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Climate Action Report 
Submission of the United States of America Under the 
United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change
Table of Contents
1. Introduction and Overview
     The Science.........................5
     National Circumstances:
       A Context for U.S. Action.........7
     Inventory of Greenhouse Gases.......8
     U.S. Mitigation Actions............10
     Progress Toward Implementation.....14
     Impacts and Adaptation.............14
     Research and Public Education......15
     International Activities...........16
     The Future.........................16
2. National Circumstances
     The U.S. Climate...................20
     U.S. Population Trends.............22
     U.S. Natural Resources.............24
       Land Resources...................24
       Biological Resources.............27
       Water Resources..................28
       Energy Resources.................28
     The U.S. Economy...................30
       Government and the Market Economy.30
       Composition and Growth...........31
       The U.S. Federal Budget..........32
       National Revenue Structure.......33
     U.S. Energy Production and
       Energy Production................36
       Energy Consumption...............39
     U.S. Governing Institutions........43
       Federal Departments and Agencies.43
       The U.S. Congress................43
       State and Local Governments......44
       The U.S. Court System............44
       Scientific Institutions..........45
     U.S. Policies Related to Climate
       Agriculture and Land-Use Policies.46
       Environmental Policies...........46
       Energy Policies..................47
       Transportation Policies..........48
3. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
     Recent Trends in
       U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions....53
     Carbon Dioxide Emissions...........57
       The Energy Sector................58
       Industrial Processes.............60
     Changes in Forest Management
       and Land Use.....................61
     Methane Emissions..................63
       Coal Mining......................65
       Oil and Natural Gas Production
         and Processing.................66
       Other Sources of Methane.........66
     Nitrous Oxide Emissions............67
       Agricultural Soil Management
         and Fertilizer Use.............67
       Fossil Fuel Combustion...........68
       Adipic Acid Production...........68
       Nitric Acid Production...........68
       Other Sources of N2O.............68
     HFC and PFC Emissions..............70
     Emissions of Criteria Pollutants...72
4. Mitigation:  The Action Plan
     The Plan and Its Development.......77
       The Effects of the Plan..........77
       Applying a Portfolio Approach....78
       Developing the Plan: A Public
       Assessing the Effects of the Plan.80
     Carbon Dioxide.....................83
       Energy-Demand Strategies.........83
       Energy-Supply Strategies.........91
       Forestry Strategies..............94
     Methane and Other Gases............97
       Methane Recovery and Reduction
       HFC and PFC Control Strategies...98
       Nitrous Oxide Strategy...........99
     State and Local Outreach..........100
       Industrial and Commercial
       Efficiency Programs.............100
       EPA's State and Local Outreach
       Agricultural Outreach Programs..101
     Joint Implementation..............102
5. Impacts and Adaptation
     The Adaptability of Natural
       U.S. Ecosystem Management
       Contingency Planning............112
       Federal Interagency Coordination:
     Resource Adaptation Strategies....117
       Water Supplies..................117
       Coastal Zones...................120
       Agricultural Land...............122
       "Lightly Managed" Ecosystems....126
6. Research and Public Education
     The U.S. Global Change
       Research Program................133
       Atmospheric Constituents Important
         to Climate Change.............134
       Understanding the Carbon Cycle..138
       Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems.138
       Socioeconomic and Policy
         Implications of Climate Change.140
       Research on Mitigating Climate
       Coordination With International
         Research Efforts..............142
     Public Education and
       Educational Outreach............148
       The GLOBE Program...............149
       Project Earthlink...............149
       Individual Agency Efforts.......151
7. International Activities
     Bilateral Technical
       and Financial Cooperation.......155
       Country Studies.................155
       Bilateral Mitigation Projects...157
       Information Sharing and Trade
       Bilateral Assistance for Adaptation.174
     Multilateral Technical
       and Financial Cooperation.......178
       Framework Convention on Climate
       Other Relevant Conventions
         and Agreements................178
       Global Environment Facility.....179
       Multilateral Development Banks..180
       Organization for Economic
         Cooperation and Development...181
       International Energy Agency.....181
       Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation.182
       Other Fora......................182
       Nongovernmental Efforts.........182
8. The Future
     Meeting Year 2000 Commitments.....186
       Changes in Modeling Assumptions.187
       Responses to Changing
     Post-2000 Actions.................190
       Technology Research and
         Development Strategy..........191
       The Transportation Sector.......191
       A Long-Run Strategy.............192
     International Regime..............193
       Strengthening Links
         Between Science and Policy....194
       Establishing a New "Aim"........194
       Developing Common Actions
         and Technology Initiatives....192
       Endorsing Joint Implementation..195
       Enlisting Public- and
         Private-Sector Expertise......195
       Strengthening the Convention
Chapter 1. Introduction
In June 1992 in Rio de Janeiro, world leaders and citizens of 176
countries gathered to agree on ways of working together to preserve
and enhance the global environment. The Earth Summit aroused the
hopes and dreams of people around the world and set in motion
ambitious plans to address the planet's greatest environmental
threats. We shared a common vision: to provide a higher quality of
life for ourselves and our children.
At the Earth Summit, the United States joined other countries in
signing the Framework Convention on Climate Change, an international
agreement whose ultimate objective is to:
     achieve -- stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved
within a time frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally
to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened,
and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable
The United States--and the international community-- has confronted
the threat of global climate change because most scientists agree
that the threat is real. There is no doubt that human activities are
increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases, especially
carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Models predict that these
increases in greenhouse gases will cause changes in climate locally,
regionally, and globally, with potential adverse consequences to
ecological and socioeconomic systems. The best current predictions
suggest that the rate of climate change could far exceed any natural
changes that have occurred in the past 10,000 years. Of course, there
are uncertainties regarding the magnitude, timing, and regional
patterns of climate change. But any human-induced change that does
occur is not likely to be reversed for many decades--or even
centuries--because of the long atmospheric lifetimes of the
greenhouse gases and the inertia of the system.
With this global threat in mind, President Clinton stated on Earth
Day 1993:
We must take the lead in addressing the challenge of global warming
that could make our planet and its climate less hospitable and more
hostile to human life. Today, I reaffirm my personal and announce our
nation's commitment to reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases to
their 1990 levels by the year 2000. I am instructing my
Administration to produce a cost-effective plan -- that can continue
the trend of reduced emissions. This must be a clarion call, not for
more bureaucracy or regulation or unnecessary costs, but instead for
American ingenuity and creativity to produce the best and most
cost-efficient technology.
In October 1993, the United States released The Climate Change Action
Plan, detailing the initial U.S. response to climate change. The Plan
outlined a comprehensive set of measures to reduce net emissions,
covering greenhouse gases in all sectors of the economy. It focused
on partnerships between the government and the private sector to help
solve this pressing problem, and is now undergoing rapid
implementation. The Plan laid a foundation for U.S.  participation in
the international response to the climate challenge. And finally, the
Plan included a process for monitoring its effectiveness and for
adapting to changing circumstances.
This document, the Climate Action Report, represents the first formal
U.S. communication under the Framework Convention on Climate Change,
as required under Articles 4.2 and 12. It is a snapshot--a
description of the current U.S. program. It does not seek to identify
additional policies or measures that might ultimately be taken as the
United States continues to move forward in addressing climate change,
nor is it intended to be a revision of the U.S. Climate Change Action
Plan. It is not a substitute for existing or future decision-making
processes--whether administrative or legislative--or for additional
measures developed by or with the private sector. Meeting the formal
reporting requirements in the Climate Convention, this document is
also intended to identify existing policies and measures, and thus to
assist in establishing a basis for considering future actions.
This document has been developed using the methodologies and format
agreed to at the Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee for a Framework Convention on Climate Change. We assume
that this communication, like those of other countries, will be
reviewed and discussed in the evaluation process for the Parties of
the Convention. We hope that the measures detailed here provide
useful examples of possible directions for the future.
