February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 4, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1991
America's Climate Change Strategy: An Action Agenda, 22 pp., Feb.
1991. Available (no charge) from President's Council on Environ. Quality, 722
Jackson Pl. NW, Washington DC 20503 (202-395-5750).
Projected reductions in the greenhouse warming potential associated with
various existing policies (see first News item, this Global Climate Change
Digest issue--Mar. 1991) are largely based on a recent report by Cristofaro
of the U.S. EPA (see two entries below). This analysis represents the
application of a "comprehensive approach" to climate change
recommended at the Second World Climate Conference which forms the basis of the
Administration's strategy. (See next item.)
A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Potential Climate Change,
100 pp., Feb. 1991. Available (no charge) from Jonathan Wiener, Environ. &
Nat. Resour. Div. (Rm. 2143), U.S. Dept. Justice, 10th St. & Constitution
Ave. NW, Washington DC 20530 (202-514-2744).
This exposition of the strategy underlying the Administration's approach was
prepared by an ad hoc task force of federal agencies. The comprehensive
approach considers all greenhouse gases, sources and sinks, and by accommodating
each country's specific circumstances should achieve the maximum reduction in
net climate impact for a given level of financial investment.
The Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States,
A. Cristofaro, 14 pp., Dec. 1990. Request from the author, Air & Energy
Policy Div., U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-382-5490).
Some of the analyses described in this informal report of work in progress
are the basis for the Administration's emissions projections described in its
Action Agenda (see above). Possible emission control scenarios are
discussed in the context of a comprehensive greenhouse gas approach, and
preliminary cost estimates given for a limited set of policy options. (See also
Nature, p. 4, Nov. 1, 1990.)
Preliminary Technology Cost Estimates of Measures Available to Reduce
U.S. Greenhouse Emissions by 2010, approx. 200 pp., Aug. 1990. Submitted to
U.S. EPA by ICF Inc., Fairfax, Va. Inquire for copies with Energy Policy Branch,
OPPE, U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-382-5492).
These cost estimates, although preliminary, are suitable for helping to
establish research priorities and opportunities for energy conservation and
switching to low-carbon fuels. Estimates are made for two major categories:
energy measures (such as vehicle efficiency and industrial cogeneration) and
nonenergy strategies (such as reforestation and methane recovery from landfills
and animal manure). They suggest that U.S. greenhouse emissions could be reduced
by roughly 500 million tons (including CFC phaseout) in the year 2000 if all
promising opportunities were exploited, with a potential cost saving.
Changing by Degrees: Steps To Reduce Greenhouse Gases
(OTA-O-482), U.S. Congress, Off. Technol. Assessment, 370 pp., Feb. 1991. Order
from Supt. Docs., Govt. Printing Off., Washington DC 20402 (202-783-3238); $16.
A 56-page summary is $2.75. Orders outside the U.S., add 25%.
Requested by six Congressional committees, this comprehensive analysis
received input from many governmental, academic and industrial advisors and
represents a substantial reference document; one chapter is a 31-page "Primer
on Climate Change." Focusing primarily on CO2 emissions, the analysis
compares "moderate" and "tough" scenarios of emission
control to one of no action, examining in turn energy supply, buildings,
transportation, manufacturing, forestry and food production. Many goals
envisioned are worth pursuing, irrespective of climate change, because they
address energy security, local environmental quality and economic
The tough approach would yield a 20% to 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by
2015 from 1987 levels (compared to a 50% rise with no action) and would require
policies on energy conservation, energy supply and forest management that employ
all technological options available now or in the near future. However, this
scenario does not rely on massive application of nuclear power, technological
miracles or even substantial loss in comfort or convenience. Costs of this tough
approach are estimated roughly to range anywhere from a savings of $20 billion
to a cost of $150 billion a year. The moderate scenario projects a 15% to 22%
increase in emissions, that would more than pay for itself.
Policy options (such as carbon taxes and marketable permits) are addressed,
as is the relationship between the United States and other countries with
respect to control of greenhouse emissions. State initiatives to date are
summarized in an appendix.
Near Term Options for Reducing United States Carbon Dioxide Emissions
(91-133 ENR), 141 pp., Dec. 1990. Prepared by the Congressional Res. Serv. (Lib.
Congress, Washington DC 20540; 202-707-7078) for members of Congress; others may
request copies through the office of their Senator or Representative. CRS
updates a Global Climate Change Issue Brief regularly (latest is Jan. 4,
1991); an update of relevant legislation in the 101st Congress is forthcoming.
Prepared by over a dozen CRS staff members and reviewed by an outside panel
of experts, this study considers combinations of technical options based on
current or likely energy efficiency technologies, and on substitution for oil
and gas by fuels producing little or no CO2. Near-term actions with the biggest
effect lie in: (1) industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency
gains; (2) fuel switching from coal; and (3) increased motor vehicle efficiency.
The most ambitious of seven scenarios achieves a 20% emission reduction by the
year 2000, with energy efficiency contributing one-half to three-quarters. This
would require a major national effort; the estimated 55-67% reduction in coal
use could cause large employment losses in the coal industry. Even less
ambitious scenarios would require substantial and potentially controversial
policy initiatives, such as higher fuel taxes. Actions taken now would benefit
other important environmental, energy and economic competitiveness goals.
Final Report...from the International Environmental Technology
Transfer Advisory Board, 29 pp., Dec. 1990. Available (no charge) from Mark
Kasman, Off. Intl. Activities, U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-475-7424).
The board, established in Oct. 1989, concluded that the United States should
promote mechanisms that bring market forces to bear on every aspect of the
technology transfer process. The approach should take account of domestic
environmental problems of developing countries, emphasize energy efficiency, and
recognize population stabilization as a necessary condition for sustainable
development. Other recommendations relate to financing, international
environmental standards, and commercial considerations.
Our Changing Planet: The FY 1992 U.S. Global Change Research Program,
Comm. on Earth and Environ. Sci. (Fed. Coord. Council for Sci., Eng. and
Technol.), 90 pp., Jan. 1991. Request c/o U.S. Geol. Survey, 104 National Ctr.,
Reston VA 22092 (703-648-4450).
Outlines the President's $1.186 billion budget request for global change
research for fiscal year 1992, a 24% increase over the 1991 level. The highest
priority scientific and policy-related issue for the year is whether, and to
what extent, human activities are changing or will change the global climate
system. Other priorities are those identified by the IPCC: climate modeling and
prediction, global water and energy cycles, the global carbon cycle, and
ecological systems and population dynamics.
Research Strategies for the U.S. Global Change Research Program,
Comm. on Global Change (U.S. Nat. Comm. for the IGBP), Nat. Res. Council, 291
pp., 1990. Nat. Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418
(202-334-2000); $28 + shipping.
Recommends research strategies to address the priorities identified in the
1988 report Toward an Understanding of Global Change: Initial Priorities for
the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program. During 1988 and 1989,
working groups developed reports which formed input to five priorities
identified in the 1988 report: water-energy-vegetation interactions; fluxes of
materials between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere and oceans;
biogeochemical dynamics of ocean interactions with climate; earth system history
and modeling; human interactions with global change. This report also includes
integrated modeling of the Earth system and documents global change over the
Outlook: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources in the 102nd
Congress, 22 pp., Jan. 1991. Environ. & Energy Study Inst., 122 C St.
NW, S. 700, Washington DC 20001 (202-628-1400); $25.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations