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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 9, NUMBERS 10-11, OCTOBER-NOVEMBER 1996

REPORTS...
INTERNATIONAL POLICY


Item #d96oct75

Climate Change Policy Initiatives—1995/96 Update. Vol. II. Selected Non-IEA Countries, 185 pp., Oct. 1996, $41/FF160/DM61 (IEA/OECD).

The International Energy Agency reviews actions that 20 non-IEA countries are taking under the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Twelve have economies in transition (Bulgaria, Czech Rep., Estonia, Hungary, Kaszkhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Russian Fed., Slovak Rep. and Uzbekistan); the others are Argentina, China, India, Indonesia, Rep. of Korea, Mexico, South Africa and Venezuela. These countries account for over a third of global energy-related CO2 emissions and some are the largest CO2 emitters outside the IEA area. Also given are emissions per capita and per unit GDP, and national energy situations (fuel mixes, recent emission trends etc.).


Item #d96oct76

Short articles in ECOal, Oct. 1996. ECOal is published by the World Coal Inst. Also contact IEA Coal Res.

"Are Realistic and Effective Emissions Targets and Timetables Achievable?" pp. 1-3. Summarizes and discusses an address on energy and climate change by Robert Priddle (IEA Executive Director), delivered at the Second Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-2) to the UNFCCC. Highlights some important realities that some COP-2 keynote addresses overlooked.

"Sunspot Activity and Global Climate," p. 4. In May, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO), a collaboration between NASA and the European Space Agency, was launched to observed the Sun during the "quiet" period of the 11-year sunspot cycle. In July at COSPAR, two Danish researchers, E. Friis-Christensen and H. Svensmark, reported evidence from 1983-1990 data that sunspot activity is the main controlling factor of temperature and climate on the surface of the Earth.

"New Data Cast Doubt on Human 'Fingerprint,'" P. Michaels, p. 6. Criticizes an article by Santer et al., published in Nature, July 4, that reported a human fingerprint on the climate caused by the combination of sulfate aerosols and greenhouse gases. However, if the full upper atmosphere temperature record of Angell et al. is used, instead of the shorter record published by Oort et al., no trend is found in the data.

"Is There a Discernible Human Influence on the Climate System?" G. Weber, pp. 6-8. The addition of this statement to the IPCC's Second Assessment Report has sparked controversy. Discusses whether this statement really gives a better presentation of the science, as well as whether there really is a human-caused impact on the climate system.


Item #d96oct77

The Political Economy of Climate Change Science: A Discernible Human Influence on Climate Documents, R. Bate, 1996 (Inst. Econ. Affairs).

Provides insight into the recent controversy surrounding amendments made to the IPCC's Second Assessment report.


Item #d96oct78

Politics of Climate Change: A European Perspective, J. Jšeger, T. O'Riordan, Eds., 1996 (Routledge).

Although most developed countries are unlikely to meet current CO2 emission stabilization goals, mechanisms being put in place nationally and internationally will at least provide a framework for future mitigation actions. The Climate Convention is being taken seriously in some national governmental agencies, but there is no integrating focus coordinating all governmental bodies. Climate policies would be more successful if they reinforced another arena of policy where there is higher public and political profile.


Item #d96oct79

Second Compilation and Synthesis Report of First National Communications, U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change, June 1996 (UNFCCC Secretariat).

An update of an earlier summary and review of national communications from Annex I parties to the convention. It contains information on greenhouse gas emissions and activities related to climate change for 36 parties, and benefits from a more complete and comprehensive set of submissions. Includes information from 21 detailed reviews of national plans based on country visits by expert teams. Confirms many previous reports that indicate most developed countries are unlikely to meet the target of stabilizing emissions at 1990 levels by the year 2000.

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