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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



Item #d88aug1

Scientists and policy makers meeting at an international conference in Toronto in July 1988 recommended a global pact to protect the atmosphere, and a world atmosphere fund financed in part by taxes on fossil fuels consumed in industrialized nations. The Changing Atmosphere: Implications for Global Security, was sponsored by the Canadian government, with support from the United Nations, the World Meteorological Organization and other international organizations.

Consensus was reached on the likelihood of global warming from greenhouse gases by 1.5 to 4.5° C by about 2050, but not on whether such warming has begun. The conference statement called for a 20 percent cut in present global carbon dioxide emissions by the year 2005, about half of which could be achieved through conservation, and an eventual 50 percent cut. Delegates debated the potential role of nuclear power as a clean energy source, but no official recommendations emerged. Reduction of other greenhouse gases, substances that deplete the ozone layer, and acidifying emissions were recommended.

The proposed atmosphere fund would be used partly to provide economic assistance to developing countries pursuing strategies such as reducing deforestation. The precise form of a global pact was debated, with the Canadian government favoring the concept of an International Law of the Air. Canadian Prime Minister Mulroney pointed out that the groundwork for such an approach exists in the Montreal Protocol to protect the ozone layer, and in the impending international protocol on nitrogen oxide control. Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Brundtland recommended a global convention on protection of the climate.

International Environment Reporter published a detailed account of the conference by P. Manyasz (pp. 414-418, July 13, 1988). The final conference statement is now available from the conference secretariat (Atmos. Environ. Svc., 4905 Dufferin St., Downsview, Ontario M3H 5T4, Can.; 416-739-4834). Completion of a proceedings is expected this fall.

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