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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 11, NUMBER 6, JUNE 1998

REPORTS...
MITIGATION


Item #d98jun62

Fueling Global Warming: Federal Subsidies to Oil in the United States, D. Koplow (Industrial Economics Co.; tel: 617 354 0074), A. Martin, June 1998. Prepared for Greenpeace Intl., whose Web site provides the full text: http://www.greenpeace.org/~climate/.

Examines federal subsidies for oil, demonstrating that subsidies continue to play a substantial role in the U.S. economy. Identifies areas for reform that can save taxpayers money, reduce environmental damages, and help meet carbon reduction targets.


Item #d98jun63

Using Emissions Trading to Regulate U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Basic Policy Design and Implementation Issues (RFF Clim. Issue Brief #10), June 1998 (RFF). ...Additional Policy Design and Implementation Issues (RFF Clim. Issue Brief #11), June 1988 (RFF). Both by C. Fischer (e-mail: fischer@rff.org), M. Toman and S. Kerr. Available in print and on the RFF Web site.

The first paper addresses what sources and gases are covered by regulation; what commodity is to be traded and with what method; how rights to greenhouse gas permits are defined; and how uncertainties are dealt with. The second paper explores designing and implementing a trading system: initiation, intertemporal flexibility, and interactions with the tax system.


Item #d98jun64

Tradable Carbon Permit Auctions: How and Why to Auction Not Grandfather (RFF Discussion Paper 98-34), P. Cramton (e-mail: peter.crampton@umd.edu), S. Kerr, 50 pp., June 1998 (RFF). Full text available on Web site.

The authors favor auctions of tradable permits over grandfathering because they allow reduced tax distortions, provide more flexibility in distribution of costs, provide greater incentives for innovation, and reduce the likelihood of political arguments. To minimize administrative costs, permits should be required at the level of oil refiners, coal processing plants and the like.


Item #d98jun65

Technology Opportunities to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions, June 1998. Released by the directors of the 11 U.S. National Laboratories, this study was chaired by the directors of the Natl. Renewable Energy Lab. and Oak Ridge Natl. Lab. Contact G. Douglas, Natl. Renewable Energy Lab. (tel: 303 275 4096). Also available in PDF format at this Web site: http://www.ornl.gov/climate_change/climate.htm.

Outlines almost 50 technology pathways that could eliminate the emissions of hundreds of million of tons of carbon per year, through various near-term and long-term initiatives over the next 30 years. These options cover almost all sectors of the economy including buildings, industry, transportation and agriculture. If developed and widely used, these technologies would also improve air quality, reduce U.S. dependence on foreign oil, and increase U.S. technology exports.


Item #d98jun66

Potential Production of Switchgrass and Traditional Crops Under Current and Greenhouse-Altered Climate in the 'MINK' Region of the Central United States (PNNL-2432), R.A. Brown, N.J. Rosenberg et al., 71 pp., Apr. 1998 (PNNL).

A report to Texas A&M Univ. et al. Addresses the feasibility and possible impacts of a land use conversion from traditional agricultural crops to switchgrass, a biomass energy crop, in the MINK region (Missouri-Iowa-Nebraska-Kansas), under current and potential climate-change conditions. Simulations with the EPIC crop growth model showed switchgrass yields to be highest in the southern, and lowest in the northern portions of the region. The CSIRO general circulation model indicated that temperature increases would extend the switchgrass growing season, and diminish cold stress, with resultant yield increases. Simulations were also done for traditional crops.


Item #d98jun67

Review of the Research Program of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles [PNGV]—Fourth Report, [Natl. Res. Council] Standing Committee to Review... (chaired by T.O. Jones, Echlin Inc., Cleveland, Ohio), 122 pp., Apr. 1998, $32 (NAP).

The PNGV, consisting of the federal government and domestic automakers (Chrysler, Ford and General Motors), hopes to build concept vehicles by 2000 and production prototypes by 2004. Of the technologies evaluated, the hybrid-electric vehicle (an electric car with a small diesel engine) is a front runner, but it may not be affordable or meet emission standards. The review committee makes several recommendations, including continued research into concept vehicles such as types of fuels, vehicle weights, and ignition mechanisms. Funding for research on fuel cells should continue at present levels or be increased.


