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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999

FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 12, DECEMBER 1991

REPORTS...
GENERAL, POLICY, ECONOMICS


Item #d91dec50

The Forest Sector: A World Bank Policy Paper, 104 pp., July 1991; $6.95. Order stock #11917 from world-wide distributors or World Bank Pubs., POB 7247-8619, Philadelphia PA 19170 (add $3.50 shipping in U.S., $6 elsewhere).

In this first policy paper on forestry issued since 1978, the Bank describes its new policy of conducting rigorous environmental assessments of any project which may lead to the loss of primary forests, and not financing commercial logging in primary moist tropical forests. Emphasizes the cross-sectoral and international nature of the problem of global forest loss. The Bank will promote forest zoning, encourage change in the incentives that lead to excessive exploitation of forest resources, and insist that thorough environmental assessments precede public investments. (See News, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Dec. 1991.)


Item #d91dec51

Global Environmental Change: The Human Dimensions, Nat. Res. Council, Dec. 1991. From Nat. Acad. Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418 (800-624-6242 or 202-334-3313); $29.95 + $3 shipping.

After a two-year study, a 15-member committee has concluded that behavioral analysis is essential to environmental analysis, especially for understanding the "driving forces" of global change such as deforestation, population growth, economic growth and technological change. Interdisciplinary research within the social sciences and close collaboration with the natural sciences is needed, especially in three areas: human causes of global change, human responses and consequences, and theories and methods for studying these phenomena. A reorientation in scientific perspectives may be needed; progress may be impeded if resources are channeled only into traditional fields that work in isolation on pieces of a much larger puzzle. Recommends a comprehensive national research program on the human dimensions of global change.


Item #d91dec52

Limiting Net Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States, U.S. Dept. Energy, Dec. 1991. For executive summary contact Off. Public Affairs, Rm. 1E-206, U.S. DOE, Washington DC 20585 (202-586-5575); full copies available Jan. 1992 (inquire).

The last of four global climate reports requested by Congress in a 1989 appropriations bill, this report analyzes options that would cap national CO2 emissions at 20% below recent levels by the year 2000 and at 50% below by the year 2010. The former goal would cost $95 billion a year in the year 2000, and would require a tax of $500 per metric ton of carbon, more than doubling the price of gasoline. Results of macroeconomic models show that the U.S. economy would be reduced by 1.4% in that year; the coal industry would be especially affected. The maximum tax modeled in the analysis, $750 per metric ton, was unable to achieve a 50% carbon emissions reduction in the year 2010.


Item #d91dec53

Improving Automobile Fuel Economy: New Standards, New Approaches (OTA-E-504), U.S. Congress, Off. Technol. Assessment, 115 pp., Oct. 1991, $5.50. Order #052-003-01262-6, U.S. Govt. Printing Off., Washington DC 20402 (202-783-3238).

Requested by Congress during its current debate over raising the efficiency of the U.S. automobile fleet with fuel efficiency standards, and in part because of global warming concerns. Examines what levels of fuel economy are technically and economically feasible by what dates; what form of standard will deliver high levels of fleet fuel economy with the least market distortion; and the safety implications of requiring improved fuel economy. On the last issue, finds that while there is cause for concern about the relationship between fuel economy and safety, significant improvements in fuel economy should be possible over the longer term (a decade) without compromising safety.


Item #d91dec54

America's Energy Choices: Investing in a Strong Economy and a Clean Environment, Oct. 1991. Alliance to Save Energy, 1725 K St. NW, S. 914, Washington DC 20006 (202-857-0666); $15 (technical appendices $25 additional).

A team from the Alliance as well as from the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Union of Concerned Scientists, and the Tellus Institute evaluated three energy futures representing increasingly aggressive use of new technologies. In the most aggressive scenario, efficiency technologies could reduce U.S. energy use to nearly half of its expected level by the year 2030, and renewable energy resources could be quadrupled, resulting in a 70% decrease in carbon emissions. In addition, the U.S. could potentially save hundreds of billions of dollars over the next 40 years.


Item #d91dec55

Pledge and Review Process: Possible Components of a Climate Convention, Sep. 1991, £5. Royal Inst. Intl. Affairs, 10 St. James's Square, London SW1 4LE, UK (tel: 071 930 2233).

Summarizes results of a closed meeting held at the Institute that were submitted to a September negotiating session in Geneva. Concludes that the pledge-and-review process proposed by Britain and Japan at a June session could be made to work if pledges are clear and significant, and can be defined in such a way that undertakings can be verified. (See Chem. & Indus., p. 642, Sep. 16, 1991.)


Item #d91dec56

Reducing US Carbon Dioxide Emissions: The Cost of Different Goals, D.W. Jorgenson, P.J. Wilcoxen, Nov. 1991, $20. Contact Jo-Ann Mahoney, Kennedy Sch. Govt., Harvard Univ., 79 JFK St., Cambridge MA 02138 (617-495-1356); two-page executive summary is also available.

Examines three CO2 reduction scenarios: hold emissions at 1990 levels; reduce emissions to 20% below 1990 levels; and allow emissions to rise until the year 2000, then hold them constant. The required levels of tax per ton of carbon would be respectively $17, $60 and $8.55. The coal mining sector would diminish substantially; aggregate output would be affected by changing the rates of capital formation and productivity growth; and the loss of GNP would increase at an increasing rate as the target becomes stricter.


Item #d91dec57

Forestry and Forest Products as a Carbon Sink in New Zealand (FRI Bull. No. 162), J.P. Maclaren, S.J. Wakelin, 1991. Forest Res. Inst., Private Bag 3020, Rotorua, N.Z.

Considers the potential of plantation forestry for offsetting carbon emissions from fossil fuel combustion in the country, by examining the national forest estate for various management scenarios from 1990 through 2050. Concludes that forest and forest products are important carbon sinks in New Zealand but do not totally offset the country's carbon emissions from fossil fuels. To do so would require increasing the current area of forests by about a factor of four.

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