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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 12, NUMBER 4, APRIL 1999

REPORTS

Prices and page numbers may be approximate. Obtain reports or further information from sources named in parentheses at the end of each citation; addresses are listed at the end of this section.


Item #d99apr30

Development of Biological Criteria for Coral Reef Ecosystem Assessment. S. C. Jameson; M. V. Erdmann; G. R. Gibson, Jr.; and K. W. Potts, 1998, USEPA, Office of Science and Technology, Health and Ecological Criteria Division, Washington, D.C. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.epa.gov/OWOW/oceans/coral/.

This report addresses the question: What research and/or projects are needed to support the development of biological-criteria guidance for coral-reef-ecosystem assessment? It recommends that the United States should take the following steps:

  • Develop a program action plan to implement the U.S. Coral Reef Ecosystem Biocriteria Program.
  • Draft a U.S. coral reef ecosystem biocriteria research strategy and disseminate it on the Internet. This research strategy should build upon promising areas of bioindicator research, conduct a workshop to suggest potential new bioindicators, coordinate the activities of government agencies to fund the research strategy, and select bioindicators by developing a multimetric approach for coral-reef survey protocols and by using multivariate analysis to refine the bioindicators.
  • Establish interagency cooperation among EPA-EMAP, EPA - Ecological Risk Assessment, NOAA’s National Marine Sanctuaries Program, NOAA’s Coastal Assessment and Data Synthesis Framework Team, National Park Service, CARICOMP: Puerto Rico and Florida Keys, and Florida Center For Public Management.
  • Begin a preliminary coral reef habitat classification.
  • Begin selecting reference sites and developing associated databases by evaluating the usefulness of short-term monitoring data and designating reference sites as national marine sanctuaries.
  • Develop the U.S. Coral Reef Ecosystem Biocriteria Program taxonomic infrastructure.
  • Initiate and support national and international watershed-management programs.
  • Guidelines for the Monitoring, Evaluation, Reporting, Verification, and Certification of Energy-Efficiency Projects for Climate Change Mitigation, LBNL-41543, Edward Vine and Jayant Sathaye, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., March 1999, 146 pp. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://eetd.lbl.gov/ea/ccm/ccPubs.html.

The United States and other countries are implementing climate-change-mitigation projects to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. Monitoring, evaluating, reporting, verifying, and certifying guidelines are needed to accurately determine these programs’ impacts, to increase the reliability of data for estimating benefits, to provide real-time planning data, to introduce consistency and transparency across project types and reporters, to enhance the credibility of the projects with stakeholders, to reduce costs, and to reduce financing costs. Such guidelines are provided for evaluating energy savings calculated by engineering methods, basic statistical models, multivariate statistical models, end-use metering, short-term monitoring, and integrative methods; for establishing a credible baseline (free riders) and calculating gross energy savings (positive project spillover and market transformation); for verifying and certifying project impacts; for including environmental and socioeconomic impacts in the evaluation of energy-efficiency projects; for reporting estimates of gross and net energy savings and emission reductions to allow monitoring, evaluating, and verifying these savings; and for assuring quality.


Item #d99apr31

Concerns About Climate Change Mitigation Projects: Summary of Findings from Case Studies in Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa, LBNL-41403, J. A. Sathaye et al., Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, Calif., November 1998, 24 pp.

Developing countries have expressed concern about joint implementation’s equity, burden sharing, and technical effects. Brazil, India, Mexico, and South Africa have large greenhouse-gas emissions and are heavily engaged in the debate about the Kyoto Protocol. This report presents case studies that examine eight technical concerns about joint implementation and whether they can be adequately addressed. The study concludes that about half the concerns are minor or well managed by project developers but that concerns about additionality of funds, host-country institutions, and guarantees of performance (including baselines and possible leakage) need much more effort to be adequately addressed. It concludes that institutional arrangements need to be developed for approving and monitoring such projects in each country; and it finds that these projects have the potential to bring new technology, investment, employment, and ancillary benefits to the host countries. The authors recommend that Annex I countries consider limits on the use of jointly implemented projects to get credits against their national emissions and that industrialized countries develop new technologies that will benefit all countries. They also observe that, if all countries accepted emission caps, project-based GHG mitigation would be significantly facilitated by the improved private-investment climate.


Item #d99apr32

Biofuels: A Solution for Climate Change, DOE/GO-10098-580, NREL, U.S. Department of Energy, Golden, Colo., November 1998, 6 pp., free. Also available on the World Wide Web at http://www.biofuels.nrel.gov/rdbriefs/bfreports.html.

The nation’s biomass resource base is extensive: about 200 million dry tons of various waste feedstocks are available annually. Using a fraction of this resource could supply the equivalent of 350,000 barrels of oil in 2010, which would be 3.6% of the projected light-duty-vehicle energy demand. The thesis of this report is that increasing biomass use would accelerate the displacement of fossil fuels and the reduction of transportation greenhouse-gas emissions.


Item #d99apr33

Global Climate Change Policy: From “No Regrets” to S.Res. 98, RL30024, L. B. Parker and J. E. Blodgett, Congressional Research Service, Washington, D.C., Jan. 12, 1999, 16 pp. Available online at http://www.cnie.org/nle/clim-17.html.

U.S. policy toward global climate change evolved from a “study only” to a “study and action” orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change. Under that convention, developed countries were to adopt national plans and policies to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions, and the United States submitted such plans in 1992, 1994, and 1997. In the United States, the Energy Policy Act of 1992 has been the principal U.S. statutory response to the FCCC. In addition, the Bush and Clinton administrations encouraged voluntary reductions by industry through administrative initiatives, allowing implementation of a climate-change policy without having to ask Congress for new authorities. However, the subsequent inability of the United States to achieve its goal and the binding nature of the subsequent Kyoto Protocol have raised questions about this approach to climate-change policy, and the Senate unanimously approved S.Res. 98, which (1) stated that the United States should not approve any Kyoto agreement that did not impose binding reduction requirements on all nations and (2) requested the Administration to analyze the costs implied by any treaty submitted for its approval. As a result, the Kyoto agreement will not be submitted to the Senate until developing nations make at least some commitments. The House responded primarily by vigorous oversight of greenhouse-gas reduction programs. The focus on costs represents an attempt to determine whether action on climate change is prudent, given the uncertainty of the risk.

Report Sources

Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 101 Independence Ave., SE, Washington, DC, 20540-7000; tel: 202-707-5000; WWW: http://crs.loc.gov.

Lawrence Berkeley Natl. Lab., 1 Cyclotron Dr., Berkeley, CA, 94720.

NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory), 1617 Cole Blvd., Golden, CO, 80401-3393; tel: 303-275-3000; WWW: http://www.nrel.gov.

USEPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency), 401 M. St., SW, Washington, DC, 20460; WWW: http://www.epa.gov.

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