This chapter briefly describes the climate-system science that sets
the context for U.S. action, and then provides an overview of the
U.S. program, which is the focus of the remainder of this report. In
particular, the United States includes information in this report on:
national circumstances, providing a context for action; an inventory
of U.S.  greenhouse gas emissions; mitigation programs; adaptation
programs; research and education programs; international activities,
including contributions to international financial mechanisms that
address climate change; and a brief discussion of the future
direction of the U.S. effort.
The Science
The scientific community has long noted the potential for human
activities to contribute to global climate change. A broad
international consensus regarding this issue has been developed over
the past several years (and has been reported in the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment reports); this
summary is drawn from that consensus view. As the actions being taken
by the United States ultimately depend on our understanding of the
science, it is appropriate to review this information here.
The driving energy for weather and climate comes from the sun (Figure
1-1). The Earth intercepts solar radiation (short-wave and visible
parts of the spectrum). About one-third of that radiation is
reflected, and the rest is absorbed by different components of the
climate system, including the atmosphere, the oceans, the land
surface, and biota.  The energy absorbed from solar radiation is
balanced, in the long term, by outgoing radiation from the
Earth-atmosphere system. This terrestrial radiation takes the form of
long-wave, invisible infrared energy. The magnitude of this outgoing
radiation is determined by the temperature of the Earth--atmosphere
Several natural and human activities can change the balance between
the energy absorbed by the Earth and that emitted in the form of
long-wave, infrared radiation. These activities are both natural
(including changes in solar radiation and volcanic eruptions) and
human-induced, arising from industrial and land-use practices that
release or remove heat-trapping "greenhouse" gases, thus changing the
atmospheric composition.
Greenhouse gases include water vapor, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane
(CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs),
perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and ozone (O3). While water vapor has the
largest effect, its concentrations are not directly affected, on a
global scale, by human activities.  Although most of these gases
occur naturally (the exceptions are CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, and PFCs),
human activities have contributed significantly to increases in their
atmospheric concentrations. Many greenhouse gases have long
atmospheric residence times (several decades to centuries), which
implies that the atmosphere will recover very slowly from such
emissions, if at all.
Internationally accepted science indicates that increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases will ultimately raise atmospheric
and oceanic temperatures and could alter associated circulation and
weather patterns. Large computer-driven climate models predict that
the equilibrium change in the average temperature of the globe's
atmosphere as a consequence of doubling of CO2 or its equivalent is
unlikely to lie outside the range of 1.5--4.5-C (2.5--8-F), with a
best estimate of 2.5-C (4.5-F).  The sea level rise associated with
such doubling has been estimated to range between a few centimeters
and one meter (about 2 inches to 3 feet), with a best estimate of
approximately 20 centimeters (8 inches). Because of the large thermal
inertia of the Earth system, the equilibrium warming from added
greenhouse gases is not reached until many decades after these
emissions are released into the atmosphere.
While current analyses are unable to predict with confidence the
timing, magnitude or regional distribution of climate change, the
best scientific information indicates that such changes are very
likely to occur if greenhouse gas concentrations continue to
National Circumstances: A Context for U.S. Action
A nation's vulnerability and response to climate change are greatly
affected by its institutions, governing structures, economic
arrangements, energy use patterns, land uses, population growth and
distribution, and many other factors. U.S.  policymakers must take
into account the complexities and special characteristics of the
political, social, and economic orders in the United States. A
description of land-use patterns sets the context for the discussion,
in a subsequent chapter, of climate change impacts and adaptation
measures, while energy, economic, and political factors shape the
U.S. approach to mitigating climate change.
The United States is by far the world's largest economy, although
per-capita GDP growth has slowed in recent years. The United States
is also the world's largest producer and consumer of energy, and the
largest producer of greenhouse gases. U.S.  energy intensity (the
amount of energy required to produce a unit of GDP) has improved by
27 percent from its 1970 peak, remaining stable since 1986.  Like
other industrialized countries, the United States relies heavily on
fossil fuels to power its industrial, residential, and transportation
sectors, although, as in other countries, renewable-energy sources,
such as solar and biomass fuels, are anticipated to supply greater
amounts of power in the coming decades.
Despite dramatic increases in the number of residences, number of
electrical appliances, and the amount of heated space per person,
residential energy use has remained roughly constant, due to
efficiency improvements. Energy use in the commercial sector has
increased substantially, however, due to that sector's extremely
rapid growth. Industrial energy intensity has improved by over 35
percent since 1972, resulting in energy savings of more than 12
quadrillion BTUs annually. A 34 percent decrease in average
per-kilometer fuel consumption has partly offset a 50 percent
increase in vehicle kilometers traveled since 1969, resulting in
continuing growth of energy consumption and associated greenhouse gas
emissions in the transportation sector.
The United States has a large and diverse land area of approximately
931 million hectares (2.3 billion acres) including cropland,
grassland, pastures, ranges, wetlands, urban/suburban areas,
protected areas, and other special uses. Forested areas have expanded
in the past twenty years, though the amount of old-growth forests
continues to decline. While total wetland areas have declined over
the past several decades, the rate of decline has slowed; wetlands
are anticipated to be among the land areas most severely affected by
climate change. The amount of land devoted to urban use continues to
increase, although only approximately 4.5 percent of total land area
is classified as urban. U.S. population growth is slow overall,
though immigration and internal migration contribute to faster growth
in the South and in coastal regions, resulting in increased stress to
coastal zones and heightened vulnerability to climate change. Low
population densities in the United States result in relatively high
energy use per capita, despite significant improvements in energy
The United States has a market economy; the government has long
played an important role in intervening to correct market failures
and achieve various social ends. All levels of government have been
involved in the protection of the environment.  The federal
government has actively sought to improve the quality of the natural
environment and promote public health for the past twenty-five years.
Most recently, government policies in a wide range of sectors are
increasingly showing an awareness of the challenge of climate change.
The Clinton Administration has made the formulation and
implementation of its comprehensive Climate Change Action Plan a
national priority.
Inventory of Greenhouse Gases
The Framework Convention on Climate Change calls upon Parties to:
"periodically update, publish, and make available to the Conference
of Parties -- national inventories of anthropogenic emissions by
sources and removals by sinks of all greenhouse gases not controlled
by the Montreal Protocol, using comparable methodologies to be agreed
upon by the Conference of the Parties." This commitment was included
in the Convention because it was clear to all countries that any
effective climate policy must begin with an accurate inventory of
gases that may influence global warming. A useful inventory must take
into account the global warming potential of the various gases and
analyze their production by different sectors of the economy, as well
as account for their sequestration by carbon sinks, such as forests.
At the Ninth Session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee
(INC), guidelines for preparing greenhouse gas inventories were
adopted; the discussion in this report follows the agreed format.
The most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide,
methane, and nitrous oxide.  Atmospheric concentrations of all three
have increased significantly since the Industrial Revolution, almost
certainly because of human activities. Based on a recent
recomputation of 1990 U.S. greenhouse gas emissions following the INC
guidelines, the United States estimates that net emissions totaled
1,348 million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE) (Table 1-1).
This represents a decrease in the previous estimate of 1,462 MMTCE,
which was used in the development of The Climate Change Action Plan.
The relative effects of greenhouse gases can be compared using
"global warming potentials."  According to the 1990 inventory carried
out by the United States, carbon dioxide accounted for 85 percent of
the total global warming potential of all U.S. anthropogenic
emissions not controlled by the Montreal Protocol, followed by
methane with 11 percent, nitrous oxide with 3 percent, and
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs) with 1 percent.
These percentages have not changed significantly since 1990, although
the use of HFCs and PFCs is expected to increase in future years.
Total emissions have increased slightly since 1990 (Figure 1-2).
U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide, the principal anthropogenic
greenhouse gas, are divided fairly evenly among industry (34
percent), transportation (31 percent), and utilities (35 percent, of
which residences account for 19 percent and commercial buildings for
16 percent). Absorption of carbon dioxide in U.S. forests (carbon
"sinks") has increased in recent years.  The principal sources of
anthropogenic methane emissions are landfills (37 percent) and
agriculture (32 percent), with coal, oil, and natural gas production
accounting for most of the remainder.  Nitrous oxide, an extremely
potent greenhouse gas, is released principally through nitrogen-based
fertilizers and industrial production of synthetic fiber.  Also
included in the U.S. inventory are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen
oxides (NOX), and nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs).
