Global Warming

Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto

Copyright Date: 2008
Pages: 237
  • Cite this Item
  • Book Info
    Global Warming
    Book Description:

    The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reflects the growing international consensus that the earth's climate is being changed by anthropogenic greenhouse gasses. Evidence presented by the IPCC and others points to the potential for increasingly dangerous weather, new disease outbreaks, regional water shortages, the loss of habitat and species, and other disturbing developments that could have profound social and economic impacts. Opinions on what should be done, however, remain sharply divided within and among countries. Though monumental in its efforts, the Kyoto Protocol has left much to be agreed upon and achieved, with the world's largest emitter of carbon dioxide -the United States -rejecting it. In Global Warming: Looking Beyond Kyoto, some of the best-known and respected authorities in climate policy provide a comprehensive agenda for global collective action. Representing both industrialized and developing nations, the contributors present a thought-provoking examination of the economic, social, and political context of climate policy within their countries. With Kyoto's emissions targets set to expire in 2012, these authors call for a multilateral approach that goes beyond the mitigation-focused Kyoto policies, balancing them with strategies for adaptation. They also stress the importance of generating policies that work within a time frame commensurate with that of climate change itself. Informed, insightful, and even-handed, this book gives a new impetus to the increasingly important global climate policy debate. Contributors include R.K. Pachauri (Energy Resources Institute and the IPCC), Richard S. Lindzen (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Stefan Rahmstorf (Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research), Stephen H. Schneider and Thomas Heller (Stanford University), Robert Mendelsohn and William D. Nordhaus (Yale University), Gernot Klepper and Sonja Peterson (Kiel Institute for World Economics), Robert N. Stavins (Harvard University), Alexander Golub (Environmental Defense), Howard Dalton (U.K. Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs), John Stone (Carleton University, Ottawa), Jyoti Parikh (Integrated Research and Action for Development), and Shen Longhai (China Energy Conservation Association)

    eISBN: 978-0-8157-9716-6
    Subjects: Political Science

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-iv)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. v-viii)
  3. Acknowledgments
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Introduction
    (pp. 1-10)

    The pace and face of globalization in the twentieth-first century will be critically influenced by whether or not some specific issues that call for collective action by countries are properly addressed. The evolution of globalization and its capacity to facilitate convergence of standards of living among all countries will not be independent of how well the provision of some key global public goods is organized by the international community. Peace and security, financial stability, open markets, and prevention of pandemics are obvious examples of public goods that cannot possibly be delivered without international coordination and whose persistent shortage would impair...

  5. PART ONE Climate Change Detection and Scenarios:: Reexamining the Evidence

    • 1 The IPCC: Establishing the Evidence
      (pp. 13-20)
      R. K. PACHAURI

      The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) was established in 1988 by the World Meteorological Organization and the United Nations Environment Program. Reexamination of the evidence on climate change is the basic purpose of the IPCC.¹ The thorough, consensual, and objective manner in which these assessments are carried out provides solid credibility for the findings.

      One example: the IPCC nominated close to 2,000 experts to compile the Fourth Assessment Report.² From this group it appointed about 600. The first draft was prepared and reviewed by other experts. On the basis of this review, the authors prepared the second draft, which...

    • 2 Is the Global Warming Alarm Founded on Fact?
      (pp. 21-33)

      For the sensitive reader or listener, the language used in connection with the issue of “global warming” must frequently sound strange. Weather and climate catastrophes of all sorts are claimed to be the inevitable result of global warming, and global warming is uniquely associated with man’s activities. The reality of the threat of global warming is frequently attested to by reference to a scientific consensus. According to Tony Blair, “The overwhelming view of experts is that climate change, to a greater or lesser extent, is man-made and, without action, will get worse.”¹ Elizabeth Kolbert, inThe New Yorker, says, “All...

    • 3 Anthropogenic Climate Change: Revisiting the Facts
      (pp. 34-54)

      The idea that humanscanchange andarein fact changing the climate of our planet has developed gradually over more than a hundred years. A fringe idea in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries,¹ it is close to a well-established scientific consensus at the turn of the twenty-first century.² The history of this development is grippingly told in a small book,The Discovery of Global Warming, by science historian Spencer Weart.³ During the course of this history, the initially outlandish concept of human-caused global warming has won over practically every skeptical climatologist who has cared to look dispassionately at...

  6. PART TWO Measuring Our Vulnerabilities to Climate Change

    • 4 “Dangerous” Climate Change: Key Vulnerabilities
      (pp. 57-81)

      Assessing key vulnerabilities and their relationship with “dangerous” climate change begins with a conceptual overview, followed by a discussion of the major components and the methods that scientists and other analysts use to address uncertainties in any attempt to define what constitutes “dangerous climate change.” Moreover, policymakers need a more complete set of assessment metrics than goods and services traded in markets; decisionmakers need to supplement the assessment of market impacts with an evaluation of the vulnerability of various species, regions, or groups to climate changes. Such impacts typically fall very unequally on different groups, as do the costs of...

    • 5 The Policy Implications of Climate Change Impacts
      (pp. 82-88)

      Recent research on the impacts of global warming has revealed that the net impacts of climate change are much smaller than first thought. Near-term damage will largely be offset by near-term benefits. Damages are expected to exceed benefits only in the second half of this century and only in scenarios with rapid climate change. The research also suggests that most of the damages will be felt in low-latitude countries, whereas the benefits will occur largely in the mid- to high-latitude countries. Because most of the poorest countries in the world are located in the low latitudes, most of the damages...

