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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 8, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1995

PROFESSIONAL PUBLICATIONS...
OF GENERAL INTEREST: GENERAL AND POLICY


Item #d95jan1

"From Rio to Berlin: Managing Climate Change," D.G. Victor (IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria), J.E. Salt, Environment, 36(10), 6-15, 25-30, Dec. 1994.

Nations that have ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change will meet in Berlin on March 28 to resolve contentious issues sidestepped in the convention, and establish mechanisms for effective implementation. The options for managing climate change selected by the parties to the convention will influence acceptance within each country and flexibility to adapt to changes in science and politics. Discusses where the Berlin preparations stand and what lies ahead.


Item #d95jan2

"Scientific Information and Global Change Policymaking-Editorial Essay," R.A. Pielke Jr. (ESIG, NCAR, POB 3000, Boulder CO 80307) Clim. Change, 28(4), 315-319, Dec. 1994

The U.S. Office of Technology Assessment and others have concluded that the U.S. Global Change Research Program will produce "good science," but not necessarily provide the type of "usable" scientific information needed as a basis for policy decisions. Discusses why this is so, and what constitutes "usable information." Science programs must incorporate policy questions so that they can continually offer policy makers an evolving, wide range of alternative means to achieve their preferences.


Item #d95jan3

Three items on energy efficiency constitute the Nov. 1994 issue of Environment, 36(9):

"Improving Energy Efficiency: Making a 'No Regrets' Option Work," T.J. Wilbanks (Developing Country Program, Oak Ridge Natl. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831), 16-20, 36-44. Improvements in energy efficiency could help meet the need for more energy services in developing countries, and we could realize this potential much sooner if actions are taken on the three factors that determine energy efficiency improvement: technology, economic incentives, and institutional structures. But energy efficiency must not be viewed as the answer to every energy-environment-development question, since energy inefficiency is a depletable resource.

"Renewable Energy Technology: An Urgent Need, a Hard Sell," K.L. Kozloff (World Resour. Inst., 1709 New York Ave. NW, Washington DC 20006) 4-9, 25-41. Regulatory changes are causing the U.S. electricity industry to redefine itself in a competitive setting. Because competition is the biggest hurdle for the advancement of renewable energy, the U.S. needs a national strategy to promote alternative technologies.

"A Bright Future: Energy Efficiency Programs at Electric Utilities," E. Hirst (Oak Ridge Natl. Lab., Oak Ridge TN 37831), 10-15, 31-36. Energy efficiency or demand-side management programs encourage electric utility customers to reduce or better time their electricity use. With the right support, they could mean a bright energy-efficient future.


Item #d95jan4

"Progress of a Policy Experiment: Climate Challenge Interim Report Card," S. Sturges (AES Corp.), J.B. Hewitt, The Electricity J., 8(1), 60-70, Jan.-Feb. 1995.

The Clinton administration's Climate Challenge, a government-industry program, gives the electric utility industry its first chance to respond to climate change in the absence of regulations. Initial reports suggest that since utilities are taking the program seriously, it will generate significant results.


Item #d95jan5

Review of the book Buying Greenhouse Insurance: The Economic Costs of CO2 Emission Limits (A.S. Manne, R. G. Richels, MIT Press, 1992), by L.D.D. Harvey (Dept. Geog., Univ. Toronto, 100 St. George St., Toronto ON M5S 1A1, Can.), Clim. Change, 28(4), 405-410, Dec. 1994.

This extensive review constitutes a commentary on climate change policy by Harvey, who considers the book essential reading. From the results presented in the book he concludes that the estimated costs of constraining CO2 emissions, given carefully designed policies, are still too high.


Item #d95jan6

"The Social Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Expected Value Approach," S. Fankhauser (CSERGE, Univ. E. Anglia, Norwich NR4 7TJ, UK), The Energy J., 15(2), 157-184, Apr. 1994.

The stochastic greenhouse damage model used, in which the key parameters are random, permits a closer representation of current scientific understanding and enables calculation of a damage probability distribution. It projects costs of $20 per ton of carbon emitted between 1991 and 2000, rising to $28 in 2021-2030, with similar costs for emissions of methane and nitrous oxide. The distribution is positively skewed, showing that the predominant method of using best-guess values will underestimate costs.


Item #d95jan7

"Economic Global Warming Potentials," M.K. Wallis (Sch. Math., Univ. Wales, Senghennydd Rd., Cardiff CF2 4AY, UK), N.J.D. Lucas, Intl. J. Energy Res., 18, 57-62, Jan. 1994.

Offers a reformulation of global warming potentials that combines the time-horizon and discounting definitions, and incorporates the rate of change of atmospheric forcing. Only the discounting definition gives realistic results for changing forcing, as shown by application to the short-lived greenhouse gas methane.


Item #d95jan8

New publication: Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, devoted to scientific, technical, socioeconomic and policy concerns, begins quarterly publication in 1995 through Kluwer Academic Publishers. Instructions for authors are available from the editors: Joe Wisniewski (tel: 703-534-3005; fax: 703-534-0462) and Robert Dixon (tel: 202-426-0011; fax: 202-426-1540).

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