February 28, 2007
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FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1997
CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY
"A Proposal for the Protocol(s) on Climate Change," N. Matsuo
(Inst. Energy Econ., Shuwa-Kamiyacho Bldg., Toranomon 4-3-13, Minato-ku, Tokyo
105, Japan), Energy Policy, 25(2), 173-184, Feb. 1997.
Summarizes key elements of any future protocol on climate change, based on
experience to date with the Framework Convention on Climate Change. One novel
proposal is to consider a country's past policy efforts to control emissions
when determining emission targets it must meet in the near term. Farther in the
future, when the actual threat of climate change is better understood, different
targets and mechanisms such as tradeable emissions permits may need to be
"Climate Protection Policy: New Taxes or Voluntary Undertakings?"
W. Pluge (Federal Assoc. of the German Gas & Water Industries, Bonn, Ger.),
Energy Policy, 25(2), 119-124, Feb. 1997.
Critically examines the argument that an energy tax leads to lower energy
consumption and CO2 emissions. For the German natural gas industry, responsible
voluntary action can make a more comprehensive and effective contribution to
protecting climate and the environment, and will help safeguard Germany as an
"Technologies, Energy Systems and the Timing of CO2 Emissions
Abatement-An Overview of Economic Issues," M. Grubb (Energy & Environ.
Prog., Royal Inst. of Intl. Affairs, 10 St. James's Square, London SW1 4LE),
Energy Policy, 25(2), 159-172, Feb. 1997.
This paper is prompted by the debate in the U.S. about optimal abatement
paths, in particular by recent claims that it would be economically preferable
to defer abatement action in favor of measures that support technology
development but do not affect emission trends for many years. Presents an
overview of economic issues and those related to technology availability,
development and diffusion, and of the inertia of energy systems. Concludes that
a moderate policy is best. The modeling studies that have been used to justify
delays do so because they embody the economic factors favorable to delay and
largely neglect the countervailing issues.
"Think Globally, Act Locally? Local Climate Change and Energy
Policies in Sweden and the UK," U. Collier (European Univ. Inst., CP No.
2330, I-50100 Firenze Ferrovia, Italy), R.E. Löfstedt, Global Environ.
Change, 7(1), 25-40, Apr. 1997.
Compares the competencies of six local authorities in Sweden and the U.K.
for undertaking energy-related policy initiatives. Swedish local authorities are
much more independent, especially through ownership of local energy companies.
Yet U.K. authorities are relatively active on climate change, seeing the
creation of response strategies as an opportunity to reassert their role after a
long period of erosion of their powers. In both countries, climate change is
only a relatively marginal area of local environmental policy making; political
will and financial resources for more radical measures are often absent.
Comment on "Institutions for Environmental Aid: Politics, Lessons,
and Opportunities," S. Kerr (Dept. Agric. Econ., Univ. Maryland, College
Park MD 20742), Environment, 39(1), 3-4, Jan.-Feb. 1997.
One form of environmental aid not discussed in the cited article (Environment,
June 1996) is a tradeable permit market. Although not a perfect instrument, it
can bring to a problem such as climate change extensive private sector
expertise, technology, entrepreneurship, and capital. It should be one approach
supported by the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
"The U.S. Market for SO2 Permits-Policy Implications of the Low
Price and Trading Volume," K. Conrad (Lehrsthul für
Volkswirtschaftslehre, Mannheim Univ., Seminargebäude A5, D-68131 Mannheim,
Ger.), R.E. Kohn, Energy Policy, 24(12), 1051-1059, Dec. 1996.
The price of SO2 permits and the volume of trading under the U.S. Acid Rain
Program have been lower than expected-signs that market approaches to pollution
control can be more cost-effective than command and control regulations.
Analyzes reasons for this outcome and uses economic models to successfully
explain the current permit prices.
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