Item #d98jun68

Case Studies in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading, J.B. Davis, 1998, $117 U.S./$127 elsewhere (Cutter).

Looks at ground breaking efforts relating to carbon offset, and analyzes emerging trends in methods and strategies being used by project organizers. Discusses the lessons learned, and explores what a carbon-constrained future will be like. Projects covered include the Costa Rican Protected Areas Project, the World Bank's Global Carbon Initiative and its Carbon Investment Fund, Ontario's Pilot Emission Reduction Trading Program, and Canada's Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Trading Pilot.


Item #d98jun69

Valuing the Global Environment: Actions and Investments for a 21st Century, Apr. 1998 (GEF).

Highlights success stories and identifies low cost actions (no-regrets strategies) that can be taken now to protect the global environment. For each of four issues (climate change, ozone depletion, biodiversity, international waters), the report discusses current science, evolving policy response, grassroots action, balance sheets for costs and benefits of action and inaction, and the most promising collaborative solutions.


Item #d98jun70

Communication on Transport and CO2: Developing a Community Approach, Mar. 1998 (European Commission).

Reports that CO2 emissions from transport grew far more between 1985 and 1995 than from other main sectors or the European economy as a whole. Four broad actions are crucial: improving automobile fuel emissions; including the external costs of transport in prices; revitalizing railways; and better integrating modes of passenger and freight transport.


Item #d98jun71

Sustainable Aviation: The Need for a European Aviation Charge, T. Sledsens (Coordinator), Apr. 1998. Obtain from the advocacy group Transport & Environment, Brussels (tel: 32 2 502 9909).

Studied three approaches to establishing an aviation charge: 1) a charge on the calculated emissions of a flight in European airspace; 2) a charge on fuel burden at European airports; 3) a charge on passengers and freight departing from European airports. Concludes that option 1) appears most attractive and is probably most feasible. Also calls for an end to future direct subsidies by EU governments to national airlines, and an end to the exemption from sales tax or duty free sales for airline ticket sales.


Item #d98jun72

Report of the Technical Committee on Business Taxation, 303 pp., Apr. 1998. A draft report from the Canadian Dept. of Finance (tel: 613 995 2855; fax: 613 996 0518; WWW: http://www.fin.gc.ca).

Prepared by a 10-member committee of tax experts, chaired by Jack Mintz, Univ. of Tornoto. The report recommends that Canada should replace its current $.10 per liter excise tax on gasoline, and the $.04 tax on diesel fuel, with a broad-based tax on all energy sources (oil, natural gas, coal, biofuels, electricity). It concludes that the primary cause of environmental degradation results from individuals and businesses not being faced with the full costs of their use of natural resources, including damage from particular energy resources. Included is an 18-page chapter, "Taxes as User Charges: Environmental Taxes."


Item #d98jun73

Climate Change: A Strategic Issue for Business, Apr. 1998 (ACBE).

This industrial group calls for the U.K. government to consider a national carbon tax, which would be set at a level that does not lower U.K. competitiveness. Without such a tax the country may not be able to meet targets under the Kyoto Climate Protocol.


Item #d98jun74

Coming Clean — A Discussion Paper on the Use of Market Instruments to Improve the Environment, Apr. 1998 (CBI).

This business group favors international trading of carbon emissions, but recommends a carbon tax only in terms of the overall EU climate framework.


Item #d98jun75

Emissions Trading in Australia — Developing a Framework (RR98.1), Mar. 1998, A$30 (ABARE).

Discusses existing pollution trading strategies, how these could be applied to greenhouse emissions in Australia, how different economic sectors would be affected, and what issues need to be resolved.


Item #d98jun76

Positive Measures for Technology Transfer Under the Climate Change Convention (EEP Workshop Report), T. Forsyth, Ed., 128 pp., Feb. 1998, 9.95 (RIIA).

Presents the finding of a workshop on mitigating climate change through technology transfer and foreign investment. Chapters cover viewpoints of industry, developing countries, and development organizations on how industry and governments can adopt positive measures to increase the transfer of environmentally sustainable development between North and South.


Item #d98jun77

Green Scissors '98, 1998. Published by a coalition of 26 groups including the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society and National Audubon Society.

Concludes that taxpayers could save $49 billion over the next five years if 71 government programs and subsidies were eliminated.


Item #d98jun78

The Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting and Verification of Climate Change Mitigation Projects: Discussion of Issues and Methodologies and Review of Existing Protocols and Guidelines, E. Vine, J. Sathaye, 1998 (LBNL). Full text avaiable on the LBNL Web site.

Addresses issues on this topic, which will become increasingly important as projects that are intended to reduce greenhouse gas emissions proliferate. Looks at existing programs in the U.S. and the U.K. and in international organizations such as the World Bank. Discusses components that future guidelines should address.


Item #d98jun79

Transportation, Energy and Environment: How Far Can Technology Take Us? J. DeCicco, M. Delucchi, Eds., 278 pp., 1997, $33 (ACEEE).

From the 1995 Asilomar Conference on Transportation and Energy Issues. Examines the potential for technological improvements in highway vehicles, railroads and aircraft to move toward greater sustainability. Covers such topics as real-world emissions; renewable and alternative fuels; the potential for advanced and revolutionary automotive technologies; freight efficiency and emissions of heavy trucks and rail; and industrial perspectives on a transition to next-generation vehicles and new fuels.


Item #d98jun80

National Climate Change Action Plans: Interim Report for Developing and Transition Countries, 1997 (U.S. Country Studies).

Looks at activities and progress of 11 countries (Bolivia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Egypt, Gambia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Russian Federation, Tanzania, Thailand) in preparing climate change action plans. The countries could finance very little, or as much as 75% of the costs of the action plans they have under preparation. Also identifies implementation issues.


Item #d98jun81

Reforming Energy and Transport Subsidies: Environmental and Economic Implications, 166 pp., 1997, $37/FF190/DM56 (OECD).

Presents studies from Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Norway, Russia, Spain, the U.K. and the U.S. on how subsidy reform (elimination of unsound subsidies) can lead to a reduction in environmental damage while achieving economic objectives. Shows how eliminating $100 billion in energy and transport supports could reduce emissions of both CO2 and the acid rain precursors, sulfur and nitrogen oxides. However, eliminating all subsidies could be bad for the environment; reducing support to hydroelectric power, off-grid renewables, or energy efficiency investments could substantially raise GHG emissions.


Item #d98jun82

Transport, Energy and Climate Change, 68 pp., 1997, $26/FF160/DM47 (IEA).

Looks at the difficulties for policy makers in demanding sudden and short-term changes in the patterns of energy use and emissions in the transport sector. Increased demand for mobility and related infrastructure means that action must be taken now to address the carbon intensity of the sector.


Item #d98jun83

More Clean Air for the Buck: Lessons from the Acid Rain Program, D.J. Dudek, J. Goffman, 1997 (EDF).

Uses the U.S.. acid rain program as a model for emissions trading of nitrogen oxides and greenhouse gases. The incentives created in the acid rain program have led utilities to cut SO2 emissions by about 35% more than required in 1995 and 1996, and have created competition among pollution reduction methods which resulted in their costs being less than one tenth the predicted cost. Describes how such a strategy would work for early reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, and how companies would thereby benefit.


Item #d98jun84

Cool It! 1997 (FOE). The text is available at this Web site: http://www.foe.org/eco/coolit/

Calls for the elimination of $10 billion in wasteful government subsidies and tax breaks for greenhouse gas polluting industries. These 11 worst programs include a tax exemption for the worst gas guzzling cars, minivans and trucks; inflated tax breaks for oil and coal companies; the Clean Coal Technology Program; capital gains treatment for income generated by the sale of coal; and the Rural Utilities Service.


Item #d98jun85

Are Tradable Carbon Emission Quotas Internationally Acceptable? P. Bohm, 1997. Contact the author at Dept. Econ., Univ. Stockholm, Sweden (tel: 46 8 162 163; fax: 46 8 16 14 25; e-mail: pb@ne.su.se).

