From a 1998 paper from the American Petroleum Institute: gasoline prices would need to rise from $1.25 per gallon to $4.23 per gallon in order to achieve the goals set by the Kyoto Protocol (a factor of 3.4). Remember that Kyoto asked that we reduce our CO2 emissions by (I think) 6% below 1990 emissions level by the year 2010. The price increases cited by this paper were a result of a meta-study of other estimates by economists of how much consumers would reduce gasoline consumption if prices rose by various amounts.
So what happened?
According to the EIA, average retail gas prices in 1998 were $1.06. In March of this year, average prices exceeded $3.86. Even after considering that the price level in the economy increased by 41% over this time period, the real price of gasoline seems to have increased by a factor of over 2.5. So if gas prices rise by just a few more cents, as they “surely” will, then we’ve achieved our emissions reductions targets. Global warming problem solved. Right?