These compounds have an indirect effect on climate change--for
example, by increasing the atmospheric life of methane. Their
relative and absolute contributions to climate change are uncertain.
U.S. Mitigation Actions The Climate Convention calls for Annex I
Parties (developed countries and countries with economies in
transition to market economies) to aim to return their emissions of
greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. As with the
reporting of inventories, the Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee, at its Ninth Session, agreed on a format for reporting
measures to address emissions and sinks of greenhouse gases. This
report follows that recommended format.
The basis for the U.S. response to the challenge set forth in the
Convention is The Climate Change Action Plan, announced by President
Clinton and Vice President Gore in October 1993. The Plan blends
market incentives, voluntary initiatives, research and development,
improved regulatory frameworks, and intensified existing programs to
achieve the reductions in emissions necessary to meet the U.S.
commitment. As noted above, in 1990, U.S. emissions totaled 1,462
million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE). The Action Plan
projects an emission level of 1,459 MMTCE by the year 2000, based on
factors as anticipated in the fall of 1993.
The emission estimates reported in this section are slightly
different from those used in the inventory described above. The data
in the inventory chapter reflect recent guidance from the INC, which
was only received after the actions in this section were proposed,
analyzed, and adopted. A complete description of the inventory values
used in Chapter 3 are reported in Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas
Emissions and Sinks for 1990--1993 (U.S. EPA 1994); and a description
of the inventory estimates used in developing the emission reductions
projected in this section are provided in The Climate Change Action
Plan: Technical Supplement (U.S. DOE 1994). Along with this report,
both documents are provided to the Parties of the Climate Convention
as part of the formal U.S. submission.
The Plan's comprehensive, portfolio approach addresses energy demand
in all sectors, as well as energy supply and forestry (Table 1-2).
This broad approach lessens the risk that poor performance in one
sector will jeopardize the Plan as a whole. It is also
cost-effective. In undiscounted dollars, the approximately $60
billion in costs for the Plan from 1994 to 2000 are anticipated to be
offset by approximately $60 billion in energy savings for businesses
and consumers by 2000. An additional $200 billion in savings is
anticipated for 2001--2010.  Voluntary programs and market-based
incentives are at the heart of the U.S. approach. Two of the most
prominent programs in this effort are Green Lights and Climate
Challenge. In the Green Lights program, over 1,500 organizations have
committed to a national effort to improve the efficiency of their
lighting systems. And more than 750 utilities, representing over 80
percent of U.S. electric utility generation capacity, have already
signed up for the Climate Challenge, under which they will inventory
current emissions and commit to undertake and to report on actions to
reduce greenhouse gases.  Other aspects of the Plan improve
information flows to private companies and encourage the accurate
valuation of energy costs throughout corporate structures.
The Plan also concentrates on the reduction of methane and nitrous
oxide, both of which have a greater global warming potential than
carbon dioxide, ton for ton, and includes strategies to limit the
growth of HFC and PFC emissions.
Although the United States provides a blueprint for reaching the
near-term aim of the Climate Convention through domestic measures
alone, it also recognizes the contribution that "joint
implementation" could make toward achieving the Convention's goals.
Thus, the United States is promoting cooperative efforts with other
countries to take measures to reduce or sequester carbon. Toward this
end, the United States has announced the U.S. Initiative on Joint
Implementation, which sets ground rules for the qualification and
evaluation of joint implementation projects.
Progress Toward Implementation
On the basis of assumptions regarding the costs of energy, the rate
of growth of the U.S. economy, and the availability of funding for
the programs outlined in the Plan, the United States projected a
return of its greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels by the
year 2000. However, since the time these projections were prepared
and the U.S. Action Plan was published, the economy has grown at a
more robust rate than anticipated, the price of oil fell sharply
before recently rising toward projected levels, and the U.S.
Congress, which must appropriate funding for federal agency programs,
does not, for now, appear likely to provide full funding for the
actions contained in the Plan.
However, differences between earlier assumptions and current
circumstances are only now being evaluated.  Furthermore, the coming
months will cause changes, either increasing or decreasing the gap.
For example, the outstanding industry response seen in voluntary
programs that are "unscored" in the current Plan could deliver
benefits sufficient to make up any shortfall in "scored" programs. As
a consequence, it is not yet possible to present a modified
projection of the effects of measures outlined in Chapter 4 on
mitigation as a function of this difference, or to detail the
additional measures that may be taken to close the gap. The United
States is committed to a full review of the U.S. Action Plan in late
1995. In this review, a comprehensive analysis of the overlapping
effects of the changes in economic assumptions and funding levels--as
well as changes in the anticipated effects of individual
measures--will be made. It is anticipated that, as a result of this
review process, additional measures will be taken to ensure that the
U.S. commitment is met.
Impacts and Adaptation
The impact of global change on natural ecosystems cannot be predicted
with accuracy, in part because these complex systems are not yet well
understood.  The government is working to increase our knowledge base
through the federal interagency Committee on Environment and Natural
Resources and through the U.S. Ecosystem Management Initiative. Both
of these efforts bring together experts from many federal agencies to
examine how systems can be understood and kept healthy in their
totality. However, despite the best efforts of governments to deal
with the climate threat, it is unlikely that climate alteration can
be avoided entirely. Further study is needed to see how natural
systems can best adapt to climate change.
The National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of
Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine recently looked into the
effects of climate change on the various principal ecosystems found
in the United States (NAS/NAE/IM 1992). They found that U.S. water
supplies, particularly some of the more vulnerable river systems,
would be greatly influenced by possible increases in evaporation and
changes in rain patterns. The extremely delicate wetlands and
estuarine waterways found in U.S.  coastal zones could be affected by
sea level rise, alterations in upland water flow, human settlement
patterns, and other consequences of a changed climate. U.S.
agriculture and industry appeared relatively less vulnerable to
climate change.  Lightly managed ecosystems of whatever type, by
contrast, appeared extremely vulnerable. Forest systems might find
that their most favorable climates shift hundreds of miles to the
north, perhaps too rapidly for the trees to adapt. Work on
understanding the impacts from and adaptation to the effects of
climate change will remain a priority of federal agencies for many
years to come.
Among the key areas on which U.S. adaptation efforts focus are
contingency planning and consideration of uncertainty in ranges of
potential outcome. The increased unpredictability of future events
due to climate change and the increased risks of surprises or
large-scale losses render this effort all the more important. Some of
the efforts to manage for increased vulnerability include the
establishment of the Floodplain Management Task Force, the efforts to
better predict "El Ni$o" events (which lead to global changes in
atmospheric behavior over relatively short periods), and water-use
and coastal zone management programs, which focus on some of the most
vulnerable systems.
Research and Public Education
Paramount to successfully mitigating and adapting to climate change
is an ability to understand, monitor, and predict future changes.
This, in turn, requires substantial research on the global climate
system and the dissemination of such information to better enable
society to respond appropriately. To address these needs, the United
States has developed the U.S. Global Change Research Program, which,
with a proposed budget in fiscal year 1995 of $1.8 billion, is the
largest climate change research program in the world.
The U.S. Research Program, which is part of the Committee on
Environment and Natural Resources, supports a wide range of
policy-relevant research programs. These include trace atmospheric
species and their effects on climate, the role of terrestrial and
marine ecosystems in climate change and the impacts of climate change
on these ecosystems, the socioeconomic and policy implications of
climate change, and potential measures to mitigate and adapt to
climate change. To facilitate the full and open exchange of climate
change data, the U.S. Research Program is developing the Global
Change Data and Information System, which will provide the
infrastructure for linking global change data bases and information
available within the various agencies of the federal government and
will make them available to the public.