Presents the results of a survey. Swedish diplomats, who were knowledgeable about 29 different countries, provided information about the perceived acceptability of tradable emission quotas.


Item #d98jun86

Understanding Concerns About Joint Implementation, 1997. Contact the Joint Inst for Energy & Environ., Univ. Tennessee, Knoxville, Tenn. (tel: 423 974 0721; e-mail: sestep@utk.edu; WWW: http://www.jiee.org).

Discusses concerns raised about Joint Implementation and its application. The full text is available on the above Web site.


Item #d98jun87

Implementing an Emissions Cap and Allowance Trading System for Greenhouse Gases: Lessons from the Acid Rain Program, 1997, $25. Transparency and Responsiveness: Building a participatory process for Activities Implemented Jointly Under the Climate Change Convention, 1997, $20. Both from ELI; full text available on the ELI Web site.

In the first report, the Environ. Law Inst. explains how governments can use the lessons learned from the world's only widespread emission trading system, the U.S. SO2 trading program to reduce acid rain.

The second report reviews the role of the public in pilot joint implementation programs conducted since the 1992 Earth Summit, and examines ways to strengthen transparency and public participation.


Item #d98jun88

Activities Implemented Jointly: Partnerships for Climate and Development, 111 pp., 1997, $23/FF140/DM42 (IEA).

This report presents a history of a program that was launched as a pilot project in 1995. It also examines concerns of developing countries, and provides technical and policy insights into barriers, methodology and management of AIJ. Presents case studies of photovoltaics, wind, biomass, and coal-based power generation in developing countries.


Item #d98jun89

Developing a Standard Corporate Global Warming Indicator, 1997 (NPI).

NPI, one of the U.K.'s leading pension and life insurance companies, in conjunction with the Imperial College Centre for Environmental Technology, developed an indicator to help promote the routine corporate reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. The indicator is based on the simplest obtainable data, much of which many companies already report, including fuel consumption by type, transport-related fuel use, and process-related emissions of other GHGs.


Item #d98jun90

Mitigating Greenhouse Gases: Voluntary Reporting, 1997 (EIA).

In 1995, the second year of the U.S. Energy Information Adminstration's voluntary program which involves mostly electric utilities, participation increased by 35%. More than 140 participants reported on programs which reduced or offset greenhouse gases equivalent to 184 million metric tons. Projects included cogeneration, use of non-fossil fuels, demand-side management, landfill methane recovery, tree planting, and alternative vehicles.


Item #d98jun91

The Economics of Technology Diffusion: Implications for Greenhouse Gas Mitigation in Developing Countries (Clim. Issues Brief No. 5), A. Blackman, Oct. 1997 (RFF).

Reviews the current state of knowledge on this topic, giving seven types of policy options available to influence the speed of diffusion of climate-friendly technologies in developing countries. The most practical options are rationalizing energy prices, improving information, and investing in energy infrastructure.


Item #d98jun92

Stimulating Technological Change: The FCCC in the Context of Developing Country Initiatives, S. Barathan, Ed., 93 pp., 1997 (TERI).

Represents the proceedings of a workshop of speakers and panelists from many countries, held at the Second Session of the Conference of Parties (COP-2) to the UNFCCC (Geneva, July 1996). Because issues of technology transfer have not received adequate attention during negotiations on the implementation of the Climate Change Convention, TERI organized this workshop that presented issues, challenges, and promising trends, and prepared an agenda for action.


Item #d98jun93

Assessing the Constraints and Opportunities for Private-Sector Participation in Activities Implemented Jointly: Two Case Studies from the US Initiative for Joint Implementation [USIJI], 1997 (RFF). Text available at the RFF Web site.

Transaction costs and the absence of financing can be substantial hurdles in implementing projects to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The report suggests that the formal host country is also a major impediment to project development, because the approval process often becomes entangled in broader struggles over economic reforms, and solicitation of bribes by officials in countries where such is an accepted practice. Specific projects discussed include a coal bed methane recovery project in Poland, and a fuel switching project in the Czech Republic.

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