The Day After in Kyoto.

DECEMBER 11, 1997 – International negotiators, representing 159 countries, struck an historical agreement Wednesday to reduce worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

After 11 days of intense debate at the Third Conference of Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Kyoto, Japan, delegates agreed to the following provisions:

Developed Countries
Thirty-eight developed countries agreed to reduce their emissions of six greenhouse gases. Collectively, developed countries agreed to cut back their emissions by a total of 5.2 percent between 2008 and 2012 from 1990 levels. The six gases included carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, and three ozone-damaging fluorocarbons not covered by the Montreal Protocol that banned global chlorofluorocarbons (hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and sulfur hexafluoride).

Developed countries that cannot meet their own emissions targets can strike deals with other developed countries that do better than required, to buy the excess "quota" – a concept known as emissions trading. This may encourage reductions to be made where most cost-effective. 

China Workshop Addresses Multinational Approach to Reducing Emissions of Greenhouse Gases

DECEMBER 26, 1997; UPDATED AUGUST 11, 1998 -- Climate change policy experts from China, Japan, and the United States recently met to discuss innovative and cost-effective options for reducing global levels of greenhouse gas emissions. Their meeting was the culmination of an international research project in which researchers analyzed opportunities and obstacles for transferring and diffusing lower-emissions technology in developing countries, and evaluated the potential for the increased use of economic incentives for industrialized countries to invest in these production processes. 

Specifically, their emphasis was on understanding the means for technology transfer and diffusion generally, and the market mechanisms and government policies that stimulate or impede the transfer and diffusion of climate-friendlier technologies. The collaborative analysis emphasized the identification of practical options that address incentives, policies, and institutional requirements in the context of carbon dioxide limitations and the energy sector.

The project brought together diverse national, institutional and disciplinary perspectives from the Beijing Environment and Development Institute* (BEDI) in China, the Central Research Institute for the Electric Power Industry (CRIEPI) in Japan, and Resources for the Future (RFF) in the U.S. Its major strength, project coordinator Michael Toman says, is the participation of experts from China who worked in concert with American and Japanese researchers to promote a better understanding of the issues and opportunities for international cooperation from a Chinese perspective.

Wave, Wind, Nuclear Generators and Electric Powered Vehicles.

Many people identify the production of greenhouse gases as being a major contributor of global warming and as a future threat to the planet`s health and ozone well being. Some people/groups, only go as far as generally stating that greenhouse gases are the root cause of accelerated global warming, while a few others go one step further and name the car and electricity consumption as being a required target for public reduction. While it is correct to identify the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to look at the car and power usage as the major culprits, it seems less than honest not to tell us how we are expected to achieve this reduction in a modern society. How do we do it and how will it effect every day life?

My suspicions are that some conservationists/greens, have got themselves caught up between a rock and a hard place on the issue of nuclear power. This unwillingness to embrace nuclear power as a major power generating source has instead cornered many conservationists/greens into

How To Think About Climate Change

Some researchers say that climate change is one of the greatest threats facing mankind, and they call for drastic reductions in the greenhouse gases. Other researchers say that the science is weakly documented, warranting little more than further study. Some argue that greenhouse gas emissions can be decreased with net benefits to the economy, while others fear that it would severely damage productivity and incomes.

At this stage in the debate, substantial scientific evidence supports five basic points:

First, a body of several hundred distinguished scientists established by the United Nations has concluded that human activity is causing the change that they currently observe. This scientific body --Working Group I of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) --recently stated in its summary for policymakers that, “The balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate.” It is important to note that this opinion is not unanimous among scientists, and there have been complaints that dissenting views have not been adequately represented in the IPCC report. But the majority opinion has grown stronger over time, and the IPCC’s latest report reaches much firmer conclusions than its first one several years earlier.

Global Warming's Impacts Can Already be Felt in California

Global warming is already costing California dearly. In addition to increasing natural disasters, hotter temperatures continue to reduce agricultural productivity and make crops vulnerable to new pests and pathogens. At present course, California can expect expansion of deserts, severe stress on large areas of forest, persistent coastal flooding, and increased risk to human health

Many of California's rare and unique species will not be able to adapt quickly enough to survive the climate changes. Increased temperatures will cause more smog and more storms that in turn carry acid rain and pollute our fresh water systems. Warmer ocean temperatures will result in loss of coastal fisheries and ocean productivity.

Other factors will likely exacerbate global warming's impact on the state. An urbanized landscape is less able to cope with a shifting climate. Heavy development in coastal areas puts more people in harm's way. Rapid loss of forestland depletes our carbon stores while further warming the climate.

What Is California Doing to Fight Global Warming?