Recognizing the importance of international cooperation in global
change research, the United States plays a major role in a variety of
international efforts to understand and assess the state of knowledge
about global change. The U.S.  Research Program, in addition to its
key role in support of domestic efforts, is a major contributor to
international global change research programs, primarily through the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the World Climate Research
Program, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program, and the Human
Dimensions of Global Environmental Change Program. In addition the
United States is engaged in bilateral research projects and
internationally coordinated research programs involved with climate
change, placing special emphasis on the development of networks and
institutes to promote the development of regional capabilities to
conduct global change research. Similarly, U.S. scientists are
contributing research information and are playing leadership roles in
the assessments of the Inter-governmental Panel on Climate Change,
which is supplying much of the scientific input to the international
policy decisions on climate change.
Since decision making on national response strategies to climate
change ultimately resides with the public, the U.S. is beginning to
develop programs for general education, communication, and
dissemination of climate change information. While many of these
activities are organized under the U.S. Research Program, its member
agencies have longstanding programs for educational outreach, many of
which now are being extended to include climate change information
and are turning from a purely domestic focus to include international
International Activities
The success of the Framework Convention on Climate Change relies
preeminently on cooperation among nations. To foster closer
international cooperation on climate change, the United States is
engaged in a wide range of bilateral and multilateral activities.
The United States provides technical assistance and facilitates the
transfer of energy-efficient technologies through its Country Studies
program, bilateral mitigation and adaptation projects, and
information sharing and trade facilitation. The Country Studies
program, funded at $25 million over two years, helps developing
countries and countries with economies in transition generate
inventories of greenhouse gases, assess their vulnerability to
climate change, and evaluate strategies for reducing net emissions of
greenhouse gases and adapting to the potential impacts of climate
Over thirty-five bilateral projects aimed at mitigating climate
change are supported by the U.S.  government, through the U.S. Agency
for International Development and other key agencies involved in the
climate change issue. U.S. bilateral mitigation projects totaling
about $1.5 billion include efforts on energy demand, power generation
and distribution, renewables, clean coal, privatization, clean air,
methane, and forestry. As part of its bilateral assistance programs,
the United States also helps build capacity in countries to assess
and/or minimize vulnerability to climate change.
A critical element of technology transfer is making information about
available technologies easily accessible to foreign government
agencies and private-sector firms, and helping them secure financing
for beneficial technologies. To meet this need, the United States has
established a number of information-sharing and trade-facilitation
programs, with 1994 funding for such projects totaling more than $10
In multilateral fora related to global climate change policy matters,
the United States plays a leadership role, which carries with it
considerable financial responsibilities. In addition to participating
actively in the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for a
Framework Convention on Climate Change, the United States has
provided substantial financial resources to both the trust fund
enabling developing countries to participate in the negotiations, and
a separate trust fund to support the basic costs of the negotiations
and the INC Secretariat.
In support of the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the United
States has pledged $430 million (out of a $2 billion total) to the
GEF's replenishment. U.S.  bilateral programs will continue to
strengthen collaboration with the restructured GEF as a complement to
U.S. contributions to the core fund.
The Future
The United States is making significant strides toward reducing
greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. To
track the effectiveness of the programs and measures being
implemented under The Climate Change Action Plan, U.S. agencies have
established individual and joint tracking systems to develop
performance indicators and progress milestones. Interim assessments
to date show that significant progress has been made in meeting--and
in some cases exceeding--these milestones, while in other cases
specific measures are not performing as well as expected. However,
the overall combination of changes in economic growth, in oil prices,
and in energy demand currently suggests that the United States may
need to implement additional measures to meet its commitment to
return emissions to their 1990 level by the year 2000. It is
important to recognize that the future effectiveness of current
actions may be enhanced or diminished by changing circumstances in
the domestic and international arenas.
As recommended by the guidelines adopted at the INC's Ninth Session
(UN/INC 1994), the United States has also provided a preliminary
estimate of its emissions of greenhouse gases through the year 2010.
Although the United States will continue to revise this estimate, the
preliminary results indicate that to meet the ultimate objective of
the Convention, the United States, and all nations, will need to
develop additional measures to combat the longer- term trend of
rising emissions. Toward this end, the United States has established
a working group to devise a long-run strategy for examining all
policies that could affect U.S. greenhouse gas emission levels beyond
the year 2000, with particular attention being given to accelerating
technology research, development, and deployment.
Finally, in addition to continued activity in the domestic arena, the
United States has been, and will continue to be, an active
participant in international negotiations under the United Nations
Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Chapter 2. National Circumstances
A country's climate, economic health and composition, demographic
trends, political and institutional systems, energy production and
consumption, and natural resources determine its vulnerability and
adaptability to the effects of climate change. Identifying the
opportunities for and costs of reducing the likelihood of climate
change by adopting policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and
augment sinks also requires a thorough examination of all of these
Perhaps the key element of a country's national
circumstances is its political will. The Clinton Administration has
made the formulation and implementation of its Climate Change Action
Plan a priority, demonstrated by Chapter 4 of this document, which
presents a detailed plan for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions to
1990 levels by the year 2000. Furthermore, many of the elements of
the Plan have already been implemented, while an effort is under way
to obtain legislative approval for others.
This chapter presents a snapshot of the national characteristics of
the United States, current conditions and trends in those conditions,
and their link to climate change issues and policymaking.
The U.S. Climate
The climate zones of the United States are representative of all the
major regions of the world, except the ice cap (Figure 2-1). Some
states encompass as many as five distinct climate types.  Because of
this broad diversity, describing the effects of climate change on the
United States as either positive or negative overall would be an
oversimplification. For example, states with cooler climates may have
extended growing seasons and lower heating bills. In the Sunbelt, on
the other hand, energy consumption for cooling may rise, along with
the emissions it generates (Figure 2-2). The net effect on energy
consumption would depend on the net change in heating- and
cooling-degree days.
Baseline rainfall levels are also central to determining the
vulnerability of the United States to global warming. Most of the
western states are currently arid. The reduced rainfall and increased
evaporation from global warming projected for midcontinental areas of
the United States by general circulation models may exacerbate the
scarcity of freshwater resources in those states. And although the
eastern states have only rarely experienced severe drought, they are
increasingly vulnerable to flooding and storm surges--particularly in
densely populated coastal area--as sea level rises. If extreme
weather events--such as tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods--occur with
greater frequency and/or intensity, damages could be very extensive.
However, there is great uncertainty about whether extreme events will
become more common as a result of climate change.
Climate change may also benefit some plants and animals. Warmer
temperatures may allow them to expand their range northward. Higher
levels of CO2 may boost the growth and productivity of some
plants--particularly agricultural crops, where nutrients can be
closely monitored.
U.S. Population Trends
Demographic factors are critical determinants of a nation's economic
and environmental health, its vulnerability to climate change, and
its ability to mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.
In particular, population levels and growth drive a nation's
consumption of energy and other resources, while settlement patterns
and population density affect dependence on transportation, the
availability of land for various uses, and the vulnerability of
coastal areas to flooding in the event of sea level rise.
With a population of over 250 million in 1993, the United States is
the third most populous country in the world, after China and India.
Its population density, however, is far lower: 27 people per square
kilometer, versus 126 and 304 people per square kilometer in China
and India, respectively. Average life expectancy at birth is now 75.8
years, with the population aging rapidly--the current median age of
33.1 years has risen by 5.1 years since 1970. The aging is a result
of a number of factors--delay in childbirth as a result of increased
female participation in the work force, expanded use of
contraception, and higher life expectancy. Overall, population growth
has slowed to about 1.1 percent per year.
For purposes of comparison, from 1960 to 1990 the U.S. population
increased by 38 percent, while the population of the European Union
increased by 15.8 percent. Projections through 2020 show a similar
disparity: the United States is projected to grow by 29 percent, and
the European Union by only 2.6 percent.
