Climate Change Policy after Kyoto: Blueprint for a Realistic Approach

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Brookings Institution Press, 2002 M12 16 - 133 pages

The Kyoto Protocol represents nearly a decade of international effort to reduce carbon emissions. While the treaty is the product of enormous international political effort, it has not been ratified by any major greenhouse emitter and it has been rejected by the United States. In this controversial new book, Warwick J. McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen argue that the current approach of international negotiations on the Kyoto Protocol is going completely in the wrong direction. In Climate Change Policy after Kyoto, they attempt to steer the policy debate toward a realistic blueprint for effective policy. The authors believe that managing uncertainty—particularly the future costs of any plan—is key to realistic climate policy. They maintain that sustainable policy should meet four basic criteria: it should slow down carbon dioxide emissions where it is cost-effective to do so; compensate those who are hurt economically; require a high degree of consensus both domestically and internationally; and allow countries to enter the program easily and continue to participate even if they drop out of the agreement at certain times. The book summarizes the current state of knowledge about climate change and discusses the history of negotiations since 1992—in the process identifying the Kyoto Protocol as the wrong approach to the problem. It outlines important insights that economic theory offers for the design of climate policy, and uses those insights to develop a simple framework that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions while guaranteeing that short-run costs of compliance will not be excessive. The authors conclude by outlining a process by which international negotiations on climate control can proceed to an agreement that is both durable and feasible for all nations.

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A Realistic Approach to Climate Change
Science and Uncertainty
The History of International Negotiations
Why the Kyoto Protocol Is the Wrong Approach
Designing a Realistic Alternative
Implementing the Policy
Comparing the Hybrid Policy with Alternatives
How to Proceed from Here
International Permit Trading Efficiency and Transfers
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Page 57 - Noting that the largest share of historical and current global emissions of greenhouse gases has originated in developed countries, that per capita emissions in developing countries are still relatively low and that the share of global emissions originating in developing countries will grow to meet their social and development needs...
Page 27 - In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.
Page 45 - Estonia* Finland France Germany Greece Hungary* Iceland Ireland Italy Japan Latvia* Liechtenstein Lithuania* Luxembourg Monaco Netherlands New Zealand Norway Poland...
Page 57 - The Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Accordingly, the developed country Parties should take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.
Page 42 - Parties shall adopt national' policies and take corresponding measures on the mitigation of climate change, by limiting its anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs.
Page 47 - Protocol shall, at its first session, elaborate modalities and procedures with the objective of ensuring transparency, efficiency and accountability through independent auditing and verification of project activities.
Page 45 - Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, Ukraine, United Kingdom, United States.
Page 62 - This outcome is possible but not likely, for the reasons already outlined above. Thus I focus on the first two options in the discussion below. Economic theory provides guidance on the structure of a possible climate change policy for Indonesia.8 Since greenhouse gases are emitted by a vast number of highly heterogeneous sources, minimising the cost of abating a given amount of emissions requires that all sources clean up amounts that cause their marginal cost of abatement to be equated. To achieve...
Page 48 - In late 2001, President George W. Bush announced that the United States would withdraw from the ABM Treaty within six months and gave formal notice, stating that it "hinders our government's ability to develop ways to protect our people from future terrorist or rogue-state missile attacks.

About the author (2002)

Warwick J. McKibbin is a professor of international economics and head of the Economics Division at the Australian National University's Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies. He also is a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution and a member of the board of the Reserve Bank of Australia. Peter J. Wilcoxen is an associate professor in the department of economics at the University of Texas, Austin, and a nonresident senior fellow in the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution.

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