Hoff Stauffer should not be so apologetic and tenuous in his proposal for performance standards. If and when the world decides to become serious and really do something about global warming (and the considerable lag times normally encountered between decision and action suggest we are fast running out of time), I doubt the Kyoto Protocol will have anything to do with what emerges. Kyoto and its flexible mechanisms may represent an idealized vision of how pollution might be controlled in a perfect world, but the real world is far from meeting those conditions. The question we should be asking is: why would the world want to experiment with untried theory for this critical and time-sensitive problem?
The debate in the United States on global climate change is shifting from whether to do something about the problem to what to do. The conventional wisdom focuses on “cap and trade,” also known as tradable emissions permits. The Kyoto protocol, for instance, has instituted a cap-and-trade system for greenhouse gases (GHGs).
The debate in the United States on global climate change is shifting from whether to do something about the problem to what to do.1 Prudent people do not want to risk unacceptable adverse economic impacts, even if they are extremely concerned about global climate change. On the other side, equally prudent people do not want to risk accomplishing too little. The debate is stymied, even though several bills on global warming have been introduced into Congress. ÂThere will be no climate change legislation coming out of my committee this year,Â Senator Pete Domenici (R-NM) recently announced. ÂFrankly, I don’t know how to write it, and I don’t think anybody does.Â2
It is almost impossible to imagine, as we sit in a well-lit, fully functioning gas station on Main Street, USA, that a community blessed with oil riches under its soil could look as impoverished as Yenagoa in the Nigerian state of Bayelsa.
“The oil belongs to the Iraqi people. It’s their asset,” declared President George W. Bush in a press conference on the White House lawn in June. He had just returned from a surprise visit to Baghdad, in which oil had been one of the main subjects of discussion.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has managed to create one of the warmest eras in U.S.-Japan relations by standing in solidarity with Washington through the Sept. 11 attacks and the Iraq War. But how have these decisions impacted Japan’s crucial energy strategies in the Persian Gulf and its long history of friendly relations with the Islamic world? As Prime Minister Koizumi makes what is likely to be his last visit to Washington as the leader of Japan, the time has come for reflection on the achievements and the failings of the surprisingly long and important Koizumi Era in Japanese postwar history.
Abstract: 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, volatility of the 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 upon quantitative approaches, price-type approaches are likely to be more effective and more efficient.
In his State of the Union address, President George W. Bush admitted to the American people that America has a problem: Oil addiction. The first step in overcoming an addiction is acknowledging the problem. The logical second step should be addressing the root causes of that addiction and correcting the imbalances that enable it. But the Bush proposal does little to meet this challenge.
The forthcoming “London Conference” on Afghanistan (January 31-February 1, 2006), to be attended by President Hamid Karzai, British Prime Minister Tony Blair, UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, and Paul Wolfowitz, head of the World Bank, brings together high ranking dignitaries from the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the international development community to endorse a new multilateral agreement to be known as the “Afghanistan Compact,” the successor of the Bonn Agreement.
There’s no escaping it. Changing monsoons, agriculture in crisis, environmental refugees—climate change is looming ever larger on the horizon of governments everywhere.