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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 10, NUMBER 10, OCTOBER 1997

REPORTS...
CLIMATE CHANGE POLICY


Item #d97oct32

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.


Item #d97oct33

Designing Markets for International Greenhouse Gas Control, (Climate Issues Brief No. 6), J. Wiener, 22 p., Oct. 1997, $10 (RFF).

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 unregulated locations).


Item #d97oct34

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.


Item #d97oct35

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.


Item #d97oct36

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 (http://www.weathervane.rff.org); 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 businesses.


Item #d97oct37

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.


Item #d97oct38

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.


Item #d97oct39

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 knowledge.


Item #d97oct40

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.


Item #d97oct41

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.


Item #d97oct42

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.


Item #d97oct43

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.


Item #d97oct44

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.


Item #d97oct45

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)

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