Responding to Global Warming: The Technology, Economics and Politics of Sustainable Energy

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Zed Books, 1994 - 304 pages

With the Framework Convention on Climate Change, action to prevent possible global warming is on the agenda. But the obtacles appear daunting. Peter Read argues that the problem can be tackled, however, at a much more affordable cost than commonly realized, and in ways likely both to provide incentives to energy corporations and to improve the development prospects of many countries in the South.

The key lies in a multi-disciplinary policy perspective that integrates engineering, economics and decision theory. The author's highly innovative argument proposes a novel Tradeable Absorption Obligation to wean energy corporations onto sustainable fuel coupled with deploying recent biomass energy technology advances - notable new methods of intensive fuelwood production, gas turbine power generation and ethanol fermentation. This strategy opens up the prospect of controlling the level of the main global warming gas not simply by lowering CO2 emissions but by radically increasing CO2 absorption.

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Contents

Introduction
1
Tables
24
The Fragile Climate System
25
Political Decisions in an Uncertain World
59
Using the Regret Approach
69
Policy Options in Real Time
77
Economic Theory and the Environment
118
The Economics of Pollution Policy
140
National Interests
194
The Road from Rio
226
A Summing Up
262
The New Zealand Case
279
Per cent Tradeable Obligation Required in order
283
Reduction in Net Emissions Relative to 1990 Emissions
289
Suggested Further Reading
290
Index
300

The Economics of Controlling Greenhouse Gas Levels
168

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About the author (1994)

Dr. Peter Read is a Cambridge and LSE-educated engineer and economist who now specialises in energy economics at Massey University, New Zealand.
Dr. Peter Read is a Cambridge and LSE-educated engineer and economist who now specialises in energy economics at Massey University, New Zealand.

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