February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
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 4, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1991
The State of the Environment, Org. for Econ. Coop. & Devel.,
300 pp., Jan. 1991. Available for $29.95 from OECD Pubs., 2001 L St. NW, S-700,
Washington DC 20036 (202-785-6323), or from OECD, 2 rue Andre-Pascal, 75016
(See related News item, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Mar.
1991.) This third OECD report on the state of the environment reviews
environmental progress achieved over the past two decades, and identifies an
agenda for the 1990s. It emphasizes the relationship between economic growth and
structural changes in the OECD countries, and places its analysis in the context
of world ecological and economic interdependence. It draws on extensive
contributions of data from member countries, and as such constitutes a
International challenges of the 1990s will be to ensure that newly formed
international agreements will become realities; to supplement them to address
newly emerging problems like climatic change; to monitor improvements in the
international environment and contributions of different countries; to promote
the integration of environmental concerns into trade and aid policies.
Included as a separate 80-page volume is Environmental Indicators--A
Preliminary Set, containing indicators suitable for the integration of
environmental and economic decision making at the national and international
levels. The project was prompted in part by the G-7 economic summits in Paris
(1989) and Houston (1990).
State of the World 1991, L.R. Brown, A. Durning et al., 254 pp.,
Feb. 1991. Worldwatch Inst., 1776 Mass. Ave. NW, Washington DC 20036
(202-452-1999); $19.95 hbk./$10.95 pbk.
This eighth Worldwatch report emphasizes environmental taxes as a means by
which nations can speed the transition to an environmentally sustainable
economy. Eight possible taxes are analyzed including one on the carbon content
of fuels, important for controlling greenhouse warming. Although several
European countries have recently initiated such taxes, they will have to be
raised substantially to spur major changes in energy use. Also discussed is the
World Bank, which the report concludes still needs environmental reform and
grossly underfunds new priorities such as energy efficiency.
Methane Emissions and Opportunities for Control, IPCC Response
Strategies Working Group, 180 pp., Sep. 1990. Available (no charge) from
Kathleen Hogan, Off. Air & Radiation, U.S. EPA, 401 M St. SW, Washington DC
Based on two workshops sponsored by the Japan Environment Agency and U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency in support of the IPCC. The Agricultural,
Forestry and Other Human Activities Subgroup dealt with flooded rice fields and
livestock; the Energy and Industry Subgroup covered natural gas systems, coal
mining and waste management systems. Concludes that control of increasing
methane levels is an important opportunity to address climatic change. It may be
possible to stabilize methane concentrations with control options identified
here that are profitable or low-cost, but additional analysis is necessary. A
variety of international control mechanisms, such as economic incentives, market
mechanisms and technological means, should be considered as alternatives to
regulatory "command and control" approaches that require emission
Tradeable Permits and Greenhouse Gas Reductions: Some Issues for U.S.
Negotiators (G-90-06), D.G. Victor, 60 pp., 1990. Available from Public.
Dept., Energy & Environ. Policy Ctr., Kennedy Sch. Govt., Harvard Univ., 79
JFK St., Cambridge MA 02138 (617-495-1350).
Difficulties in monitoring and verification of emissions from each country
prevent the implementation of a comprehensive, global system of tradeable
permits covering all greenhouse gases. The costs of developing and monitoring a
verification scheme for methane emissions, for example, may consume much of the
economic benefit of a tradeable permit approach. Recommends a stepwise approach
beginning with a system for CO2, which is best understood; as knowledge
advances, it may be possible to add N2O in the near future.
The International Politics of the Global Climate Change Issue,
J.B. Shlaes, 29 pp. Jan. 1991. Available (no charge) from the author at Edison
Elec. Inst., 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20004 (202-508-5000).
The author was a nongovernmental observer (NGO) representing international
business and industry at the Feb. 1991 meeting of the U.N. International
Negotiating Committee. Originally developed as an academic presentation, this
summarizes and comments on the recent activities and policy development of the
United Nations, the United States, interest groups and their role in U.N.
functions as NGOs, and the World Bank. One conclusion: the cooperation of
industry will be necessary for any progress in debating CO2 and other emissions.
The Greenhouse Effect: Implications for Economic Development
(Disc. Paper 78), E.A. Arrhenius, T.W. Waltz, 18 pp., 1990. Order from World
Bank Public., 1818 H St. NW, Washington DC 20433 (202-473-2941); $5.95.
The main themes are why the development community should be concerned about
possible climatic change, and the possible role of economic development in
mitigating and adjusting to change. The development community should outline a
research and policy program for sustainable economic development that emphasizes
efficiency in the energy sector.
Biomass Burning and Ozone Depletion: An Assessment of the Problem and
Its Implications for the Protection of the Ozone Layer, Annie
Makhijani, Arjun Makhijani, 44 pp., Nov. 1990. Available from Inst. for Energy &
Environ. Res., 6935 Laurel Pk. MD 20912 (301-270-5500), or Inst. für
Energie-und Umweltforschung Heidelberg e.V., Im Sand 5, 6900 Heidelberg, FRG
One form of atmospheric chlorine that has been ignored in international
policy is methyl chloride. The relative contributions of natural and human
sources are still unclear, but human activities probably contribute 20-30% of
methyl chloride, mainly from biomass burning. Scientific and policy
recommendations are made; the latter include elimination of Amazon forest
burning by 1995, and reduction of other biomass burning by roughly 50% over the
next 15-20 years.
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Index of Abbreviations