February 28, 2007
GCRIO Program Overview
Our extensive collection of documents.
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Global Climate Change Digest
A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999
FROM VOLUME 11, NUMBER 10, OCTOBER 1998
Taking Our Breath Away: The Health Effects of Air Pollution and
Climate Change, John Last, David Pengelly, and Konia Trouton, 51 pp.,
$10 Can, 1998 (David Suzuki Foundation).
After reviewing the theory of global warming, this report examines the
links between climate change and human health, such as drought-induced
food shortages affecting nutrition, thermal stress leading to premature
deaths, and warmer temperatures extending the ranges of disease-bearing
insects. A major focus is the exacerbation of the health effects of
pollutants by warmer, moister weather. All of these concerns are expressed
in a Canadian perspective with Canadian health statistics: In 1998, a
Toronto woman contracted malaria from a local mosquito, the first such
case in modern times. Hospitalization of young children in Canada for
asthma increased 28% among boys and 18% among girls from 1980 to 1990.
Across Canada, approximately 16,000 nontraumatic deaths per year are
attributable to air pollution. The issue is also expressed in statistical
economic terms: A 1996 Ontario government report calculated that
reducing key pollutants by 45% would dramatically decrease hospital
admissions and other health costs, resulting in a savings of about $1
billion annually. Itconcludes that The medical and scientific
evidence shows that our society is facing serious, tangible threats.
Climate, Drought and Desertification, WMO No. 869, 12 pp., $20,
This publication reviews the associations among climate, drought, and
desertification and what the World Meteorological Organization is doing to
address those issues.
Early Action and Global Climate Change: An Analysis of Early Action
Crediting Proposals, R. R. Nordhaus and S. C. Fotis, 56 pp., free,
Oct. 1, 1998 (Pew Center on Global Climate Change); available on the WWW
This report addresses the issues that policymakers will face in
designing a domestic early action program, analyzes current proposals, and
suggests a set of principles to guide an effective program. The suggested
principles are: (1) Provide a predictable credit mechanism and clear legal
framework for the program. (2) Keep the program simple and flexible. (3)
Reward real reductions. (4) Provide some form of recognition of past
voluntary greenhouse-gas reductions. (5) Do not predetermine the eventual
domestic regulatory program. (6) Do not make the early action crediting
program contingent upon ratification of the Kyoto Protocol. Focus
principally on domestic early action. (8) Do not over- mortgage the U.S.
greenhouse-gas allocation. The report suggests that, regardless of any
eventual international framework, the U.S. can take steps to credit
reductions in gases now, encouraging and rewarding companies that act to
minimize their emissions. The longer it takes to address climate change,
the more it is likely to cost, both environmentally and economically.
Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading: Defining the Principles, Modalities,
Rules and Guidelines for Verification, Reporting & Accountability,
Michael Grubb (mgrubb@ riia.org) et al., 86 pp., free, August 1998
(UNCTAD); available at
The Kyoto Protocol authorizes four mechanisms for cooperative
implementation: bubbles, emission trades, joint implementation, and the
Clean Development Mechanism. Emissions trading among nations offers the
possibility of lowering the cost of reaching environmental goals,
facilitating transboundary cost sharing, developing private capital for
controlling global warming, and facilitating the development and
implementation of novel approaches to climate- change control.
This report traces historical precedents for such trading, including the
U.S. acid-rain program, the Los Angeles- area Regional Clean Air
Incentives Market, and New Zealand Fisheries License Trading. It then
reviews the lessons learned from these previous trading programs (e.g.,
significant program-wide cost reductions, lowered success with emissions
credit trading, the need for simplicity, the importance of trading between
private entities, the gain in flexibility in compliance investing and
decision making with banking of allowance, the political practicality of
free allocation of allowances, the benefit of allowing uncovered sources
access to the marketplace, the needs for low transaction costs and the
provision of price information, and the absence of market-power issues).
Other attributes seen as essential and discussed at length are
high-quality monitoring and verification of trades and subsequent
performance, certification of eligible carbon-emission resources,
reporting as a key compliance mechanism, penalties that will ensure
compliance, an accountability system between buyers and sellers, and
regulations that would ensure that trading would adhere to basic World
Trade Organization principles.
Guide to Publishers
Index of Abbreviations