture capital funds, also include sustainable commerce objectives and targets within their evaluation schemes for areas of the U.S. in which to allocate investment dollars.
This Article examines recent reports in the legal, business, and policy literature highlighting developments within U.S. industry and government in support of these two assertions. Part II reviews the major elements of the Kyoto Protocol and their implementation by business and industry around the world to understand how, absent U.S. implementation of the Kyoto emissions targets, adoption of these elements still drives sustainable commerce initiatives in the U.S. Part III examines how Kyoto Protocol initiatives provide U.S. business and government with policy rationales and guidance for sustainable commerce initiatives. Part IV provides a series of case studies documenting how the Kyoto Protocol, developed and implemented within an international governmental framework, drives the creation and implementation of sustainable commerce initiatives not just in large, industrial areas of the U.S., but also in small rural areas, and how it will continue to do so for decades to come.
Peter A. Appel, T. Rick Irvin, Julie M. McEntire, and J. Chris Rabon,
Kyoto Comes to Georgia: How International Environmental Initiatives Foster Sustainable Commerce in Small Town America
Available at: https://digitalcommons.law.uga.edu/fac_artchop/732