The geographic distribution of the population has significant bearing
on the global warming issue. For example, more and more people are
moving to the drier, warmer climate of the Sunbelt. Nine of the
twelve fastest-growing U.S. metropolitan areas in 1990 were located
in Florida. In most of the nation's coastal areas, population growth
has been positive and generally very large (Figure 2-3). For
instance, from 1970 to 1990, the population along the Southeast
Atlantic coast grew by 74 percent.  Overall, 110 million people live
in these coastal areas, with densities exceeding 192 people per
square kilometer in 20 percent of these counties, and densities in
the urban cores of some of these areas exceeding 3,800 people per
square kilometer.  Studies conducted by the U.S. government
anticipate a 15 percent increase in coastal population over the next
two decades, concentrated in California, Florida, and Texas.
This pattern of growth has resulted in over 50 percent of the
population living in metropolitan areas with more than one million
people--up from 29 percent in 1950. Despite this growing trend toward
urbanization, the population densities in U.S.  metropolitan areas
are far lower than in metropolitan areas around the world. For
example, the ten largest European cities on average have population
densities four times greater than the ten largest U.S. cities. The
relatively low densities in the United States result in relatively
high energy use per capita, leading, for example, to more
energy-intensive transport.
U.S. Natural Resources
The natural resources of the United States are vast and varied. Its
diverse climate zones, topography, and soils support many ecological
communities and supply resources for many human uses. The nature and
distribution of these resources have played a critical role in the
development of the U.S. economy and, therefore, have influenced the
pattern of U.S.  greenhouse gas emissions.
Land Resources
The United States has a total land area of approximately 931 million
hectares (2.3 billion acres). The state of Alaska alone has a land
area of approximately 166 million hectares (410 million acres).
Because Alaska is so large, and its land-use patterns differ
significantly from those in the 48 contiguous states and Hawaii,
Alaskan land use is treated separately in this report.
About 77 percent, or 600 million hectares (1.5 billion acres), of
U.S. land in the contiguous states is privately held; another 2
percent is owned by state or local governments. These together are
referred to as nonfederal lands. Alaska has 87.4 million acres of
nonfederal lands. The U.S.  government owns about 263 million
hectares (650 million acres), or 31 percent of the contiguous land
area (Figure 2-4). In addition, federal lands include 131 million
hectares (323 million acres) in Alaska.
Although the private sector has played a primary role in developing
and managing U.S. natural resources, federal, state, and local
governments have also been important in managing and protecting these
resources through regulation, economic incentives, and education.
Governments also manage lands set aside for forests, parks, wildlife
reserves, special research areas, recreational areas, and in
suburban/urban open spaces.
Of U.S. nonfederal lands in the contiguous 48 states, about 155
million hectares (382 million acres) are cropland, 51 million
hectares (125 million acres) are pasture land, 162 million hectares
(399 million acres) are range, and 160 million hectares (395 million
acres) are forest land. There are approximately 36 million privately
owned acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program; these
include highly erodible lands planted to perennial grasses or trees.
Developed nonfederal lands (including transportation routes, cities,
towns, and villages) now encompass 37 million hectares (92 million
acres)--an increase of 18 percent in the past decade.
In Alaska, nonfederal land use in 1994 included 0.05 million hectares
(0.13 million acres) of cropland, 21 million hectares (52 million
acres) of wetlands, and 6 million hectares (15 million acres) of
grazing lands, comprised of range, pasture, and tundra.  Federal land
use included 31 million hectares (77 million acres) of forest, 63
million hectares (155 million acres) of wetlands, and 37 million
hectares (91 million acres) of tundra.
Forest land offers a significant sink for greenhouse gases, but may
also be highly vulnerable to changes in the climate system. U.S.
forests vary from the complex juniper forests of the arid interior
West to the highly productive forests of the Pacific Coast and the
Southeast. Forest land in the contiguous United States has increased
since the 1960s, from 251 million hectares (620 million acres) to 298
million hectares (737 million acres) in 1992. Of this 1992 total, 198
million hectares (489 million acres) were timberland, 80 percent of
which is privately owned.
Management inputs over the past several decades have been gradually
increasing production of marketable wood in U.S. forests. The United
States currently grows more wood than it harvests, with a growth-to-
harvest ratio of 1.37. This ratio reflects substantial new-forest
Grazing Lands
Grazing lands, including both range and pasture, are environmentally
important to the United States. They are the single largest land use
and thus have the potential to absorb significant quantities of
greenhouse gases. They also include major recreational and scenic
areas, serve as a principal source of wildlife habitat, and comprise
a large area of the nation's watersheds. Like forest ecosystems,
these ecosystems are vulnerable to rapid climate changes,
particularly shifts in temperature and moisture regimes. Range
ecosystems are more resilient than forest ecosystems, however,
because of their ability to sustain long-term droughts.  Long-term
management of grasslands can greatly increase the carbon held in
these soils and thus can increase the carbon "sink."
Range ecosystems are any of a number of different communities,
usually denoted by the dominant vegetation. They are generally
managed by varying grazing patterns, by using fire to shift species
abundance, and by occasionally disturbing the soil surface to improve
water infiltration. Pasture land, in contrast, is a grazing ecosystem
that relies on more intensive management inputs, such as fertilizer,
chemical pest management, and introduced or domesticated species.
Range accounts for 161 million hectares (399 million acres), while
nonfederal pasture land accounts for 51 million hectares (125 million
acres). U.S. pasture land includes native grasslands, savannas,
alpine meadows, tundra, many wetlands, some deserts, and areas seeded
to introduced and genetically improved species.
The total area of nonfederal pasture and range declined by 7 percent,
approximately 6 million hectares (16 million acres), between 1982 and
1992.  Most of this land was converted to urban and suburban land
uses. The reasons for the decline in forested grazing lands are
decreasing demand for livestock, as reflected in static prices for
animals and animal fiber; conversion to shorter-rotation forests,
which have reduced the quality of available forage; and reduced
grazing on hilly terrains due to the resulting vulnerability to soil
Approximately 13 million hectares (33 million acres) of range and
pasture are still in a highly erodible state due to sheet and rill
erosion, and an additional 15 million hectares (38 million acres) are
highly erodible due to wind erosion.  Nevertheless, the general
condition of grazing lands, both range and pasture, has been
improving over the past twenty years.
Climate change would decrease the productivity of grazing lands, but
could actually benefit their overall ecological condition. Warmer and
drier conditions may adversely affect the land at first.  As extreme
drought continues, however, lack of easily available water could
result in reduced grazing, which could allow the land to recover.
Agricultural Land
The United States enjoys a natural abundance of productive
agricultural lands and a favorable climate for producing food crops,
feed grains, and other agricultural commodities, such as oil seed
crops. The area of U.S. cropland has declined by 9 percent in the
past decade--from 170 million hectares (420 million acres) to 155
million hectares (382 million acres)--as conservation programs for
the most environmentally sensitive and highly erodible lands have
removed approximately 16 million hectares (39 million acres) from
cropping systems.
Although the United States harvests about the same area as it did in
1910, it feeds a population that has grown by two and one-half times
since then, and its food exports have expanded considerably. This
heightened efficiency of U.S. agriculture is depicted in Figure 2-5,
which shows the yields of three major U.S. agricultural crops.
Climate change could enhance agricultural productivity in some areas.
Experimental results suggest that under a doubling of atmospheric CO2
and ideal water and nutrient conditions, corn, sugar cane, and
sorghum yields may increase by slightly less than 20 percent and
wheat, soybean and rice yields may increase by 20--60 percent.
Between 1947 and 1989, the total output of livestock and livestock
products rose 1.8 times, while during the same period production per
unit of breeding stock rose 2.2 times. The total number of cattle
peaked at 132 million head in 1975 and declined to 100 million head
in 1992. Sheep numbers over the past two decades have varied from 8.5
million head in 1977 to 7.7 million head in 1992. This reflects the
significant decline in average beef and lamb consumption per capita
in recent years.
Ruminant animals, such as cattle and sheep, produce significant
quantities of methane as part of their digestive process. The
breakdown of livestock manure is another source of methane. This gas
is second to carbon dioxide as a major contributor to global warming.
