Road from Kyoto: Hearing Before the Committee on Science, U.S. House of Representatives, One Hundred Fifth Congress, Second Session, Volume 4

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Page 593 - Flexibility and Market Mechanisms A global solution is thus critical to the global problem of climate change. Globalizing the solution is not, however, enough by itself. We must also ensure that our reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions are attained in the most efficient manner possible. The nature of the climate change problem suggests three basic methods to lower costs of achieving given levels of environmental protection. They can be characterized in terms of three categories of flexibility:...
Page 202 - Change (IPCC) jointly established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Programme, concluded in 1995 that "the balance of evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global climate.
Page 581 - ... achieves meaningful developing country participation, our overall assessment is that the economic cost to the United States in aggregate and to typical households of attaining the targets and timetables specified in the Kyoto Protocol, will be modest. This conclusion that the impact will be modest is not entirely dependent upon, but is fully consistent with, formal model results. I have previously emphasized the limitations of relying on any single model in assessing the economic impact of the...
Page 591 - Given the changes in the definition of the baseline for the three long-lived chemical compounds (HFCs, PFCs and SF6) from 1990 to 1995 combined with a change in the way sinks are accounted for in the baseline, the actual reduction required in the US is no more than 2-3% more than the President originally proposed as the US negotiating position.
Page 477 - ... key developing countries, the Administration's overall assessment is that the economic cost of attaining the targets and timetables specified in the Kyoto Protocol will be modest for the United States in aggregate and for typical households. This conclusion is not entirely dependent upon, but is fully consistent with, formal model results. The Administration...
Page 599 - Even this estimate of the effect of sinks is conservative in one respect: it is based on an assumption for sink activity in the US over the 2008-2012 period, and no assumed benefits from sinks elsewhere in the world. Very preliminary estimates suggest that incorporating the gains from sinks throughout the world can substantially reduce the costs of meeting the Kyoto target, on top of the gains from trading among Annex I countries. (Furthermore, no model has yet even tried to take into account that...
Page 590 - ADDRESSING GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE IN AN EFFICIENT MANNER The costs of unabated climate change may thus be difficult to quantify, but they are nonetheless real and provide the motivation for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In taking action to reduce those emissions, economic analysis suggests that two elements are absolutely essential: • The effort must be global, to address the global externality inherent in the nature of the problem. • The effort must be flexible and market-based, to ensure...
Page 591 - It is important to emphasize that emissions of different gases anyplace in the world have very similar effects on global climate. The threat of disruptive climate change has led to coordinated international efforts to reduce the risks of global warming by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases. A landmark International Agreement to address global warming was the Framework Convention on Climate Change signed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This convention established an objective...
Page 221 - Our ability to quantify the human influence on global climate is currently limited because the expected signal is still emerging from the noise of natural variability, and because there are uncertainties in key factors.
Page 595 - First, it provides the opportunity for countries that take on binding targets to trade rights to emit greenhouse gases with each other. This market in emissions permits could ensure that emissions reductions occur where they are least expensive within the industrial countries. In particular, US companies could purchase emissions reductions in other participating countries when doing so would reduce their costs — thus lowering costs without affecting the level of environmental protection. While...

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