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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 4, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1991

REPORTS...
UNITED STATES


Item #d91mar58

America's Climate Change Strategy: An Action Agenda, 22 pp., Feb. 1991. Available (no charge) from President's Council on Environ. Quality, 722 Jackson Pl. NW, Washington DC 20503 (202-395-5750).

Projected reductions in the greenhouse warming potential associated with various existing policies (see first News item, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--Mar. 1991) are largely based on a recent report by Cristofaro of the U.S. EPA (see two entries below). This analysis represents the application of a "comprehensive approach" to climate change recommended at the Second World Climate Conference which forms the basis of the Administration's strategy. (See next item.)


Item #d91mar59

A Comprehensive Approach to Addressing Potential Climate Change, 100 pp., Feb. 1991. Available (no charge) from Jonathan Wiener, Environ. & Nat. Resour. Div. (Rm. 2143), U.S. Dept. Justice, 10th St. & Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20530 (202-514-2744).

This exposition of the strategy underlying the Administration's approach was prepared by an ad hoc task force of federal agencies. The comprehensive approach considers all greenhouse gases, sources and sinks, and by accommodating each country's specific circumstances should achieve the maximum reduction in net climate impact for a given level of financial investment.


Item #d91mar60

The Cost of Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the United States, A. Cristofaro, 14 pp., Dec. 1990. Request from the author, Air & Energy Policy Div., U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-382-5490).

Some of the analyses described in this informal report of work in progress are the basis for the Administration's emissions projections described in its Action Agenda (see above). Possible emission control scenarios are discussed in the context of a comprehensive greenhouse gas approach, and preliminary cost estimates given for a limited set of policy options. (See also Nature, p. 4, Nov. 1, 1990.)


Item #d91mar61

Preliminary Technology Cost Estimates of Measures Available to Reduce U.S. Greenhouse Emissions by 2010, approx. 200 pp., Aug. 1990. Submitted to U.S. EPA by ICF Inc., Fairfax, Va. Inquire for copies with Energy Policy Branch, OPPE, U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-382-5492).

These cost estimates, although preliminary, are suitable for helping to establish research priorities and opportunities for energy conservation and switching to low-carbon fuels. Estimates are made for two major categories: energy measures (such as vehicle efficiency and industrial cogeneration) and nonenergy strategies (such as reforestation and methane recovery from landfills and animal manure). They suggest that U.S. greenhouse emissions could be reduced by roughly 500 million tons (including CFC phaseout) in the year 2000 if all promising opportunities were exploited, with a potential cost saving.


Item #d91mar62

Changing by Degrees: Steps To Reduce Greenhouse Gases (OTA-O-482), U.S. Congress, Off. Technol. Assessment, 370 pp., Feb. 1991. Order from Supt. Docs., Govt. Printing Off., Washington DC 20402 (202-783-3238); $16. A 56-page summary is $2.75. Orders outside the U.S., add 25%.

Requested by six Congressional committees, this comprehensive analysis received input from many governmental, academic and industrial advisors and represents a substantial reference document; one chapter is a 31-page "Primer on Climate Change." Focusing primarily on CO2 emissions, the analysis compares "moderate" and "tough" scenarios of emission control to one of no action, examining in turn energy supply, buildings, transportation, manufacturing, forestry and food production. Many goals envisioned are worth pursuing, irrespective of climate change, because they address energy security, local environmental quality and economic competitiveness.

The tough approach would yield a 20% to 35% reduction in CO2 emissions by 2015 from 1987 levels (compared to a 50% rise with no action) and would require policies on energy conservation, energy supply and forest management that employ all technological options available now or in the near future. However, this scenario does not rely on massive application of nuclear power, technological miracles or even substantial loss in comfort or convenience. Costs of this tough approach are estimated roughly to range anywhere from a savings of $20 billion to a cost of $150 billion a year. The moderate scenario projects a 15% to 22% increase in emissions, that would more than pay for itself.

Policy options (such as carbon taxes and marketable permits) are addressed, as is the relationship between the United States and other countries with respect to control of greenhouse emissions. State initiatives to date are summarized in an appendix.


Item #d91mar63

Near Term Options for Reducing United States Carbon Dioxide Emissions (91-133 ENR), 141 pp., Dec. 1990. Prepared by the Congressional Res. Serv. (Lib. Congress, Washington DC 20540; 202-707-7078) for members of Congress; others may request copies through the office of their Senator or Representative. CRS updates a Global Climate Change Issue Brief regularly (latest is Jan. 4, 1991); an update of relevant legislation in the 101st Congress is forthcoming.

Prepared by over a dozen CRS staff members and reviewed by an outside panel of experts, this study considers combinations of technical options based on current or likely energy efficiency technologies, and on substitution for oil and gas by fuels producing little or no CO2. Near-term actions with the biggest effect lie in: (1) industrial, commercial and residential energy efficiency gains; (2) fuel switching from coal; and (3) increased motor vehicle efficiency. The most ambitious of seven scenarios achieves a 20% emission reduction by the year 2000, with energy efficiency contributing one-half to three-quarters. This would require a major national effort; the estimated 55-67% reduction in coal use could cause large employment losses in the coal industry. Even less ambitious scenarios would require substantial and potentially controversial policy initiatives, such as higher fuel taxes. Actions taken now would benefit other important environmental, energy and economic competitiveness goals.


Item #d91mar64

Final Report...from the International Environmental Technology Transfer Advisory Board, 29 pp., Dec. 1990. Available (no charge) from Mark Kasman, Off. Intl. Activities, U.S. EPA, Washington DC 20460 (202-475-7424).

The board, established in Oct. 1989, concluded that the United States should promote mechanisms that bring market forces to bear on every aspect of the technology transfer process. The approach should take account of domestic environmental problems of developing countries, emphasize energy efficiency, and recognize population stabilization as a necessary condition for sustainable development. Other recommendations relate to financing, international environmental standards, and commercial considerations.


Item #d91mar65

Our Changing Planet: The FY 1992 U.S. Global Change Research Program, Comm. on Earth and Environ. Sci. (Fed. Coord. Council for Sci., Eng. and Technol.), 90 pp., Jan. 1991. Request c/o U.S. Geol. Survey, 104 National Ctr., Reston VA 22092 (703-648-4450).

Outlines the President's $1.186 billion budget request for global change research for fiscal year 1992, a 24% increase over the 1991 level. The highest priority scientific and policy-related issue for the year is whether, and to what extent, human activities are changing or will change the global climate system. Other priorities are those identified by the IPCC: climate modeling and prediction, global water and energy cycles, the global carbon cycle, and ecological systems and population dynamics.


Item #d91mar66

Research Strategies for the U.S. Global Change Research Program, Comm. on Global Change (U.S. Nat. Comm. for the IGBP), Nat. Res. Council, 291 pp., 1990. Nat. Academy Press, 2101 Constitution Ave. NW, Washington DC 20418 (202-334-2000); $28 + shipping.

Recommends research strategies to address the priorities identified in the 1988 report Toward an Understanding of Global Change: Initial Priorities for the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program. During 1988 and 1989, working groups developed reports which formed input to five priorities identified in the 1988 report: water-energy-vegetation interactions; fluxes of materials between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere and oceans; biogeochemical dynamics of ocean interactions with climate; earth system history and modeling; human interactions with global change. This report also includes integrated modeling of the Earth system and documents global change over the long term.


Item #d91mar67

Outlook: Environment, Energy and Natural Resources in the 102nd Congress, 22 pp., Jan. 1991. Environ. & Energy Study Inst., 122 C St. NW, S. 700, Washington DC 20001 (202-628-1400); $25.

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