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 10, OCTOBER 1997
CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY
Climate Change-The EU Approach to Kyoto (COM 97-481), European
Commission, 18 pp., Oct. 1997 (CEC).
Outlines how the EU negotiating position on a 15% reduction of the
emission of three greenhouse gases by 2010 relative to 1990 can be
achieved. This goal is technically feasible and economically manageable,
but cannot be attained without comparable efforts by all other
industrialized countries. Provides estimates for technical reduction
possibilities for all sectors: transport, industry, electricity etc.
Designing Markets for International Greenhouse Gas Control,
(Climate Issues Brief No. 6), J. Wiener, 22 p., Oct. 1997, $10
A timely, non-technical analysis that integrates reviews of existing
literature with RFF's research. The key advantage of emissions trading is
cost-effectiveness, as demonstrated by the U.S. experiences with lead in
gasoline, sulfur dioxide, and urban air pollution. Trading also would help
shift developing countries to a lower-emissions development path. Problems
include difficulties in initiating, monitoring, and managing a global
trading program, and problems such as "free riders" (countries
that benefit from emission reductions without reducing their own), and "leakage"
(reductions achieved in one location that are offset by increases in
The Benefits of Reduced Air Pollutants in the U.S. from
Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Policies, D. Burtraw, M. Toman, 30 pp., Oct.
1997, $10 (RFF).
Actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions may also reap environmental
benefits by reducing emissions of other air pollutants. These ancillary
benefits could be on the order of 30% of the incremental cost of
greenhouse gas reductions and, unlike the benefits to climate, they will
be realized immediately. For developing countries, ancillary benefits may
be even larger compared to costs. This research builds on a review of
recent studies plus a model analysis of the electricity industry.
Broken Planet, Broken Systems: A 15-Year Climate Stabilization Program
for Humanity, Earth Regeneration Soc., 90 pp., Oct. 1997, $20 (ERS).
Presents a 15-year program which, for the first time, specifies emission
targets for both industrialized and developing countries, and will reduce
CO2 emissions to 1990 levels within 15 years. It describes
activities underway to demonstrate and manufacture new technologies which
early tests show will allow the burning of coal and oil without CO2
emissions. These new technologies will reduce conflict between
industrialized and developing countries.
Something for Everyone: A Climate Policy That Both Environmentalists
and Industry Can Live With, Sep. 1997. A two-page feature on the
Weathervane climate policy Web site maintained by Resources for the Future
or contact RFF.
A compromise suggested by recent research at RFF couples an emissions
target with a relief mechanism for unexpectedly high costs of reducing
emissions. This hybrid approach is a flexible policy with the potential to
address the substantive concerns of environmental advocates and
Climate Protection and the National Interest: The Links Among Climate
Change, Air Pollution, and Energy Security, J. MacKenzie, Oct. 1997,
50 pp., $9.95 (WRI).
The U.S. is confronting three closely related threats, all from the
burning of fossil fuels. These linked problems can be solved efficiently
and economically only if they are tackled together. Yet U.S. policy makers
continue to pursue piecemeal approaches which may address one problem but
exacerbate the others.
Framing a Coherent Climate Change Policy (Policy Study 141), F.H.
Rueter, 23 pp., Oct. 1997 (CSAB, Washington Univ.).
Analyzes the impacts of binding commitments being sought at the Kyoto
climate conference. Finds substantial adverse economic impacts for the
U.S. that would, among other things, impede the ability of firms to fund R&D
needed for new technologies. Binding commitments are premature and
extremely inefficient; recommends instead "sequential decision making"
in an "act-learn-act" approach.
What Should We Do About Global Warming? Weighing the Pros and Cons
(Policy Brief 184), M. Weidenbaum, 9 pp., Aug. 1997 (CSAB).
The Clinton Administration's support of a new U.N. treaty will have
serious repercussions for production and employment, and is unwarranted
considering the scientific uncertainty. Advocates a "no regrets"
policy, with great emphasis on improving scientific and engineering
The Economic Risks of Reducing the U.S. Electricity Supply: CO2
Control and the U.S. Electricity Sector, Resource Data Intl. for
Peabody Holding Co., 55 pp., July 1997, no charge (Peabody).
Examines how growth in the U.S. electricity supply helps drive economic
growth, and how a commitment to stabilize CO2 emissions at
1990 levels will curb economic growth, particularly for interior states
which depend heavily on coal. Proposed emission trading is not a panacea,
and U.S. efforts to reduce CO2 emissions will have diminishing
returns because of the actions of other countries.
A Better Way To Slow Global Climate Change (Policy Brief No. 17),
W.J. McKibben, P. Wilcoxen, 6 pp., June 1997 (Brookings).
The U.S. Proposal to stabilize CO2 emissions using an
international system of tradable permits is attractive in theory, but
fatally flawed in practice. Better would be a system of national permits
and emissions fees that would slow emissions growth without creating large
international capital flows or disrupting the world trade system, and
would be easier to monitor and enforce.
Joint Implementation and Its Alternatives: Choosing Systems to
Distribute Global Emissions Abatement and Finance, E.A. Parson, K.
Fisher-Vanden, 60 pp., Apr. 1997, $20 (Kennedy Sch. of Govt.).
Examines three options for involving developing countries in global
warming mitigation: joint implementation; administrative financing, such
as the World Bank's Global Environment Facility; and international
tradable permits. Compares these options, and determines their potential
and the pitfalls that will arise if the U.S. and others rely heavily on
them. Concludes that tradable permit systems appear to be the only option
that could significantly shift global abatement effort and resources;
joint implementation would also contribute for suitable types of projects.
The contribution of administrative financing is likely to be very limited.
Climate Change and the Energy Sector, 1997, £350 for each of
two volumes (FT-Energy).
Summarizes the current national programs of EU and non-EU OECD
countries; assesses the impact of existing and future climate change
policies on the energy industry; and looks at the direction that new,
tougher policies may take.
A Policy Without a Future: Australia's International Position on
Climate Change, 1997 (Australia Inst.).
Written by a Canberra-based think tank, this report calls the Australian
negotiating position a disaster because of massive influence by certain
industries. Criticizes the GIGABARE economic model used to assess the cost
of policy options.
The Rush To Judgment: A Primer on Global Climate Change, 20 pp.,
1997, no charge (Business Roundtable).
Summarizes the science and politics of the issue; outlines proposed
policies and their economic implications; and describes how the Business
Roundtable believes the issue should be addressed. (See the group's
profile in Global Climate Change Digest NEWS, Sep. 1997)
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations