February 28, 2007
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A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 1-2, JANUARY-FEBRUARY 1998
POLICY AND ECONOMICS
"Setting Priorities for Adapting to Climate Change," J.B. Smith
(Hagler Bailly Services, PO Drawer O, Boulder CO 80306),Global
Environ. Change, 7(3), 251-264, Oct. 1997.
Policymakers will eventually have to address adaptation to the effects
of climate change, in some cases in anticipation of those changes.
Anticipatory measures need to be flexible and economically efficient. The
most urgent ones meet at least one of the following criteria: (1) address
irreversible or costly impacts; (2) reverse trends that make adoption of
the measure more difficult over time; (3) address long-term decisions,
such as building infrastructure. Proposes a method by which natural
resource policymakers can evaluate the urgency of anticipatory policies.
Two letters taking opposing positions on the need for a climate treaty,
Eos, Trans. Amer. Geophys Union, 78, p. 584, Dec. 16,
"Unknowns About Climate Variability Render Treaty Targets
Premature," S.F. Singer (Sci. & Environ. Policy Project, Fairfax,
"Time To Act Is Now," R.E. Dickinson (Dept. Atmos. Sci., Univ.
of Arizona, Tucson).
"Procedural Leadership in Climate Policy: A European Task," C.C.
Jaeger (Darmstadt Univ. of Technol., Darmstadt, Ger.), T. Barker et al.,Global
Environ. Change, 7(3), 195-203, Oct. 1997.
It is unlikely that a substantial carbon tax will be implemented in the
U.S. or even the European Union soon. This paper presents a fresh approach
to climate policy based on sequential decision making that is flexible,
innovative and participatory, is set in the broad context of sustainable
development, and goes beyond existing alternatives of taxation and
regulation. The European Union is in an excellent position to take a
leading role in establishing such a process.
"Joint Implementation and the Ultimate Objective of the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change," E.J. Bush (Dept.
Geog., Univ. Toronto, 100 St. George St., Toronto ON M5S 3G3, Can.),
L.D.D. Harvey,Global Environ. Change, 7(3), 265-285, Oct.
This critical assessment of joint implementation (JI) finds that, with
regard to assisting development aimed at meeting the basic human needs
necessary for population stabilization, JI has little to offer and may
even be counterproductive. To be a vehicle for technology transfer, JI
must be accompanied by fundamental reform in the nature of current
technology transfer and official development assistance. Finally, for JI
to be effective in limiting the growth of developing country emissions
through technology transfer, accelerated development of advanced and
renewably-based technologies by the developed world is required, which is
unlikely unless those countries commit to making strong emissions
reductions of their own.
Special Theme: Economic Discounting and Climate Policy. Clim.
Change, 37(2), Oct. 1997. An integrated assessment study is
accompanied by three comments on determining the distant future value of
current expenditures, such as those taken to guard against climate
"Sensitivity Study of Optimal CO2 Emission Paths Using
a Simplified Structural Integrated Assessment Model (SIAM)," K.
Hasselmann (Max Planck Inst. Meteor., Bundesstr. 55, D-20146 Hamburg,
Ger.), S. Hasselmann et al., 345-386. Uses a highly simplified, coupled
climate-economic cost model to study the sensitivity of computed optimal
emission paths to various critical input assumptions, that are believed to
cause differences between results based on more sophisticated models.
These assumptions include the discount rates for mitigation and damage
costs, the inertia of the socio-economic system, and the temperature
trend. Advocates different discount rates for different sectors of the
"Discounting in Economics and Climate Change," W.D. Nordhaus
(Dept. Econ., Yale Univ. Box 208268, Yale Sta., New Haven CT 06511),
315-328. A didactic discussion of the discounting concept in an
"Stewardship of Climate," P.G. Brown (Sch. Public Affairs,
Univ. Maryland, College Pk. MD 20742), 329-334. Argues for accepting
trusteeship (of climate for future generations) as a framework for
thinking about climate change.
"Discounting and Climate Change," G. Heal (Columbia Business
School, Columbia Univ., New York NY 10027), 335-343. Discusses the
controversy among economists over discounting, and how it relates to the
first two papers.
"Restructuring OECD Energy Taxes According to Carbon Content,"OECD
Bull., 28(8), 21-25, Aug. 1997.
Challenges policy makers by showing how an equitable restructuring of
existing OECD taxes on fuels to reflect their carbon content could reduce
CO2 emissions far more cost-effectively than adding a "green
tax," while maintaining government revenues.
"Optimal Reductions in CO2 Emissions," P.A. Schultz
(Earth Systems Sci. Ctr., Dept. Geosci., Pennsylvania State Univ., Univ.
Pk. PA 16802), J.F. Kasting, Energy Policy, 25(5),
491-500, Apr. 1997.
Current optimizing climate-economy models use CO2 uptake
functions that greatly underestimate both peak atmospheric CO2
concentrations and the time horizon of elevated CO2. This
study uses a more realistic carbon cycle parameterization in combination
with the DICE model of Nordhaus. Results are extremely sensitive to the
pure rate of time preference, and suggest that large fractional reductions
in CO2 emissions should be undertaken.
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