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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
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Item #d95feb147

IPCC report: The first Conference of Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change will be held in Berlin, March 28-April 7. In preparation for the meeting, the three working groups of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have completed a Special Report consisting of three volumes. The first updates scientific understanding of radiative forcing (any change in the balance of radiant energy entering and leaving the top of the Earth's atmosphere, which can lead to climate change). A synopsis of the full report is presented in a carefully written and illustrated 28-page Summary for Policymakers. (See REPORTS.) Volume one also evaluates the IPCC 1992 scenarios of future greenhouse gas emissions; a separate summary for policymakers describes this material. The other two volumes are IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories, and IPCC Technical Guidelines for Climate Change Impacts and Adaptations.

Item #d95feb148

National plans: In early December, the Interim Secretariat for the climate convention released its first review of national climate action plans required from developed countries under the convention. Fifteen countries submitted plans; several (including the European Union) were still working on theirs. Contact the U.N. FCCC Interim Secretariat to obtain the report in paper or electronic form (11-13 Chemin des Anémones, 1219 Châtelaine, Geneva, Switz. (tel: 41 22 979 9111; fax: 41 22 979 9034).

The Independent NGO Evaluations of National Plans for Climate Change Mitigation: Third Review was released in February by the U.S. Climate Action Network, 1350 New York Ave. NW, S. 300, Washington DC 20005 (tel: 202-624-9360; fax: 202-783-5917; e-mail:

National plans were also reviewed at a December conference in Washington. (See "Most Nations Miss the Mark on Emission-Control Plans," R. Stone, Science, p. 1939, Dec. 23 1994, and climate convention news, Global Climate Change Digest, Jan. 1995)

Item #d95feb149

Emissions trading: At a January meeting in Prague, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) called on the U.S., the European Union and Japan to set up a pilot system for trading CO2 emission rights. Permits to emit specified quantities of CO2 would be assigned to each country, but these allowances could be traded among individual CO2 sources or countries. This approach advocated by UNCTAD, similar to one adopted by the U.S. for sulfur emissions, is viewed as a way of bringing market forces into play to control greenhouse gas emissions efficiently. A major difficulty, of course, is determining how emission rights should be allocated among different countries. For information or to obtain conference proceedings contact Zdenek Suchanek, Environ. Ministry, Vrsovicka 65, 100 10 Prague 10, Czech Republic (tel: 42 2 6712 2109; fax: 42 2 6731 0014). (See New Scientist, p. 4, Jan. 21 1995; Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 46-47, Jan. 25 1995).

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