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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



(See also Reports/OECD Studies, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--May 1992.)

Item #d92may74

Economic Effects of Using Carbon Taxes to Reduce Carbon Dioxide Emissions in Major OECD Countries, DRI/McGraw Hill (Lexington, Mass.), 154 pp., 1992. NTIS: PB92-127562; $26.

Sponsored by the U.S. Commerce Department, this study estimated that a revenue-neutral tax on fossil fuels intended to reduce CO2 emissions 20% by the year 2000 would lower output among OECD nations by one to over three percent. Taxes required per ton of carbon in fuels range from $490 (Sweden) to $2430 (Japan), with the U.S. at $720. An article in Inside EPA (p. 20, Mar. 20) discusses criticisms of the analysis because it overestimates the necessary taxes by not allowing for economic elasticity. Further work is being done to remedy this problem.

Item #d92may75

Towards More Cost-Efficient Environmental Policies in the 1990s: Principles and Proposals for Better Pricing of the Environment, Norwegian Environmental Tax Committee, 1992. A 59-page summary is available in English; full report in Norwegian. Contact Thorvald Moe, Chief Economic Adviser, Norwegian Ministry of Finance, POB 8008 Dep., Oslo 1, Norway.

Written by a committee appointed by the Norwegian government, this report has been viewed as a challenge to the Norwegian commitment to stabilize CO2 emissions by the year 2000, according to an extensive article in Energy, Econ. & Clim. Change (pp. 4-7, Mar. 1992). The main conclusion, which has applications to other countries as well, is that environmental taxes are preferable to regulatory approaches, and they should be fiscally neutral so that proceeds offset other taxes.

Item #d92may76

An Alternative Energy Future, 180 pp., 1992, $25. Order from Amer. Gas Assoc. (attn: Donna Mercado), 1515 Wilson Blvd., Arlington VA 22209 (703-841-8491).

(See News Notes, this GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST issue--May 1992.) Sponsored by the Alliance to Save Energy, the American Gas Association and the Solar Energy Industries Association, with peer review by university, federal agency and other groups. The analysis differs from conventional energy forecasts by assuming aggressive market penetration for more efficient technologies, incorporating the most recent regulations and standards of appliance efficiency and conservation measures, and assuming removal of certain regulatory market barriers. It forecasts stabilization of total energy consumption over the next 20 years, with a 12% reduction in CO2 emissions, lower consumer energy bills, an improved balance of trade, and increased employment in domestic energy industries, all without any major new federal policy initiatives.

Item #d92may77

Assessment of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Policies on the Electric Utility Industry: Costs, Impacts and Opportunities, ICF Resour. Inc., 1992. Request (no charge) from Mary Kenkel, Media Relations, Edison Elec. Inst., 701 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington DC 20004 (202-508-5000).

Four possible emission control scenarios from 1990 through 2015 were analyzed for the Institute by ICF Resources, Inc. (Washington), one including a carbon tax of $110 per metric ton phased in by 2005. Costs to the electric utility industry and its customers would be significant under any of the scenarios, especially with carbon taxes, and there would be substantial impacts on other sectors of the economy. Major changes in government policies that would overcome institutional and market barriers would lower the costs. Any policy response should not be limited to a single industry.

Item #d92may78

A Climate for Investment: How the US Can Stabilize CO2 Emissions through Profitable Measures the White House Already Supports, D. Lashof, D. Doniger, 10 pp., Mar. 1992. Contact Natural Resour. Defense Council, 1350 York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20005 (202-783-7800).

Concludes that policies and programs already initiated by the U.S. government will enable the country to stabilize CO2 emissions by the year 2000 at a profit, and that there is no reason for the U.S. to oppose proposed emission targets.

Item #d92may79

Least Cost Climatic Stabilization (E91-33), 68 pp., $20. Rocky Mountain Inst., 1739 Snowmass Creek Rd., Snowmass CO 81654. A revised version of paper E91-8 (GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE DIGEST, Reports/General Interest, Aug. 1991).

Item #d92may80

Pollution Charges as a Source of Public Revenues (QE92-05), W.E. Oates, 1992, $5. Publications, Resources for the Future, 1616 P St. NW, Washington DC 20036 (202-328-5086).

While pollution charges can provide a valuable source of general revenue, a single tax level will generally not be optimum for achieving both environmental and fiscal goals. Placing the responsibility for levying and administering pollution taxes with an environmental (rather than a tax) authority may be best.

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