  7. PART THREE The Kyoto Protocol:: Consequences and Opportunities for Transformation

    • 6 Economic Analyses of the Kyoto Protocol: Is There Life after Kyoto?
      (pp. 91-100)

      This paper reviews different approaches to the political and economic control of global public goods like global warming. It compares quantity-oriented control mechanisms like the Kyoto Protocol with price-type control mechanisms such as internationally harmonized carbon taxes. The pros and cons of the two approaches are compared, focusing on such issues as performance under conditions of uncertainty, the volatility of induced carbon prices, the excess burden of taxation and regulation, accounting finagling, corruption, and implementation. Although virtually all policies involving economic global public goods rely on quantitative approaches, price-type approaches are likely to be more effective and more efficient.


    • 7 The European Emissions Trading Regime and the Future of Kyoto
      (pp. 101-112)

      When in the spring of 2005 the Kyoto Protocol finally entered into force, it established the first multilateral cap on emissions of greenhouse gases and coincided—more or less by accident due to a few delays—with the start of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) for carbon dioxide (CO₂), the first multinational scheme for trading emissions rights. Both are interrelated for many reasons. The ETS was established in the European Union (EU) in the hopes of providing an instrument for supporting efficient efforts to meet the Kyoto targets for the EU and the national burden-sharing requirements. It was constructed...

  8. PART FOUR Alternative Climate Policy Options

    • 8 Climate Change: Designing an Effective Response
      (pp. 115-144)

      The future of the Kyoto Protocol is, at very best, problematic. The most realistic appraisal of negotiations that might extend and deepen a climate change regime built upon the architecture of the protocol is that they will meet a dead end. Put more diplomatically, there remains little chance that a regime so structured can be a credible foundation for sustained and effective movement toward the defined objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), namely, “stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.”¹


    • 9 An International Policy Architecture for the Post-Kyoto Era
      (pp. 145-154)

      After seven years of uncertainty, the Kyoto Protocol (1997) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC, 1992) came into force in February 2005 but without participation by the United States. With Russian ratification late in 2004, requirements for implementation were met, namely ratification by a minimum of 55 nations (127, in fact), including—importantly, since this was the binding constraint—Annex I (industrialized) countries representing at least 55 percent of 1990 industrialized world emissions of carbon dioxide (CO₂).

      The impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on emissions of greenhouse gases, targeted for the compliance period 2008–12, will...

  9. PART FIVE Climate Policy in the Industrialized Countries

    • 10 Controversies of Russian Climate Policy and Opportunities for Greenhouse Gas Reduction
      (pp. 157-174)

      Russia is an important player in the international effort to address climate change. Its share in global carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions declined from about 11 percent in 1990 to about 6.4 percent in 2003.¹ Despite the sharp decline, Russia remains among the world’s largest polluters, ranking third in the world after the United States and China and before Japan and India. This chapter presents the history of Russian climate policy since the Kyoto Protocol was adopted at Conference of the Parties (COP-3) until the present day.

      This chapter also presents an analysis of the driving forces behind Russia’s CO₂ emissions...

    • 11 Climate Policy in the United Kingdom
      (pp. 175-192)

      The United Kingdom has been at the forefront in the response to climate change. For two decades it has regarded climate change as a critical issue facing humankind, one with the potential for profoundly affecting the global environment, its flora and fauna, and global society. As evidence began to emerge through a number of assessments in the 1980s, against the background of rising air pollution, acid rain, and ozone depletion, governments were faced with how to deal with the growing threat. In her speech to the Royal Society in September 1988, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher noted: “For generations, we have...

    • 12 Canada’s Approach to Tackling Climate Change
      (pp. 193-202)
      JOHN M. R. STONE

      In this short chapter I attempt to bring together the thinking of the Canadian federal government of the time on tackling the climate change issue. It is based on publicly available material. I am not representing the government of Canada, and so I include some of my own observations and interpretations. I first describe the history of Canadian attempts to address the issue, then review existing programs and policies, and finally outline some of the thinking regarding future actions, in particular for the Eleventh Conference of the Parties (COP-11) under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), which...

  10. PART SIX Linking Climate Change Control and Development Policies

    • 13 India and Climate Change: Mitigation, Adaptation, and a Way Forward
      (pp. 205-214)

      The problem of climate change poses challenging issues to almost all countries, and India is no exception. Along with global problems like ocean pollution and species extinction, and local problems such as pollution of air and water as well as the degradation of soil and forests, the problem of climate change has to be addressed in the context of sustainable development. Development activities and poverty alleviation programs also increase emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs). The 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) recognized the need for the development of developing nations while expecting contributions from all signatory nations....

    • 14 Correct Choices for China: Energy Conservation, a Cyclic Economy, and a Conservation-Minded Society
      (pp. 215-224)

      The Kyoto Protocol to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) took effect in February 2005, marking a substantial step toward reducing global greenhouse gases. It was the result of joint efforts made by many countries during the ten years after the UN treaty went into force in March 1994.

      China is a developing nation with a huge population, most of low income and vulnerable to climate change. The country has always attached great importance to the problem and has been actively involved in international efforts to combat the greenhouse effect. It has also adopted effective countermeasures and...

  11. Contributors
    (pp. 225-230)
  12. Index
    (pp. 231-238)