Wetland ecosystems, a substantial source of methane, represent some
of the more biologically important and ecologically significant
systems on the planet.  They represent a boundary condition
("ecotone") between land and aquatic ecosystems. As such, they
provide habitats for many types of organisms (both plant and animal);
serve as diverse ecological niches that promote preservation of
biodiversity; are the source of economic products for food, clothing,
and recreation; trap sediment, assimilate pollution, and recharge
ground water; regulate water flow to protect against storms and
flooding; anchor shorelines; and prevent erosion. A wide variety of
wetland types exists in the United States, ranging from
permafrost-underlain wetlands in Alaska to tropical rain forests in
Wetland ecosystems are highly dependent upon upland ecosystems and
are thus vulnerable to changes in the health of the upland ecosystems
as well as to environmental change brought about by shifts in climate
regimes. Coastal wetlands may be drowned by a rising sea and may be
unable to migrate inland because of human settlements. Prairie
potholes and riparian wetlands may decrease in dry areas made even
drier by changing climate. Tundra wetlands will shrink as
temperatures increase and allow the permafrost to thaw and drain.
Since the nation's founding in the eighteenth century, the
continental United States has lost 47 million of its original 89
million hectares (221 million acres) of wetlands. The data suggest
that the pace of wetland loss has slowed considerably in the past two
decades. For example, while net wetland losses from the mid-1950s to
the mid-1970s averaged 185,000 hectares (458,000 acres) per year, the
losses declined to about 117,000 hectares (290,000 acres) per year
from the mid-1970s to mid-1980s.  Agricultural uses have accounted
for about 54 percent of wetland loss since the colonial period of our
nation's history, and, according to the U.S.  Department of the
Interior, a significant additional share was lost as a result of
federal flood control and drainage projects. The reduced rate of
wetland loss since the mid-1980s is attributable to a combination of
government programs and low crop prices, which have reduced
conversions of wetlands to agricultural uses. Future losses from such
conversions are likely to be even smaller, as the United States
implements a "no net loss" policy for wetlands, a goal embraced in
Alaska's 71 million hectares (176 million acres) of wetlands easily
exceed the 42 million hectares (104 million acres) of wetlands in the
continental United States. Many of these areas are federally owned,
although precise figures are not available. Total wetland losses in
Alaska have been less than one percent since the mid-1800s, although
in coastal areas they have been higher.
Biological Resources
During the past twenty years, we have become more aware of the
reduction in the diversity of life at all levels, both within the
United States and worldwide. Warmer temperatures may exacerbate this
trend by shifting climate zones faster than ecosystems can migrate.
To better understand and catalogue both previous and future changes,
the United States has begun a comprehensive, nationwide survey of its
biodiversity, including its wildlife, called the National Biological
Information on endangered species is already available through
various sources. In 1991, the U.S.  government added 71 domestic
species to the Threatened and Endangered Species List, for a total of
668 species. Some 4,000 species remain candidates for listing. A 1990
assessment of recovery status for listed species revealed that 38
percent are declining, 10 percent are improving, 31 percent are
stable, 2 percent are extinct, and 19 percent are of unknown status.
Of the U.S. plant and animal species listed as threatened or
endangered in 1990, fully 40 percent are plants, and slightly more
than 10 percent are mammals, with approximately equal proportions
(about 14 percent) of birds, fish, and invertebrates, and a lesser
percentage (7.3 percent) of reptiles and amphibians.
Water Resources
The development of water resources has been key to the growth and
prosperity of the United States.  Abundant and reliable water systems
have enabled urban and agricultural centers to flourish in arid and
semi-arid regions of the United States. For instance, between 1954
and 1992, irrigated agricultural land more than doubled, from 12
million hectares (29 million acres) to 25 million hectares (62
million acres).
Currently, most of the nation's freshwater demands are met by
diversions from streams, rivers, lakes, and reservoirs and by
withdrawals from ground-water aquifers. Even though total withdrawals
of surface water more than doubled from 1950 to 1980, they remained
less than 21 percent of the renewable supply in 1980. However, some
areas of the country still experience intermittent water shortages
during periods of drought.
In the arid sections of the western United States, there is
increasing competition for water--not only from traditional
agricultural and hydropower sources, but also for drinking water in
growing urban areas, American Indian water rights, industry,
recreation, and support of natural ecosystems. The flows of many
streams in the West are fully allocated to current users, limiting
opportunities for expanded water use by major new facilities.
Recently enacted state legislation adopts a market- based approach to
water pricing and allocation, thus offering the potential to
alleviate some effects of projected shortfalls. Also pertinent is the
federal government's insistence that certain minimum-flow
requirements be met to preserve threatened and endangered species.
Potential climate changes, including changes in the periodicity and
frequency of precipitation and rising temperatures, may have a
significant effect on water resources and resource infrastructure.
Energy Resources
The United States has vast resources of fossil fuels (Table 2-1).
Coal, which has the highest emissions of greenhouse gases per unit of
energy, is particularly abundant, with current recoverable reserves
totaling about 265 billion short tons. The vast majority--88.9
percent--of this figure is bituminous coal. Lignite and anthracite
coal provide 9.5 and 1.5 percent of total coal reserves,
Government estimates suggest that other undiscovered economically
recoverable energy resources in the United States include 145.6
billion barrels of crude oil and 1,265.8 trillion cubic feet of
natural gas as of January 1, 1992. Proved reserves in the same year
were 23.7 billion barrels for oil and 165 trillion cubic feet for
natural gas. Proved reserves of oil have been declining ever since
the addition of reserves under Alaska's North Slope in 1970. U.S.
energy resources also include some 120 million kilograms (265 million
pounds) of uranium oxide, recoverable at $14 per kilogram ($30 per
pound) or less.
Knowledge of energy resources is important for placing the climate
change issue in context. The abundant fossil fuel resources of the
United States have contributed to low prices and relatively
energy-intensive activities. Concerns about global climate change may
make these resources relatively less attractive than renewable
resources or other forms of energy that produce lower greenhouse gas
The U.S. Economy
The United States can be characterized most accurately as a mixed
economy. Some economic activity is carried out by private decision
makers (e.g., companies and consumers) and organized in markets, and
other economic activity is carried out by federal, state, and local
governments. Much of the private-sector market activity in the U.S.
economy is subject to some sort of government action or oversight,
such as that provided by the antitrust division of the U.S.
Department of Justice.
Government and the Market Economy
Several principles, institutions, and technical factors have
contributed to the evolution of America's mixed economy. The first of
these is the respect for individual rights, including the right to
own and use private property to one's own advantage.
The U.S. economic system is also underpinned by a belief that
voluntary exchange is the most efficient means of organizing economic
activity. Put another way, in the absence of "market failures,"
relative prices would ideally be the sole basis on which economic
agents within the U.S. economy would make decisions about production
and consumption. Combined with a system of well-defined and
well-protected private-property rights, the price system would lead
to an allocation of the resources of the U.S.  economy that produces
the greatest possible social welfare.
However, markets do fail. The production of some goods and services
creates costs or benefits that are not captured by the price system,
causing too much or too little of the good or service to be produced
to maximize social welfare. In such cases, the U.S. government has
intervened to promote a more socially beneficial allocation of
For instance, the U.S. government (as well as state and local
governments) intervenes in the market to provide for public goods,
such as national defense and public infrastructure. Another common
reason for government intervention in the market is the presence of
externalities, which exist when the social costs of an activity
differ from its private costs. For example, vehicle owners bear only
part of the costs of emissions from motor vehicles; other members of
society and the environment bear the rest in the form of poor air
quality. As a practical matter, it is very difficult to establish
accurately the cost of the externality in order to internalize it by
a fee, a tax, or a regulation. Government intervention may include
limiting the physical quantity of pollution that individuals may
produce, or charging polluters a fee for each unit of pollution
In addition to providing public goods and attempting to mitigate the
effects of externalities, the federal government transfers wealth
among various members of the U.S. society for social, cultural, or
political purposes. Such transfers include commodity support to
agricultural producers, and income maintenance and health-care
provisions for low- income families.
