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Global Climate Change Digest

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

FROM VOLUME 7, NUMBER 3, MARCH 1994

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...

  • OF GENERAL INTEREST: POLICY AND ECONOMICS

Item #d94mar1

"Expert Opinion on Climatic Change," W.D. Nordhaus (Dept. Econ., POB 1972 Yale Sta., New Haven CT 06529), Amer. Sci., 82(1), 45-51, Jan.-Feb. 1994.

Interviews with 19 experts who have thought deeply about the topic show that the natural scientists as a group estimated economic impacts up to 30 times greater than the estimates of the social scientists. The quantitative and qualitative differences among the participants are discussed in detail.


Item #d94mar2

Two items in Intl. Environ. Affairs, 5(4), Fall 1993:

"The GEF and the Conventions on Climate Change and Biological Diversity," R. Mott (World Wildlife Fund, 1250 24th St. NW, Washington DC 20037), 299-312. The Global Environmental Facility was proposed by developed countries in 1990 to handle financial transfers to developing countries, but its role has been a continuing point of controversy. The GEF was granted interim authority for financing under the biodiversity and climate conventions, with the proviso that it institute reforms designed to move it away from the World Bank and closer to the U.N. system and the conferences of the parties to the two new conventions.

"The Multilateral Fund for the Implementation of the Montreal Protocol," A. Wood, 335-354. This detailed review and evaluation concludes that, after a fitful beginning, the fund seems poised to fulfill its goal of reducing worldwide emissions of ozone depleting substances. But optimism must be tempered with a realistic understanding of the institutional and administrative difficulties that continue to plague the fund.


Item #d94mar3

"Population Policy Options in the Developing World," J. Bongaarts (Res. Div., The Population Council, One Dag Hammarskjold Pl., New York NY 10017), Science, 263(5148), 771-776, Feb. 11, 1994.

Reviews past approaches to population policy and assesses alternatives available to governments of developing countries. Such questions were discussed at the June 1992 Earth Summit, and will be revisited at the U.N. International Conference on Population and Development in Cairo next September. Past efforts have emphasized family planning programs with partial success, but other policy options are needed, such as reducing the demand for births.


Item #d94mar4

"Issues in the Design of Environmental Excise Taxes," T.A. Barthold (Joint Committee on Taxation, U.S. Congress, Washington, D.C.), J. Econ. Perspectives, 8(1), 133-151, Winter 1994.

Discusses general principles based in part on the excise tax on ozone-depleting chemicals enacted by the U.S. Congress in 1989. Several factors not usually contemplated in the standard textbook analysis of externalities affect the design of tax policy as an instrument of environmental policy.


Item #d94mar5

Special section: "Global Climate Change," J. Econ. Perspectives, 7(4), Fall 1993 (Amer. Econ. Assoc.).

"Symposium on Global Climate Change," R. Schmalensee (Dept. Econ. & Mgmt., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), 3-10. Sketches some of the uncertainties and research questions related to the economics of climate change: costs of adaptation, and the costs and benefits of abatement and mitigation.

"Reflections on the Economics of Climate Change," W.D. Nordhaus (Dept. Econ., Yale Univ., POB 1972 Yale Sta., New Haven CT 06529), 11-25. Gives a non-technical introduction and summarizes a study of efficient policies to slow global warming.

"Costs of Reducing Global Carbon Emissions," J.P. Weyant (Dept. Energy-Econ. Systems, Stanford Univ., Stanford CA 94305), 27-46. Discusses key dimensions of any cost projection, existing projections on various time horizons, what is known, and research needs.

"Global Warming Policy: A Public Finance Perspective," J.M. Poterba (Dept. Econ., Mass. Inst. Technol., Cambridge MA 02139), 47-63. Emphasizes the public finance of carbon taxes at the national level, because prospects for international action are bleak. Discusses policies suitable for developing countries, such as the elimination of fossil fuel subsidies and actions to slow deforestation.

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