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: 41.46). 11/2001; 413(6855):478-9. DOI: 10.1038/35097156
Source: PubMed


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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    • "Numerous reports on global climate change have been published [2] [10], including the Kyoto Protocol [11]. Many intergovernmental actions have already been implemented to solve these problems, such as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. "
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    03/2015; 2015. DOI:10.1155/2015/824965
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    • "Accelerated consumption of fossil fuels and other anthropogenic activities have resulted in increased atmospheric levels of the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide (CO2). Sustained increase of atmospheric CO2 has already initiated a chain of events with unintended ecological consequences [3-7]. The reduction in atmospheric carbon dioxide level is highly desirable lest it will have a catastrophic impact upon both the environment and the economy on a global scale [5-7]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Background Carbon dioxide fixation bioprocess in reactors necessitates recycling of D-ribulose1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP) for continuous operation. A radically new close loop of RuBP regenerating reactor design has been proposed that will harbor enzyme-complexes instead of purified enzymes. These reactors will need binders enabling selective capture and release of sugar and intermediate metabolites enabling specific conversions during regeneration. In the current manuscript we describe properties of proteins that will act as potential binders in RuBP regeneration reactors. Results We demonstrate specific binding of 3-phosphoglycerate (3PGA) and 3-phosphoglyceraldehyde (3PGAL) from sugar mixtures by inactive mutant of yeast enzymes phosphoglycerate mutase and enolase. The reversibility in binding with respect to pH and EDTA has also been shown. No chemical conversion of incubated sugars or sugar intermediate metabolites were found by the inactive enzymatic proteins. The dissociation constants for sugar metabolites are in the micromolar range, both proteins showed lower dissociation constant (Kd) for 3-phosphoglycerate (655–796 μM) compared to 3-phosphoglyceraldehyde (822–966 μM) indicating higher affinity for 3PGA. The proteins did not show binding to glucose, sucrose or fructose within the sensitivity limits of detection. Phosphoglycerate mutase showed slightly lower stability on repeated use than enolase mutants. Conclusions The sugar and their intermediate metabolite binders may have a useful role in RuBP regeneration reactors. The reversibility of binding with respect to changes in physicochemical factors and stability when subjected to repeated changes in these conditions are expected to make the mutant proteins candidates for in-situ removal of sugar intermediate metabolites for forward driving of specific reactions in enzyme-complex reactors.
    Microbial Cell Factories 03/2005; 4(1):5. DOI:10.1186/1475-2859-4-5 · 4.22 Impact Factor
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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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