While the role of government in the U.S. economy is large, many
government interventions are intended to facilitate or support
well-functioning markets. By protecting property rights, producing
such public goods as roads and other types of infrastructure,
reducing externalities, and ensuring a minimum standard of living for
all of its citizens, the U.S.  government fosters an environment in
which market forces can operate.
Finally, the federal government itself is a source of imperfection in
the U.S. economy. Over time, the government has created barriers
through its regulatory and fiscal processes that impede the smooth
functioning of markets, leading to wasteful inefficiencies.
Composition and Growth
The willingness of U.S. policymakers, the business community, and the
public to tackle more long-run and strategic environmental issues,
such as climate change, is influenced by the health of the economy.
A robust economy encourages this type of forward thinking, as
concerns about unemployment and growth lessen.
At the same time, policies to reduce greenhouse gases are likely to
benefit some parts of the economy, while adversely affecting others.
For instance, the current economic health and activities of the
energy-producing and -consuming sectors, the international trade
situation, and the state of the U.S. budget deficit are all important
factors in shaping U.S. climate change policies.
From 1960 to 1993, the U.S. economy grew at an average annual rate of
3 percent, raising the real gross domestic product (GDP) from nearly
$2 trillion to over $5 trillion (in 1987 dollars). With population
growth averaging 1.1 percent over the same period, this meant an
annual increase of approximately 1.8 percent in real GDP per capita,
from $10,903 in 1960 to $19,874 in 1993 (in 1987 dollars).
Employment over this period almost doubled--from 65 million to 120
million--as the labor force participation rate rose from 59 to 66
percent, with the largest growth in the work force attributed to
This rapid growth has been led by the U.S. service sector, which
includes communications, utilities, finance, insurance, and real
estate. Between 1960 and 1993, this sector expanded from 28.8 percent
of the economy to 36.5 percent. Employment in the service sector
nearly tripled, while employment in industries that might be directly
associated with the climate change issue (agriculture, mining,
forestry, and fisheries) declined by 287,000 full- time equivalents
(Figure 2-6).
To a large extent, pollution control expenditures move with the
economy, with increases in such expenditures during boom times and
reductions during recession. Nevertheless, real abatement
expenditures have increased as a percentage of GDP. From 1972 to
1992, pollution abatement and control expenditures rose from $46
billion to $88 billion per year, or from 1.5 to 1.8 percent of GDP.
The economic growth over the previous thirty years masks several
economic problems that may influence the design and implementation of
U.S. climate policy. Most important, there were serious structural
difficulties in the U.S. economy, evidenced by the low growth in
productivity over the last two decades. Annual productivity growth
averaged 3.1 percent from 1947 to 1973, but only 1.0 percent since
The increasing dependence of the United States on trade, coupled with
weak foreign economic performance over the past few years, has
increased the influence of external events on U.S. economic
performance. During 1991--93, the country experienced the worst
foreign economic performance in thirty years. In the 1990s, growing
U.S. reliance on foreign computers led a surge of imported capital
goods, with overall imports in 1993 at their highest percent of GDP
since World War II (13.2 percent).
In addition, from 1989 to 1993, the U.S. economy grew by only 1.8
percent annually, with the civilian unemployment rate above 6 percent
since November 1990 (but attaining 6 percent in May 1994). The
"recovery" that began in 1991 has been slow by historical standards.
The U.S. economic expansion consolidated in 1993, setting the stage
for sustained growth in 1994. In the first quarter of 1994, real GDP
grew at the long-run historical average rate of 3 percent. The
outlook for the U.S. economy is for moderate, but steady economic
growth over the mid-1990s, with a projected annual growth in GDP of
2.5 to 3 percent.  This growth should be sufficient to reduce
unemployment to about 5.5 percent by 1999, while producing healthy
increases in real disposable income and increased real wages.
The U.S. Federal Budget
Since 1970, federal outlays for natural resources and the environment
have increased sevenfold.  Federal discretionary outlays for the
management of the environment and natural resources totaled $31.3
billion in 1993 and $33.6 billion in 1994. The proposed increase, to
$35.2 billion in 1995, evidences a deep and continuing commitment to
environmental protection, given that overall discretionary federal
outlays proposed for 1995 are unchanged from 1993 actual spending.
The projections for tight federal budgets in the foreseeable future
are directly related to deepening public concern over budget
deficits. The federal budget has been in deficit for thirty-three of
the past thirty-five years, with the peak deficit in 1992 of $290
billion. Until 1975, the ratio of deficit to GDP was stable or
falling. However, from 1975 through 1992, this ratio began an upward
trend, which fluctuated with the business cycle (Figure 2- 7). Until
the 1980s, the ratio of public debt to GDP also was stable or
falling. From 1980 through 1992, however, this ratio dramatically
Changes in the tax code and U.S. budget outlays enacted in 1993,
along with projections for stable growth, are expected to reverse the
trend of ever- increasing deficits, while reducing the ratio of the
deficit to GDP to about 2 percent by 1995.
Growing political pressure for substantial reductions in the U.S.
deficit has recently been reflected in procedures that make it
difficult for new or expanded programs to pass the Congress. In 1990
Congress passed the "pay-as-you-go" provisions of the Omnibus Budget
Reconciliation Act, which created caps on total discretionary
spending. Thus, any increase in such spending passed by Congress must
be offset by decreases elsewhere. The same process applies to passage
of new mandatory spending programs, which can be offset either by
cuts in existing spending or with tax increases. In light of these
budget-constraining systems and a federal budget that is growing only
slightly in nominal terms, new programs, such as those that might be
needed to respond to The Climate Change Action Plan, will be in
direct competition for funds from a host of existing and other new
National Revenue Structure
Federal, state, and local governments in the United States collect
most of their general revenue from taxes on income, retail sales, and
property.  Environmental programs are mostly funded through federal
agencies, but state and local governments contribute substantially.
Federal Revenue
The major sources of federal government revenue are individual and
corporate income taxes (Table 2-2).  Indeed, the federal government
raises more money from income taxes than state and local governments
raise from all taxes combined.
The U.S. government levies no property or general sales tax, but does
collect sales taxes on selected excises, such as motor fuel and
alcoholic beverages.  The government also earns revenues from
environmental and natural resource management. In 1991, it collected
over $8.4 billion in revenues from such activities as leasing and
extracting natural resources on federal lands, taxes on emissions of
chlorofluorocarbons, and penalties for oil spills.
State Revenue
Sales taxes are the largest single source of state revenue (Table
2-3). Almost all states also administer income taxes, but their
aggregate collections are much smaller than federal income tax
revenue. All fifty of the states receive revenue from sales or gross
receipts taxes, and only five do not impose a general sales tax.
States also levy excise taxes on motor fuel and alcohol.
Local Revenue
Property taxes are by far the major source of local tax revenue
(Table 2-2). It is not uncommon for cities to levy general sales and
local income taxes, but in many cases the taxes are limited to
coverage of employee payroll, rather than taxes on income from all
sources. Local income taxes are often administered locally, whereas
local sales taxes are usually "piggybacked" on the administration of
state sales taxes. Relatively high local tax rates are often a key
factor in the movement of taxpayers from cities into suburbs, where
their energy consumption for transportation and heating is generally
U.S. Energy Production and Consumption
The United States is the world's largest energy producer and
consumer. The nation's patterns of energy use are determined in part
by its economic growth, land area, climate regimes, low population
density, and significant indigenous resources. Much of the
infrastructure of U.S. cities, highways, and industries was developed
in response to abundant and relatively inexpensive energy resources.
Figure 2-8 depicts the energy flows through the U.S. economy in 1992.
