Examines how implementation of the Kyoto Protocol could actually help U.S. agriculture.

Executive Summary

If the Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change were ratified by the U.S. Senate and a national program to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions put in place, some studies have suggested that American farmers would suffer dire economic consequences.

This report disputes that contention. We find the implementation of the Kyoto Protocol would not spell disaster for U.S. agriculture. Because energy costs are a small share of production expenses, the magnitude of price changes expected under the Kyoto Protocol would reduce net cash returns by less than one percent. In fact, with the right domestic policy setting, overall net cash returns could be positive for agriculture.