Archives of the
Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 10, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1997
GENERAL INTEREST & POLICY
The Costs of Climate Protection: A Guide for the Perplexed, R.
Repetto, D. Austin, 30 pp., June 1997, $15 (World Resources Inst.).
Breaks down the economic models currently used to analyze climate policy
options by examining their key assumptions, and how these assumptions
affect predicted costs. Recommends policy options, including how the U.S.
should negotiate with other nations regarding joint implementation,
shifting federal taxes from income and payroll to energy, and making
renewable energy sources widely available at lower prices. If countries
follow the basic measures outlined, climate protection will not harm the
Bits of Power: Issues in Global Access to Scientific Data, Natl.
Res. Council, 335 pp., July 1997, $45 (Natl. Academy Press).
(See News Notes, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--August
1997.) Policy makers worldwide should treat the results of research funded
with tax dollars as a public good and not allow the flow of scientific
data to be restricted. Recently proposed changes to laws that protect
intellectual property could jeopardize the full and open exchange of
research data, which would be particularly damaging to sciences concerned
with international issues such as global change. National and
international organizations concerned with the flow of scientific data
across borders should help less-developed nations acquire network
services, computers, and software.
Environmental Agreements, Environmental Effectiveness, European
Environ. Agency, May 1997 (EEA). Also available on the Internet (http://www.eea.eu.int).
Requested by the European Parliament, this report is based on review of
experience with several environmental agreements in Europe. Concludes that
voluntary environmental agreements are most useful when they complement
other policy measures such as regulations and fiscal instruments. However,
the growing trend to negotiate voluntary agreements should be accompanied
by clear targets; by greater transparency during negotiation,
implementation and evaluation of the pacts; and by reliable monitoring and
Our Changing Planet: The Fiscal Year 1998 U.S. Global Change Research
Program, 118 pp., 1997 (GCRIO). Full text available on the GCRIO web
An annual report to Congress supplementing the President's fiscal year
1998 budget, which reviews progress in research, outlines integrative
activities of the Program, discusses new challenges in research, and gives
details of the Program's 1998 budget.
Energy Innovations: A Prosperous Path to a Clean Environment, 190
pp., June 1997, $25 (Alliance to Save Energy). Also available on the Web
page of the Tellus Institute (http://www.tellus.org/ei/).
Technical appendices will be published this fall.
Researched and written jointly by energy policy experts from five
organizations: Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an
Energy-Efficient Economy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Tellus
Institute, and Union of Concerned Scientists. Through the use of
innovative energy technologies, U.S. emissions of CO2 could be
cut to 10% below 1990 levels by 2010, while national energy costs would be
reduced by $530 per household annually and nearly 800,000 additional jobs
Environmental Diplomacy: The Environment and U.S. Foreign Policy,
U.S. Dept. of State, 17 pp., Apr. 1997. For printed copies contact Cheryl
Gross (tel: 202 647 6575); also available on the Internet at
This first report of an annual series details the Clinton
Administration's five environmental priorities for U.S. foreign policy
over the coming year. Climate change and deforestation are two of them.
Also announces the opening of six "regional environmental hubs"
around the world, to promote cooperation among neighboring nations.
1994-95 in Review: An Assessment of New Developments Relevant to the
Science of Climate Change, 50 pp., 1997 (Can. Climate Ctr.).
This Spring 1997 issue of the Climate Center's CO2/Climate
Report consists of a brief but extensively referenced summary of
recent developments intended for those who wish to quickly identify
appropriate scientific papers for further study. Covers almost 900
documents published during 1994 and 1995, emphasizing relevance to Canada.
Climate Issues Briefs from Resources for the Future (RFF).
Available in print and on the Internet.
Revenue Recycling and the Costs of Reducing Carbon Emissions
(Brief No. 2), I. Parry, 10 pp., May 1997. Discusses the notion that
environmental taxes can reduce pollution while reducing overall economic
costs associated with the tax system. Details alternative ways of
recycling revenues from carbon taxes, and compares two popular policy
instruments-carbon taxes and emission permits.
Water Resources and Climate Change (Brief No. 3), K.D.
Frederick, 12 pp., May 1997. Outlines the possible impacts of climate on
water supplies and demands, including its implications for regional
uncertainties, sea levels, and CO2 effects. Although climate
change may have a wide range of adverse impacts on global water resources,
a bigger threat may come from other factors, such as population growth,
technology, and economic, social and political conditions.
Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture (Brief No. 4), P.
Crosson, May 1997, 9 pp. While climate change may make the attainment of
sustainable agricultural production more difficult, especially in
developing countries, a bigger threat may come from more immediate
concerns such as lags in the spending on agricultural research needed to
develop new technology.
Recent RFF Discussion Papers contain preliminary results of
research in progress, generally written for academic audiences to
stimulate thought and debate. They can be downloaded from the RFF Web site
(http://www.rff.org) or copies ordered
for $15 or less (depending on postage).
Mock Referenda for Intergenerational Decision Making (97-48),
R.J. Kopp, P.R. Portney, Aug. 1997. Proposes a new concept of cost-benefit
analysis for decisions relating to long-term situations such as climate
Policy Instruments for Climate Change: How Can National Governments
Address a Global Problem ? (97-11), R.N. Stavins, Feb. 1997. Despite
the great theoretical advantages of market-based approaches, neither
domestic political barriers nor international institutional impediments to
them should be ignored.
Optimal Choice of Policy Instruments and Stringency Under Certainty:
The Case of Climate Change (97-17), W.A. Pizer, Jan. 1997. Examines
whether, in the absence of new information and learning, the inclusion of
uncertainty yields significantly different policy decisions.
International Climate Change Policy: Economic Implications for
Australia (Current Issue #2), 7 pp., Apr. 1997; ... Economic
Implications for Japan (Current Issue #3), 7 pp., Apr. 1997. Both from
These papers analyze the effectiveness and equity of uniform emission
targets, based on applications of the MEGABARE model of the world economy.
Despite current discussion of "no regrets" (zero cost) policies,
insistence on uniform emissions reductions implies unequal economic
burdens across OECD countries, particularly for Japan, and has other
disadvantages in the long term.
Two reports available from Western Fuels Association; both were prepared
by C.D. Idso of the Office of Climatology, Arizona State Univ.
Future Climate and the Precautionary Principle: The Other Side of
the Story (Paper #26), 37 pp., May 1997. Examines climatic history,
and impacts on humans in relatively recent episodes such as the Medieval
Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Because impacts appear to be more
favorable in the warmer episode, and another ice age is likely,
application of the precautionary principle would suggest we do nothing to
prevent minor to moderate tendencies in warming.
The Greening of Planet Earth: Its Progression from Hypothesis to
Theory (Paper #25), 25 pp., Jan. 1997. The Greening Hypothesis is an
optimistic view of the impact of rising CO2 which portends
enhanced productivity of the Earth's vegetation. Several challenges to
this concept are reviewed and found to be unsubstantiated by data obtained
from long-term CO2 enrichment experiments. The Greening
Hypothesis should henceforth be considered the Greening Theory.
Reports on environmental policy, based on case studies from the member
countries of OECD:
Environmental Taxes and Green Tax Reform, 58 pp., 1997, $10. The
use of instruments such as charges, taxes, tradeable permits and deposit
refund systems has developed appreciably over the last 5-10 years, but
with some exceptions. Discusses important questions such as the effect of
a carbon tax on international trade.
Reforming Environmental Regulation in OECD Countries, 68 pp.,
1997, $10. There is a clear trend toward adopting a variety of policy
instruments--fiscal, voluntary, and information disclosure schemes--in
addition to conventional regulations, but regulations themselves can be
made more effective and flexible. Environmental regulatory reform must be
coordinated with reforms in other sectors-energy, transport and
Evaluating Economic Instruments for Environmental Policy, 142
pp., 1997, $24. Environmental taxes and charges implemented in recent
years have usually have usually had the desired impact on emissions and
not been merely absorbed by polluters. Since data to make such evaluations
are difficult to obtain, future policies should insure that the data
needed will be provided.
Environmental Policies and Employment, 118 pp., 1997, $20.
Examines whether environmental protection creates jobs, what is meant by
environment-related jobs, and how many jobs are involved. Concludes that
environmental policies have a slight positive effect on the number of
jobs, and pose no threat to employment.
Towards a New Global Age: Challenges and Opportunities, 45 pp.,
1997, $8. Presents a vision of the world in 2020 with increased prosperity
as developing countries integrate into the global economy. A special
section discusses the likely climate change impacts of increased energy
use in the developing world, and calls for unified action on emission
reductions between OECD and non-OECD countries.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations