February 28, 2007
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Our extensive collection of documents.
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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 10, NUMBER 1, JANUARY 1997
Paying the Piper: Subsidies, Politics and the Environment
(Worldwatch Paper 133), D.M. Roodman, 80 pp., Dec. 1996, $5 (Worldwatch).
More than $500 billion is spent by governments each year to subsidize
deforestation, overfishing and other environmentally destructive activities. In
the U.S., for example, taxpayers pay $111 billion a year in road and driving
subsidies worth $.70 for each gallon of gas or diesel fuel sold. The government
of Indonesia in 1990 sold rainforest logging rights for $2 billion less than
they were worth, an amount equal to nearly half what other countries gave
Indonesia in aid and loans. In Australia, building of logging roads in Victoria
cost $170 billion more than was earned on the wood hauled from the forests.
Subsidies do little good on their own terms; they hike the cost of government
and burden economies. Citizens and lawmakers should withdraw from the business
of paying the polluter.
Has Environmental Protection Really Reduced Productivity Growth? We
Need Unbiased Measures, R. Repetto, D. Rothman et al., 46 pp., 1996, $14.95
Some people have argued that environmental regulation has caused the
productivity slowdown that began in the early 1970s, just when major
environmental laws went into effect. This report counters that argument by
showing how the conventional measure of productivity growth misrepresents the
industrial process by taking into account only pollution abatement costs and
ignoring pollution damages averted. Using an alternate, unbiased productivity
measure, the productivity picture is recast for the electric power, pulp and
paper, and agricultural sectors.
Ozone Protection in the United States: Elements of Success, E.
Cook, Ed., 130 pp., 1996, $14.95 pbk. (WRI).
Presents 10 case studies of innovative regulatory initiatives and voluntary
actions that show how economic incentives, entrepreneurial government
activities, corporate leadership and competition, along with scientific advances
and public activism, made significant contributions to adoption of CFC
alternatives. Explains how this experience applies to climate change.
The Quite Reversal of U.S. Global Climate Change Policy
(Contemporary Issues Ser. 83), C. Douglass, M. Weidenbaum, Nov. 1996, 16 pp.
The Clinton Administration is reversing its position on climate change by
calling for a set of binding legal mechanisms on each nation's emissions of
greenhouse gases. Forcing such restrictions could do great harm to the American
economy; for example, William Nordhaus estimates that emissions stabilization at
1990 levels would generate a net discounted cost of $7 trillion. Several key
points deserve substantial public airing, and Congress should hold intensive
Joint Implementation as a Cost-Effective Climate Policy Measure: A
Chinese Perspective, Z.X. Zhang, 63 pp., Oct. 1996, $15 (Wageningen/Econ.).
Prepared for the Dutch Ministry of Housing, Spatial Planning and the
Environment. Analyzed macroeconomic and sectoral effects of carbon emission
limits for China and found that the carbon taxes required there are much lower
than those for both the industrialized countries and the world average, to
achieve the same percentage of emission reductions. This finding provides the
economic rationale for developing JI projects with China, where the areas of
most interest are related to increased energy efficiency and fuel switching.
Addresses operational aspects of Joint Implementation from a Chinese
Fossil Fuels or the Rio Treaty Competing Visions for the
Future, F.D. Palmer, 21 pp., Oct. 1996 (Western Fuels).
A speech presented at COALTRANS 96 (Madrid, Oct. 1996) that asserting that
the Rio Treaty represents an initial step by government to massively regulate
almost all human activity everywhere all of the time, particularly since fossil
fuels are burned by some humans somewhere all of the time. More people are
living and living longer because of fossil fuels. The living standard of
developed countries is the envy of the world; we should help people who live
like animals in abject poverty to achieve our standard of living. Widespread
availability of cheap electricity from fossil fuels is one reason why the
industrialized West has high living standards. Government interference in energy
markets will cause widespread suffering for the common man.
Global Warming: Difficulties Assessing Countries' Progress
Stabilizing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases (GAO/RCED-96-188), 33 pp., Sep.
1996, no charge (GAO).
Evaluates the progress of the U.S. and other "Annex I countries"
(to the UNFCCC) toward meeting their goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions
by the year 2000; and looks at major factors that affect their ability to reach
European Environmental Agency (EEA) report on climate change: an update
of Environment in the European Union 1995 and Report for the Review
of the Fifth Environmental Action Program, Sep. 1996, EEA. Contact Ernst
Klatte, EEA, Copenhagen (tel: 45 33 367100).
This report was presented at a climate change conference (Linz, Austria,
Sep. 1996), hosted by the European branch of the Global Legislators Organization
for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). It concluded that the European Union must
accelerate its policy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if it is to meet UNFCCC
goals. A reduction of these gases of 30-55% might be needed in industrialized
countries by 2010. Although global CO2 emissions did not grow from 1990 to 1995,
those of OECD countries have increased.
Third Report on Global Warming and the Economic System, July 1996
(Japan Environ. Agency). In Japanese. (See Intl. Environ. Rptr., p. 663,
July 24, 1996; Global Environ. Change Rep., pp. 3-4, July 26.)
Prepared by the agency's study team on global warming and the economic
system. Concludes that the only way for Japan to meet its CO2 emissions
reduction goal is with the immediate introduction of a carbon tax of 3000 yen,
coupled with efficiency subsidies. If a only a tax were used, the level would be
ten times as much, or 30,000 yen. As a result of the 3,000 yen tax (equivalent
to $27.50 per ton of gasoline, or $.02 per liter), Japan's gross domestic
product would decelerate only 0.01%.
Climate Change and CO2 Policy: A Durable Response (draft), 175
pp., 1996 (N.Z. Min. of Environ.).
Acknowledges that New Zealand will probably miss the target for stabilizing
CO2 emissions, and the current policy intention to introduce a carbon charge in
1997 will be triggered. Recommends that the country proceed with its current
policy, rather than adopt a tradable permit system, while international
negotiations proceed. The draft document was open for comment until Nov. 1.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations