June 23, 2008

International Energy Outlook 2007.

by the Energy Information Administration

- The International Energy Outlook 2007 (IEO2007) presents an assessment by the Energy Information Administration (EIA) of the outlook for international energy markets through 2030. U.S. projections appearing in IEO2007 are consistent with those published in EIA’s Annual Energy Outlook 2007 (AEO2007), which was prepared using the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS).

EIA (2008). "International Energy Outlook 2007." Energy Information Administration, Jun 2008.

Annual European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2006 and Inventory Report 2008.

by the European Environment Agency

- This report is the annual submission of the greenhouse gas inventory of the European Community to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol. It presents greenhouse gas emissions between 1990 and 2006 for EU-27, EU-15, individual Member States and economic sectors. Between 2005 and 2006 emissions within the EU-27 fell by 0.3 %, and now stand 7.7 % below 1990 levels. Emissions in the 15 pre-2004 Member States (EU-15) decreased by 0.8% and now stand 2.7% below their levels in the base year (1990 in most cases).

EEA (2008). "Annual European Community Greenhouse Gas Inventory 1990-2006 and Inventory Report 2008." European Environment Agency, Technical report No 6/2008, Jun 2008.

Integrating Seasonal Forecasts and Insurance for Adaptation Among Subsistence Farmers: the Case of Malawi.

by Daniel E. Osgood, Pablo Suarez, James Hansen, Miguel Carriquiry and Ashok Mishra

- Two different approaches have emerged in recent years to address weather variability in Southern Africa: the use of seasonal precipitation forecasts for risk reduction, and the use of innovative financial instruments for risk sharing. So far these two approaches have remained entirely separated. This paper explores the integration of seasonal forecasts into an ongoing pilot insurance scheme for smallholder farmers in Malawi. The authors propose a model that adjusts the amount of high-yield agricultural inputs given to farmers to favorable or unfavorable rainfall conditions expected for the season. The resulting accumulation of wealth can reduce long-term vulnerability to drought for participating farmers. Conclusions highlight the potential of this approach for adaptation to climate variability and change in southern Africa.

Osgood, D.E., P. Suarez, J. Hansen, M. Carriquiry and A. Mishra (2008). "Integrating Seasonal Forecasts and Insurance for Adaptation Among Subsistence Farmers: the Case of Malawi." World Bank Policy Research Working Paper 4651, Jun 2008.

June 15, 2008

The Economic and Environmental Effects of Eliminating the U.S. Tariff on Ethanol.

by Alexander Slaski

- The U. S. ethanol industry has grown dramatically over the last ten years to be a major supplier of liquid fuels and an even larger user of corn. However, a tariff and subsidy give the domestic ethanol industry a substantial advantage over its major competitor, Brazil. This thesis analyzes the effect of eliminating the tariff on imports of Brazilian ethanol and the subsequent economic and environmental effects.

Slaski, A. (2008). "The Economic and Environmental Effects of Eliminating the U.S. Tariff on Ethanol." Reg-market Paper 08-05, Jun 2008.

The Economics of Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change.

by Terry Barker

- This paper sets out four issues of critical importance to the new conclusions about avoiding dangerous climate change, each of which have been either ignored by the traditional literature or treated in a misleading way that discounts the insights from other disciplines: the complexity of the global energy-economy system (including the poverty and sustainability aspects of development), the ethics of intergenerational equity, the understanding from engineering and history about path dependence and induced technological change, and finally the politics of climate policy.

Barker, T. (2008)."The Economics of Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change." Tyndall Centre Working Paper 117, Jun 2008.

Assessment of Global Biomass Potentials and their Links to Food, Water, Biodiversity, Energy Demand and Economy.

by Erik Lysen and Sander van Egmond (eds)

- In this study a comprehensive assessment of global biomass potential estimates, focusing on the various factors affecting these potentials, such as food supplies, water use, biodiversity, energy demands and agro-economics is provided.

Lysen, E. and S. van Egmond, eds (2008). "Assessment of Global Biomass Potentials and their Links to Food, Water, Biodiversity, Energy Demand and Economy." The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Jun 2008.

Global CO2 emissions: increase continued in 2007.

by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (MNP)

- Preliminary estimate by the Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency (PBL) show that global emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) from fossil fuel use and cement production increased by 3.1% in 2007, which is less than the 3.5% increase in 2006. The emissions from China, with an emission increase of about 8%, accounted for two thirds of this global increase. Smaller contributions were made by India, the USA and the Russian Federation, in contrast to the European Union (EU-15), where a relatively warm winter and high fuel prices led to a 2% decrease in CO2 emissions. The increase in emissions, in 2007, of about 800 million metric tons of CO2, was mainly due to a 4.5% increase in global coal consumption.

MNP (2008). Global CO2 emissions: increase continued in 2007. The Netherlands Environmental Assessment Agency, Jun 2008.

June 8, 2008

Analysis of Policies to Reduce Oil Consumption and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the U.S. Transportation Sector.

by Kelly Sims Gallagher and Gustavo Collantes

- This study examines different policy scenarios for reducing GHG emissions and oil consumption in the U.S. transportation sector. Using a variant of the National Energy Modeling System (NEMS), NEMS-ETIP, quantitative estimates are provided of the impact of increases in fuel-economy standards in combination with the likely impacts of two different economy-wide climate policies and several different kinds of taxes on transportation fuels.

Gallagher, K.S. and G. Collantes (2008). Analysis of Policies to Reduce Oil Consumption and Greenhouse-Gas Emissions from the U.S. Transportation Sector. Belfer Center Discussion Papers, Jun 2008.

UN Approval of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Projects in Developing Countries: The Political Economy of the CDM Executive Board.

by Florens Flues, Axel Michaelowa and Katharina Michaelowa

- The approval of methodologies and individual projects in the context of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is often an issue of national interest. Decisions of the CDM Executive Board (EB) can thus be expected to be highly politicized. Based on data for about 250 methodologies and about 1000 projects discussed by the EB so far, this paper provides a first econometric analysis of this hypothesis. The results suggest that indeed, along with formal quality criteria, political-economic variables determine the final EB decision.

Flues, F., A. Michaelowa and K. Michaelowa (2008). UN Approval of Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction Projects in Developing Countries: The Political Economy of the CDM Executive Board. Center for Comparative and International Studies (CIS), ETH, Zurich, Jun 2008.

A Proposal for a New Prescriptive Discounting Scheme: The Intergenerational Discount Rate.

by Stéphane Hallegatte

- The present article proposes a prescriptive consumption discounting scheme that applies different discount rates (i) for various incomes in the lifetime of a unique individual and (ii) for various incomes that affect different individuals. Practically, any income flux is first discounted to the birth date of all individuals using a discount rate with a non-zero pure preference for the present; then these individual discounted values are discounted to the present with a discount rate with no preference for the present and finally summed up. The aim of this prescriptive discount rate is to be consistent with observed individual behaviour (descriptive discount rate) without favouring current generations. Consequences are discussed and compared with the UK Green Book and the Stern Review discounting schemes.

Hallegatte, S. (2008). A Proposal for a New Prescriptive Discounting Scheme: The Intergenerational Discount Rate. Feem Working Paper 47.08, Jun 2008.

The Liberalisation of the Power Industry in the European Union and its Impact on Climate Change.

by Joëlle de Sépibus

- The liberalisation of the European power industry has fundamentally modified the regulatory framework of electricity utilities. This paper discusses why the European Union (EU) has introduced competition into the power sector and examines how the principal reforms adopted at the EU level shape its current and long-term emissions of carbon dioxide.

de Sépibus, J. (2008). The Liberalisation of the Power Industry in the European Union and its Impact on Climate Change. NCCR Working Paper No 2008/10, May 2008.

Economic Aspects of Adaptation to Climate Change: Costs, Benefits and Policy Instruments.

by Shardul Agrawala and Samuel Fankhauser

- This the executive summary of the OECD report on the economic aspects of adaptation to climate change. The report provides a critical assessment of adaptation costs and benefits in key climate sensitive sectors, as well as at national and global levels. It moves the discussion beyond cost estimation to the potential and limits of economic and policy instruments - including insurance and risk sharing, environmental markets and pricing, and public private partnerships - that can be used to motivate adaptation actions.

Agrawala, S. and S. Fankhauser, Eds. (2008). Economic Aspects of Adaptation to Climate Change: Costs, Benefits and Policy Instruments - Executive Summary. OECD, Paris, May 2008.

June 1, 2008

Carbon Motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?

by Ben Lockwood and John Whalley

- This paper discusses emerging proposals for border tax adjustments (BTAs) to accompany commitments to reduce carbon emissions in the EU, the US and other OECD economies. Earlier debate on border tax adjustments occurred at the time of the adoption of the Value Added Tax (VAT) in the EU as a tax harmonization target in the early 1960’s. But academic literature of the time showed that a change between origin and destination basis in the VAT would be neutral and hence the use of a destination based tax in the EU to accompany the VAT offered no trade advantage to Europe. Here it is argued that essentially the same arguments also apply for carbon motivated BTAs, and in the current debate there seems to be a misconception between price level effects and relative price effects stemming from a BTA, which needs correcting.

Lockwood, B. and J. Whalley (2008). "Carbon Motivated Border Tax Adjustments: Old Wine in Green Bottles?" NBER Working Paper No. 14025, May 2008.

HIV/AIDS, Climate Change and Disaster Management: Challenges for Institutions in Malawi.

by Pablo Suarez, Precious Givah, Kelvin Storey and Alexander Lotsch

- Southern African institutions involved in disaster management face two major new threats: the HIV/AIDS pandemic and climate change. Analyzing the combined effects of these two threats on six disaster-related institutions in Malawi, the authors find evidence of a growing gap between demand for their services and capacity to satisfy that demand.

Suarez, P., P. Givah, K. Storey and A. Lotsch (2008). "HIV/AIDS, climate change and disaster management: challenges for institutions in Malawi." World Bank Policy Research Working Paper WPS 4634, May 2008.

How do Regulated and Voluntary Carbon-Offset Schemes Compare?

by Manuel Estrada Porrúa, Esteve Corbera and Katrina Brown

- The purchase of Verified Emission Reductions through the voluntary carbon market has become a mainstream practice. This voluntary market relies on offset projects which may or may not follow the standards of the Kyoto Protocol’s Clean Development Mechanism. This article reviews the international policy context in which the voluntary market has developed, its institutional structure, including general procedural rules, existing registries, actors involved, volume of emission reductions transacted, and its methodological and certification standards.

Estrada Porrúa, M., E. Corbera and K. Brown (2008). "How do regulated and voluntary carbon-offset schemes compare?" Tyndall Centre Working Paper 116, May 2008.

A Forward Looking Version of the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) Model.

by Mustafa Babiker, Angelo Gurgel, Sergey Paltsev and John Reilly

- This paper documents a forward looking multi-regional general equilibrium model developed from the latest version of the recursive-dynamic MIT EPPA model. The model represents full inter-temporal optimization (perfect foresight), which makes it possible to better address economic and policy issues such as borrowing and banking of GHG allowances, efficiency implications of environmental tax recycling, endogenous depletion of fossil resources, international capital flows, and optimal emissions abatement paths among others. In this paper the authors present some applications of the model that include the reference case and its comparison with the recursive EPPA version, as well as some greenhouse gas mitigation cases where we explore economic impacts with and without inter-temporal trade of permits.

Babiker, M., A. Gurgel, S. Paltsev and J. Reilly (2008). "A Forward Looking Version of the MIT Emissions Prediction and Policy Analysis (EPPA) Model." MIT Global Change Joint Program, Report 161, May 2008.

Climate Change Risks in the Context of Scientific Uncertainty.

by Jay Gulledge

- This chapter reviews potential future climate change impacts and identifies key uncertainties and "trap doors" that could result in unanticipated effects and attendant coping difficulties.

Gulledge, J. (2008). "Climate Change Risks in the Context of Scientific Uncertainty." Chapter in The Global Politics of Energy, The Aspen Institute, May 2008.

The Household Energy Transition in India and China.

by Shonali Pachauri and Leiwen Jiang

- Both India and China are countries in energy transition. This paper compares the household energy transitions in these nations through the analysis of both aggregate statistics and nationally representative household surveys. In addition to urbanisation, key drivers of the transition in both nations include income, energy prices, energy access and local fuel availabiluty.

Pachauri, S. and L. Jiang (2008). "The Household Energy Transition in India and China." IIASA Interim Report IR-08-009, May 2008.

Calculating CARMA: Global Estimation of CO2 Emissions from the Power Sector.

by David Wheeler and Kevin Ummel

- This paper provides a detailed description and assessment of CARMA (Carbon Monitoring for Action) database that reports CO2 emissions from the power sector, which is the largest contributor of carbon dioxide emissions in the world. The database also offers complete information about power plants and companies that emit no carbon by using non-fossil energy sources such as nuclear, hydro, solar, wind, biofuel, and geothermal. This paper contains a description of CARMA’s methodology, an assessment of its strengths and weaknesses, and some tests of its accuracy across countries and at different geographical scales.

Wheeler, D. and K. Ummel (2008). "Calculating CARMA: Global Estimation of CO2 Emissions from the Power Sector." Center for Global Development Working Paper Number 145, May 2008.

Constraining Climate Model Parameters from Observed 20th Century Changes.

by Chris E. Forest, Peter H. Stone and Andrei P. Sokolov

- This paper presents revised probability density functions for climate model parameters (effective climate sensitivity, the rate of deep-ocean heat uptake, and the strength of the net aerosol forcing) that are based on climate change observations from the 20th century. First, observed changes in surface, upper-air, and deep-ocean temperature changes are compared against simulations of 20th century climate in which the climate model parameters were systematically varied. Second, the authors estimate the effective climate sensitivity and rate of deep-ocean heat uptake for 11 of the IPCC AR4 AOGCMs. They conclude that the rate of deep-ocean heat uptake for the majority of AOGCMs lie above the observationally based median value. This implies a bias in the predictions inferred from the IPCC models alone.

Forest, C.E., P.H. Stone and A.P. Sokolov (2008). "Constraining Climate Model Parameters from Observed 20th Century Changes." MIT Global Change Joint Program, Report 157, April 2008.