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Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d97jan101

The U.S. proposal for the December 1996 AGBM meeting included an international system of tradable allowances of greenhouse gases. Such a tradable permit approach has been used in the U.S. for sulfur dioxide control, but is new to the rest of the world, and devising a formula for the allowances will be difficult. It also proposed a range of years rather than a specific date for emission curbs to take effect, giving some latitude to countries on how they want to meet their commitments, and that emission limits for industrialized countries take effect between 2010 and 2020. A controversial part of the proposal consists of methods for imposing emission curbs on developing countries, which may require a third category of nations (such as Mexico and South Korea) intermediate between the highly industrialized and poorest. The U.S. opposes proposals for "differentiation" of commitments for individual industrialized countries, such as those based on per-capita emissions or emissions per unit of gross domestic product. (See two articles in Intl. Environ. Rptr., pp. 1095-1097, Dec. 11, 1996; New Scientist, p. 5, Dec. 14.)

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