February 28, 2007
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Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 6, NUMBER 2, FEBRUARY 1993
World forests: The 50 member countries of the International Tropical
Timber Organization (ITTO), meeting at ITTO headquarters in Yokohama last
November, failed to agree on how to regulate world timber trade to help preserve
forests when the current agreement expires in March of 1994. Tropical countries
want northern forests (such as those in Siberia and Canada) to be included in
the new agreement. (See New Scientist, p. 12, Dec. 5 1992; Intl. Environ.
Rptr., pp. 780-781, Dec. 2 1992).
Opening of the Siberian taiga to logging by East Asian countries was one of
the topics discussed at a World Bank-Finnish Embassy seminar on northern forest
management held last May. (See Environ. Sci. Technol., pp. 1892-1893,
Sun Day 1993, a campaign for a sustainable energy future supported
by 650 U.S. citizen groups, businesses, government officials and others, has
published several documents aimed at the new Clinton Administration. (See
Reports.) Formally launched last Earth Day (April 22, 1992), the sponsoring
organizations are advocating a national energy policy that would reduce total
energy use 10 percent or more, and triple the contribution of renewable energy
technologies by the year 2000. Contact Sun Day 1993, 215 Pennsylvania Ave. SE,
Washington DC 20003 (202-546-4996).
The following news/analysis articles appeared in recent issues of Global
Environ. Change Rep. (GECR) and Energy, Econ. & Clim. Change
(EECC), published by Cutter Info. Corp., 37 Broadway, Arlington MA 02174
"Emissions Offsets and Joint Implementation: An Update," GECR,
pp. 1-3, Jan. 15. The climate convention signed last June credits industrial
countries for reducing or offsetting greenhouse gas emissions anywhere in the
world ("joint implementation"). Describes progress toward developing
criteria for such projects and toward an international clearinghouse for
"MITI on Climate Policy: The Carrot Looks Better than the Stick,"
GECR, pp. 1-3, Dec. 18. A new report from the Japanese Ministry of
International Trade and Industry (MITI) outlines 14 Proposals for a New
Earth. A carbon tax is not one of them, although other Japanese agencies do
favor a tax.
"Natural Gas, Efficiency, Renewables: Allies or Competitors?" EECC,
pp. 2-4, Dec. The newly formed Business Council for a Sustainable Energy Future
involves businesses related to both fossil fuels (natural gas) and nonfossil
energy sources. The group hopes to encourage integrated resource planning,
reorient national energy research, and develop a common position on climate
policies. (Contact the Council at 1725 K St. NW, S. 509, Washington DC 20006;
"U.S. and European Biofuel Incentives Raise Environmental Questions,"
EECC, pp. 15-16, Nov. Production of liquid fuels from plants is gaining
interest in the U.S. and Europe, partly because they are thought to produce less
greenhouse emissions. However, the presumed environmental benefits of these
biofuels are controversial.
"Green Pricing: It Works for Toothpaste; Will it Work for Electricity?"
GECR, pp. 1-3, Oct. 23. Least-cost planning has done little to increase
the portion of electricity generated by renewables in the U.S. As an
alternative, Southern California Edison and utilities in several other states
are considering green pricing. Customers would be offered an optional premium
rate for renewable-generated energy. (Similar article in EECC, pp. 6-7,
"Truth in Reporting: Verifying Compliance with the Climate Convention,"
GECR, pp. 1-3. Sep. 23. Several experts comment on the how, who, and
problems of verification, based in part on experience with the Montreal Protocol
on ozone protection.
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