Carbon emissions - The economic benefits of the Kyoto Protocol

Dipartimento di Scienze Ambientali, Università degli Studi di Parma, Parco Area delle Scienze, Parma 43100, Italy.
Nature (Impact Factor: 42.35). 11/2001; 413(6855):478-9. DOI: 10.1038/35097156
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The third Conference of the Parties in Kyoto set the target of reducing greenhouse-gas emissions by an average of 5.3% with respect to 1990 values by 2008-2012. One of the main objections to the protocol's ratification is that compliance would pose an unbearable economic burden on the countries involved. But we show here that this is not the case if costs apart from the direct costs of energy production are also considered. Costs are also incurred in rectifying damage to human health, material goods, agriculture and the environment related to greenhouse-gas emissions.

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    ABSTRACT: Energy crisis is receiving attention with regard to the global economy and environmental sustainable development. Developing new energy resources to optimize the energy supply structure has become an important measure to prevent energy shortage as well as achieving energy conservation and emission reduction in China. This study proposed the concept of energy agriculture and constructed an energy agricultural technical support system based on the analysis of energy supply and demand and China's foreign dependence on energy resources, combined with the function of agriculture in the energy field. Manufacturing technology equipment and agricultural and forestry energy, including crop or forestry plants and animal feces, were used in the system. The current status and future potential of China's marginal land resources, energy crop germplasm resources, and agricultural and forestry waste energy-oriented resources were analyzed. Developing the function of traditional agriculture in food production may promote China's social, economic, and environmental sustainable development and achieve energy saving and emission reduction.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite recent advances, there is a high degree of uncertainty concerning the climate change that would result from increasing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Also, opponents of the Kyoto Protocol raised the key objection that reducing emissions would impose an unacceptable economic burden on businesses and consumers. Based on an analysis of alternative scenarios for electricity generation in Italy, we show that if the costs in terms of damage to human health, material goods, agriculture, and the environment caused by greenhouse gas emissions are included in the balance, the economic argument against Kyoto is untenable. Most importantly, the argument holds true even if we exclude global external costs (those due to global warming), and account for local external costs only (such as those due to acidic precipitation and lung diseases resulting from air pollution).
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    ABSTRACT: "The Kyoto Protocol of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change seeks to achieve climate stability and sustainable development through global cooperation. Even with spectacular advances in climate science, projected economic and health benefits of greenhouse gas mitigation, and presence of all the key elements for an effective treaty in the Kyoto Protocol, climate change negotiations remain inconclusive. Arguably, this is so because a widespread concern on equity is yet to be resolved. Here I reexamine the equity in climate change treaty. Political leadership, scientific community and civil society in several nations have maintained that the democratic norms for climate governance are a prerequisite for crafting a successful climate change treaty. Principle of equal per capita emission entitlements is now emerging as the key option beyond current impasse. Although not required under the Kyoto Protocol several developing nations are taking responsible action to mitigate climate change. Principle of equal per capita emission entitlements is a just solution to successfully implement climate treaty aimed at climate change mitigation, adaptation and sustainable development. Without a full and unequivocal commitment to equity and democratic governance by a cohesive humanity, any international climate change treaty will have only limited utility."