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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 6, JUNE 1995

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


Item #d95jun1

"Trends in U.S. Climate During the Twentieth Century," T.R. Karl (NCDC, NOAA, Fed. Bldg., Asheville NC 28801), R.W. Knight et al., Consequences, 1(1), 3-12, Spring 1995. (New journal; see NEWS, this Digest issue--June 1995.)

Temperature and precipitation data for the conterminous U.S. over the past century were analyzed for indications of climatic change. A Climate Extremes Index devised for the study supports the notion that the climate of the U.S. has become more extreme in recent decades, yet the magnitude and persistence of the trend is not large enough to conclude that climate has systematically changed. Similarly, a Greenhouse Climate Response Index reflects for recent years the type of response predicted for increasing greenhouse gases; the probability of occurrence by chance is 5-10%. None of the results unequivocally support anthropogenic climate change, but it will be important to follow the behavior of these indices over the next decade.


Item #d95jun2

"Global CO2 Emissions Trading: Early Lessons from the U.S. Acid Rain Program," B.D. Solomon (Acid Rain Div., EPA, 401 M St. SW Washington DC 20460), Clim. Change, 30(1), 75-96, May 1995.

Free market trading of SO2 emission allowances among U.S. electric utilities began in 1992 under that year's amendments to the Clean Air Act. This paper discusses early lessons learned, as well as issues and challenges that would be involved in extending this approach to trading allowances among industries and nations, and to other gases and emission offset programs. Prominent issues include CO2 allowance allocations, equity, emissions monitoring, enforcement, and cost-effectiveness.


Item #d95jun3

Two related items in Clim. Change, 29(4), Apr. 1995:

"Framework Agreement on Climate Change: A Scientific and Policy History," A.D. Hecht (Off. Intl. Activities, EPA, 401 M St SW, Washington DC 20460), D. Tirpak, ibid., 29(4), 371-402, Apr. 1995. An annotated chronology of key events and publications since 1970 that led to the signing of the convention in 1992; also incorporates the authors' insights on those events and their perspective of how science and policy-making interacted. Neither the science nor policy stories had any clear beginning; each affected the other as they developed.

"On Writing Good Histories of Climate Change and Testing Social Science Theories," D.G. Victor (IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria), 363-369. A editorial comment that discusses several points raised by the preceding analysis of the climate convention, for instance, that the central obligations of the convention mainly reflect the interests of the U.S. It then goes on to suggest how such histories, once carefully constructed, can be used to test social science theories.


Item #d95jun4

"The World's Forests: Need for a Policy Appraisal," N. Myers (Upper Meadow, Old Road, Headington, Oxford OX3 8SZ, UK), Science, 268(5212), 823-824.

Presents a selection of policy options for consideration by the soon to be established World Commission on Forests and Sustainable Development. In addition to encouraging sustainable development, they include enhancing the institutional status of forests; removing "perverse" subsidies; calculating the costs of inaction; and promoting forests as global-commons resources.


Item #d95jun5

"Multinational Corporations and the Transfer of Environmental Technology to Developing Countries," C.R. Hadlock (Bentley College, Boston, Mass.), Intl. Environ. Affairs, 6(2), 149-174, Spring 1994.

A decade or so ago, multinational firms paid scant attention to environmental concerns in their foreign plants, but the force of public opinion and fear of liabilities have caused many firms to reverse this. Now, the multinational firms may be the single most important vehicle for the transfer of environmental information and technology to the developing world.


Item #d95jun6

"Greenhouse Gas Reduction Targets: What Sort, and How Soon?" IIASA Options, pp. 4-9, Spring 1995. (Published quarterly by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria.)

David Victor and Julian Salt present the case against, and John Lanchbery presents the case for, legally binding national targets for reductions in emissions of greenhouse gases. The discussion stems from an article by Victor and Salt in the Jan. 26 issue of Nature (Global Climate Change Digest, p. 1, Feb. 1995), combined with other material circulated at the Berlin Conference of Parties in March. The three authors are members of IIASA's project on International Environmental Commitments.


Item #d95jun7

"Joint Implementation and Cost-Effectiveness under the Framework Convention on Climate Change," T. Jackson (Ctr. Environ. Strategy, Univ. Surrey, Guildford GU2 5XH, UK), Energy Policy, 23(2), 117-138, Feb. 1995.

Uses national greenhouse gas abatement costing studies from four varied nations to examine both the general claim for cost-effectiveness in joint implementation, and the implicit assumption that reductions will be cheaper and easier in developing nations and economies in transition than in developed countries. Finds that the benefits may be highly dependent on the level of associated transaction costs, and that reductions may be considerably cheaper for some developed countries than for developing countries. Stresses the need for developing methodology, and discusses the dangers of allowing ad hoc trading in emissions credits by a heterogeneous community of private investors.


Item #d95jun8

"Regulatory Policies Uncertainty, Value of Information, and Greenhouse Gas Emissions," H.W. Gottinger (Intl. Inst. Environ. Econ. & Mgmt., Schloss Waldsee, D-88339 Bad Waldsee, Ger.), ibid., 23(1), 51-56, Jan. 1995.

Uses a model of optimal statistical decisions to determine when it pays to act and then learn, and when it pays to learn and then act. Some interesting policy results are obtained for the dynamic intertemporal decision situation when the value of new information is an outcome of stochastic optimization with learning.


Item #d95jun9

"Coal Policy and Climate Protection. Can the Tough German CO2 Reduction Target Be Met by 2005?" W. Bach (Ctr. Appl. Clim., Univ. Muenster, R. Koch Str. 26, D-48149 Muenster, Ger.), ibid., 85-91.

Investigates whether there is cause for a growing concern in Germany that the government's CO2 reduction target will be missed, and that decisions are being made on energy and transport policy that militate against climate and ecosystem protection even beyond 2005. Concludes that governmental policies are not compatible with its target and its climate protection policy. Makes concrete recommendations for altering the current policy.


Item #d95jun10

"Setting Targets and the Choice of Policy Instruments for Limiting CO2 Emissions," Z.X. Zhang (Dept. Gen. Econ., Landbouw Univ., POB 8130, 6700 EW Wageningen, Neth.), Energy & Environ., 5(4), 327-341, 1994.

Gives an overview and comparison of policy options including the command-and-control approach, energy taxes, carbon taxes, and tradeable carbon permits, with special attention paid to the economic instruments. Synthesizes findings from studies on carbon taxes, and concludes that carbon taxes appear to be the superior and more flexible instrument for controlling emissions and avoiding large and unexpected costs.


Item #d95jun11

"The Greenhouse Gas Methane (CH4): Sources and Sinks, the Impact of Population Growth, Possible Interventions," G.K. Heilig (IIASA, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria), Population & Environ., 16(2), 109-137, Nov. 1994.

Reviews the methane budget and its history for the past 160,000 years. Although great uncertainties still exist with respect to major present day sources and sinks, the most recent methane projections of the IPCC are used to estimate the contribution of population growth to future methane emission. Discusses options for restricting anthropogenic methane emissions.


Item #d95jun12

"Technological Change, Technology Transfers, and the Negotiation of International Agreements," C. Carraro (Dept. Econ., Univ. Venice, Venice, Italy), A. Lanza, A. Tudini, Intl. Environ. Affairs, 6(3), 203-222, Summer 1994.

The Framework Convention on Climate Change needs to be strengthened to become effective. Technological change should be accomplished through a combination of taxation, innovation subsidies, and policies that favor the diffusion of innovation, with governmental support essential for success. Attempts to achieve full cooperation of all countries will only cause delay; if a group of countries like the OECD takes the lead, further cooperation will follow.


Item #d95jun13

"Africa's Decline and Greenhouse Politics," E.O. Eleri (Fridtjof Nansen Inst.), ibid., 6(2), 133-148, Spring 1994.

Africa is in a deep development and environmental crisis. Against this background, calls for sacrifices to mitigate global warming, a problem caused mostly by industrialism, are viewed with skepticism. Regardless of greenhouse concerns, Africa needs policies that promote sustainable development, control population, encourage less carbon-intensive energy strategies, and check deforestation. The North should recognize the threat to its self-interest by an ailing Africa, where environmental decline could cancel the best efforts of the developed world.


Item #d95jun14

Four items from a special issue of Chemosphere, 29(5), 1994.(See PROF. PUBS./PREINDUSTRIAL HUMAN IMPACTS, this Digest issue--June 1995, for a list of the other papers.)

"Preindustrial Human Environmental Impacts: Are There Lessons for Global Change Science and Policy?" D.M. Kammen (Woodrow Wilson Sch., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08544), K.R. Smith et al., 827-832. Introduction to the special issue, which is based on a Sep. 1993 conference of historians, anthropologists, economists and physical scientists.

"North-South Differences, Global Warming and the Global System," M.R. Dove (Environ. Prog., East-West Ctr., 1777 East-West Rd., Honolulu HI 98648), 1063-1077. Questions the use of the 19th century as the baseline for anthropogenic contributions to global warming. Extends the discussion to the analysis of the relationships among differences in national histories, the problem of global warming, and the development of a global system capable of addressing it.

"Industrial and Non-Industrial Anthropogenic Inputs to the Global Biogeochemical Cycles: Implications for Intertemporal Environmental Policy," D.M. Kammen (Woodrow Wilson Sch., Princeton Univ., Princeton NJ 08544), 1121-1133. The majority of developing nations still rely on biomass energy, and have a strong linkage between preindustrial and future national development. Examines the implications of environmental decision-making necessitated by natural time scales of forest growth, biogeochemical cycles, and the anthropogenic release of trace gases.

"Pre-Industrial Missing Carbon and Current Greenhouse Responsibilities," K.R. Smith (Environ. Prog., East-West Ctr. 1777 East-West Rd., Honolulu HI 96848), 1135-1143. In many international discussions of the relative national responsibilities for past and current greenhouse emissions, the net emissions from human land-use changes are included along with emissions from fossil fuels. However, since there has been substantial human management of the global biosphere long before the industrial revolution, the entire biosphere must be omitted from indices of responsibility for global allocation of the costs of climate change mitigation.

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