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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 10, NUMBER 8, AUGUST 1997

REPORTS...
GENERAL INTEREST & POLICY


Item #d97aug45

The Costs of Climate Protection: A Guide for the Perplexed, R. Repetto, D. Austin, 30 pp., June 1997, $15 (World Resources Inst.).

Breaks down the economic models currently used to analyze climate policy options by examining their key assumptions, and how these assumptions affect predicted costs. Recommends policy options, including how the U.S. should negotiate with other nations regarding joint implementation, shifting federal taxes from income and payroll to energy, and making renewable energy sources widely available at lower prices. If countries follow the basic measures outlined, climate protection will not harm the economy.


Item #d97aug46

Bits of Power: Issues in Global Access to Scientific Data, Natl. Res. Council, 335 pp., July 1997, $45 (Natl. Academy Press).

(See News Notes, this Global Climate Change Digest issue--August 1997.) Policy makers worldwide should treat the results of research funded with tax dollars as a public good and not allow the flow of scientific data to be restricted. Recently proposed changes to laws that protect intellectual property could jeopardize the full and open exchange of research data, which would be particularly damaging to sciences concerned with international issues such as global change. National and international organizations concerned with the flow of scientific data across borders should help less-developed nations acquire network services, computers, and software.


Item #d97aug47

Environmental Agreements, Environmental Effectiveness, European Environ. Agency, May 1997 (EEA). Also available on the Internet (http://www.eea.eu.int).

Requested by the European Parliament, this report is based on review of experience with several environmental agreements in Europe. Concludes that voluntary environmental agreements are most useful when they complement other policy measures such as regulations and fiscal instruments. However, the growing trend to negotiate voluntary agreements should be accompanied by clear targets; by greater transparency during negotiation, implementation and evaluation of the pacts; and by reliable monitoring and reporting arrangements.


Item #d97aug48

Our Changing Planet: The Fiscal Year 1998 U.S. Global Change Research Program, 118 pp., 1997 (GCRIO). Full text available on the GCRIO web site.

An annual report to Congress supplementing the President's fiscal year 1998 budget, which reviews progress in research, outlines integrative activities of the Program, discusses new challenges in research, and gives details of the Program's 1998 budget.


Item #d97aug49

Energy Innovations: A Prosperous Path to a Clean Environment, 190 pp., June 1997, $25 (Alliance to Save Energy). Also available on the Web page of the Tellus Institute (http://www.tellus.org/ei/). Technical appendices will be published this fall.

Researched and written jointly by energy policy experts from five organizations: Alliance to Save Energy, American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, Natural Resources Defense Council, Tellus Institute, and Union of Concerned Scientists. Through the use of innovative energy technologies, U.S. emissions of CO2 could be cut to 10% below 1990 levels by 2010, while national energy costs would be reduced by $530 per household annually and nearly 800,000 additional jobs created.


Item #d97aug50

Environmental Diplomacy: The Environment and U.S. Foreign Policy, U.S. Dept. of State, 17 pp., Apr. 1997. For printed copies contact Cheryl Gross (tel: 202 647 6575); also available on the Internet at http://www.state.gov/www/global/oes/earth.html.

This first report of an annual series details the Clinton Administration's five environmental priorities for U.S. foreign policy over the coming year. Climate change and deforestation are two of them. Also announces the opening of six "regional environmental hubs" around the world, to promote cooperation among neighboring nations.


Item #d97aug51

1994-95 in Review: An Assessment of New Developments Relevant to the Science of Climate Change, 50 pp., 1997 (Can. Climate Ctr.).

This Spring 1997 issue of the Climate Center's CO2/Climate Report consists of a brief but extensively referenced summary of recent developments intended for those who wish to quickly identify appropriate scientific papers for further study. Covers almost 900 documents published during 1994 and 1995, emphasizing relevance to Canada.


Item #d97aug52

Climate Issues Briefs from Resources for the Future (RFF). Available in print and on the Internet.

Revenue Recycling and the Costs of Reducing Carbon Emissions (Brief No. 2), I. Parry, 10 pp., May 1997. Discusses the notion that environmental taxes can reduce pollution while reducing overall economic costs associated with the tax system. Details alternative ways of recycling revenues from carbon taxes, and compares two popular policy instruments-carbon taxes and emission permits.

Water Resources and Climate Change (Brief No. 3), K.D. Frederick, 12 pp., May 1997. Outlines the possible impacts of climate on water supplies and demands, including its implications for regional uncertainties, sea levels, and CO2 effects. Although climate change may have a wide range of adverse impacts on global water resources, a bigger threat may come from other factors, such as population growth, technology, and economic, social and political conditions.

Impacts of Climate Change on Agriculture (Brief No. 4), P. Crosson, May 1997, 9 pp. While climate change may make the attainment of sustainable agricultural production more difficult, especially in developing countries, a bigger threat may come from more immediate concerns such as lags in the spending on agricultural research needed to develop new technology.


Item #d97aug53

Recent RFF Discussion Papers contain preliminary results of research in progress, generally written for academic audiences to stimulate thought and debate. They can be downloaded from the RFF Web site (http://www.rff.org) or copies ordered for $15 or less (depending on postage).

Mock Referenda for Intergenerational Decision Making (97-48), R.J. Kopp, P.R. Portney, Aug. 1997. Proposes a new concept of cost-benefit analysis for decisions relating to long-term situations such as climate change.

Policy Instruments for Climate Change: How Can National Governments Address a Global Problem ? (97-11), R.N. Stavins, Feb. 1997. Despite the great theoretical advantages of market-based approaches, neither domestic political barriers nor international institutional impediments to them should be ignored.

Optimal Choice of Policy Instruments and Stringency Under Certainty: The Case of Climate Change (97-17), W.A. Pizer, Jan. 1997. Examines whether, in the absence of new information and learning, the inclusion of uncertainty yields significantly different policy decisions.


Item #d97aug54

International Climate Change Policy: Economic Implications for Australia (Current Issue #2), 7 pp., Apr. 1997; ... Economic Implications for Japan (Current Issue #3), 7 pp., Apr. 1997. Both from ABARE.

These papers analyze the effectiveness and equity of uniform emission targets, based on applications of the MEGABARE model of the world economy. Despite current discussion of "no regrets" (zero cost) policies, insistence on uniform emissions reductions implies unequal economic burdens across OECD countries, particularly for Japan, and has other disadvantages in the long term.


Item #d97aug55

Two reports available from Western Fuels Association; both were prepared by C.D. Idso of the Office of Climatology, Arizona State Univ.

Future Climate and the Precautionary Principle: The Other Side of the Story (Paper #26), 37 pp., May 1997. Examines climatic history, and impacts on humans in relatively recent episodes such as the Medieval Warm Period and the Little Ice Age. Because impacts appear to be more favorable in the warmer episode, and another ice age is likely, application of the precautionary principle would suggest we do nothing to prevent minor to moderate tendencies in warming.

The Greening of Planet Earth: Its Progression from Hypothesis to Theory (Paper #25), 25 pp., Jan. 1997. The Greening Hypothesis is an optimistic view of the impact of rising CO2 which portends enhanced productivity of the Earth's vegetation. Several challenges to this concept are reviewed and found to be unsubstantiated by data obtained from long-term CO2 enrichment experiments. The Greening Hypothesis should henceforth be considered the Greening Theory.


Item #d97aug56

Reports on environmental policy, based on case studies from the member countries of OECD:

Environmental Taxes and Green Tax Reform, 58 pp., 1997, $10. The use of instruments such as charges, taxes, tradeable permits and deposit refund systems has developed appreciably over the last 5-10 years, but with some exceptions. Discusses important questions such as the effect of a carbon tax on international trade.

Reforming Environmental Regulation in OECD Countries, 68 pp., 1997, $10. There is a clear trend toward adopting a variety of policy instruments--fiscal, voluntary, and information disclosure schemes--in addition to conventional regulations, but regulations themselves can be made more effective and flexible. Environmental regulatory reform must be coordinated with reforms in other sectors-energy, transport and agriculture.

Evaluating Economic Instruments for Environmental Policy, 142 pp., 1997, $24. Environmental taxes and charges implemented in recent years have usually have usually had the desired impact on emissions and not been merely absorbed by polluters. Since data to make such evaluations are difficult to obtain, future policies should insure that the data needed will be provided.

Environmental Policies and Employment, 118 pp., 1997, $20. Examines whether environmental protection creates jobs, what is meant by environment-related jobs, and how many jobs are involved. Concludes that environmental policies have a slight positive effect on the number of jobs, and pose no threat to employment.

Towards a New Global Age: Challenges and Opportunities, 45 pp., 1997, $8. Presents a vision of the world in 2020 with increased prosperity as developing countries integrate into the global economy. A special section discusses the likely climate change impacts of increased energy use in the developing world, and calls for unified action on emission reductions between OECD and non-OECD countries.

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