The effects of global warming are likely to change patterns of our
nation's use of energy. For instance, regional shifts in economic
activities and population related to global warming will affect the
U.S. energy mix, because different regions of the country rely on
different mixes of energy resources to generate power and meet other
energy needs.  Furthermore, activities to mitigate greenhouse gas
emissions and adapt to any negative effects of global warming that
remain will surely be based on substantial involvement of the energy
sectors. In general, this involvement is likely to take the form of
changes in the energy mix or technologies used to produce
commodities--or even in the types of commodities that are
produced--in residential and commercial energy use, and in vehicles
and the fuels that power them. Changes in the behavior of energy
users of all types are also likely outcomes of mitigation or
adaptation activities.
Energy Production
Coal, natural gas, and petroleum have long comprised the bulk of U.S.
energy production since 1960, accounting for 96.1 percent of
production in 1960 but falling to 85.5 percent in 1993. The
commercial introduction of nuclear electric power and expanded
hydroelectric generation has displaced some of the fossil fuel
production (Figure 2-9), but further displacement is not expected to
continue, given public opposition to nuclear power and to further
damming of rivers. Energy production from other renewable resources,
such as geothermal, solar, wind, and waste products, is still a small
share of the total.
Before 1970, the United States imported a small amount of energy,
primarily in the form of petroleum. Lower acquisition costs for
imported crude oil in the early 1970s, however, put U.S. oil
producers at a comparative disadvantage. By 1971, this gap led to a
divergence in trends of energy production and consumption.
Domestic oil production is projected to continue to decline, due to
depletion of existing reserves, with few new discoveries. Oil
production may increase slightly after 2006, however, in response to
rising prices and technological gains. Even so, as the increase in
oil consumption continues to outpace production, U.S. net oil imports
are expected to rise to 60 percent of U.S. consumption by 2010, up
from about 44 percent in 1993 (U.S. DOE/EIA 1994b).
Coal is the largest source of domestic energy. With expected
increases in demand for electric power production and exports, coal's
share of U.S. energy production is projected to increase from 31
percent in 1991 to 35 percent in 2010.
Because of the availability of lower-cost sources, domestic
production of natural gas--the second largest source of domestic
energy supply--is expected to reverse its historical decline.
However, the share of energy production contributed by natural gas is
expected to decrease from 29 percent in 1993 to 27 percent in 2010.
Between now and 2010, emerging renewable sources-- especially solar,
wind, biomass, geothermal, and biofuels, which currently contribute a
scant 0.2 percent to domestic energy supply--are expected to grow
steadily at rates exceeding those of other sources. In addition,
efficiency improvements will yield increases in hydroelectric energy
Energy Consumption
On the consumption side, rapid economic growth, even when combined
with the decreasing energy intensity of the transportation and
buildings sectors, resulted in an 80 percent increase in energy
demand from 1960 to 1979. Most of the increased demand was met by oil
imports and by increased consumption of coal and natural gas. Demand
dampened during and after the international oil price shocks in
1973--74 and 1979--80, with some significant declines in oil use.
In 1986, real crude oil prices fell dramatically to one-third of peak
rates during the 1979--80 supply disruption and were less than peak
rates during the 1973--74 disturbance. Since 1986, crude oil prices
and retail oil prices have fluctuated. While rising from 1980 through
1988, U.S. oil consumption has leveled off as oil prices recovered
and U.S.  economic growth slowed.
Growth in the economy, population, and vehicle miles traveled could
have propelled U.S. energy consumption far beyond its nearly 100
percent growth since 1960, if not for impressive reductions in the
energy intensity of the U.S. economy. There has been a 27 percent
decrease in energy use per dollar of GDP from its 1970 peak, with
intensity basically flat after 1986. Most of these efficiency
improvements have come from the industrial sector, although the
household and transportation sectors also experienced gains. In terms
of the level of energy intensity relative to other countries, the
United States ranks slightly behind the Organization of Economic
Cooperation and Development's (OECD's) average in energy use per
dollar of GDP--0.43 kilograms of oil equivalent per dollar of GDP,
versus 0.41 for OECD--and significantly behind Norway and Japan. In
contrast, Canadian energy intensity is considerably higher than that
of the United States, at 0.53 kilograms of oil equivalent per dollar
of GDP.
Turning to consumption by sector, in 1993, the generation,
transmission, and distribution of electricity accounted for 20.54
quadrillion BTUs (quads) of energy consumption, leaving 63.2 quads
for direct consumption by end users. Industry and transportation
consumed nearly three-quarters of this direct energy, while the
residential and commercial sectors used 27 percent.
Industrial Energy Use
Comprised of manufacturing, construction, agriculture, and mining,
the industrial sector accounts for slightly over one-third of total
energy use in the United States, and approximately 33 percent of
total U.S. carbon emissions in 1990.  Industry's share of end-use
energy consumption has dropped significantly over the past thirty
years. In 1960, industrial energy use accounted for 46 percent of all
energy consumed; by 1972, it had fallen to 42 percent, and by 1990,
to 36.8 percent.
Similarly, from 1972 to 1990, industrial energy intensity (energy use
divided by industrial contribution to GDP) improved by 35.3 percent.
Approximately two-thirds of the decline in intensity over the period
1972--90 was due to structural shifts, such as the changing array of
products that industry produced. Since 1972, the energy savings due
to reductions in energy intensity has grown to more than 12
quadrillion BTUs annually (Figure 2- 10).
The manufacturing sector has steadily reduced its energy intensity
over the past two decades, although the rate of improvement has
slowed since 1985, when energy prices fell. Of the fifteen major
energy- consuming industry groups in the manufacturing sector, most
continued to reduce their energy intensity between 1980 and 1991.
Residential and Commercial Energy Use
The number, size, and climatic distribution of residential and
commercial buildings, as well as the market penetration of heating
and cooling technologies and major appliances, are good indicators of
energy consumption and greenhouse gas emissions associated with
residential and commercial activities. Today, these activities
account for roughly 35 percent of the U.S. carbon emissions.
The United States has about 94 million housing units, approximately
half of which are detached and occupied by a single family. Since
1960, the average number of people per residence has declined from
3.33 to 2.63. As a consequence, the average heated space per person
has increased to 56 square meters (602 square feet) in 1990, compared
to 50 square meters (534 square feet) in 1980.
In addition, during this period the penetration of major heating and
cooling technologies and of major energy-using appliances increased
substantially. By 1990, nearly all U.S. households had space heating,
water heating, refrigeration, cooking, and color television sets;
about 68 percent had some form of space cooling; 75 percent had
clothes washers; and roughly 50 percent had clothes dryers and
dishwashers. On the other hand, this period has seen large gains in
energy efficiency, which, in spite of the growth in appliance
penetration and heating/cooling space per person, have resulted in a
25 percent drop in average household energy use-- from 138 million
BTUs per household in 1978 to 101 million BTUs in 1987. On net, with
the substantial increase in the number of U.S. households, overall
energy use in this sector has remained roughly stable since the
The commercial sector has been the fastest-growing economic sector in
the United States. In 1990, there were about 70 billion square feet
of commercial building space, which encompasses all nonresidential,
privately owned, and public buildings. Virtually all commercial
buildings are heated, and over 80 percent are cooled. In addition,
the past decade has seen a major increase in the use of computers and
other energy-consuming office equipment. Rapid growth in this sector
has substantially increased the energy services required by
commercial buildings, but, as in the residential sector, substantial
efficiency gains have reduced the net increases in energy demand and
carbon emissions.
Transportation Energy Use
The U.S. transportation system has evolved into a multimodal system,
including highway, mass transit, air, rail, waterborne, and pipeline
transport (Figure 2-11). The current U.S. surface transportation
system is dominated by automobiles and light trucks, with the latter
now comprising almost 40 percent of new passenger vehicle purchases.
In 1990, the highway share of passenger travel was 85 percent, with
most of the remainder accounted for by air travel (11 percent). In
contrast, the share of bus and rail was 4 percent.
Over 3.1 trillion ton-miles of freight are moved in the United States
each year. The predominant mode of intercity freight is rail,
followed by waterways, highways, pipelines, and air. Although the
trend is now reversing, between 1960 and 1990, the number of railroad
cars in use declined, whereas the number of motor vehicles and air
carriers increased dramatically, and the number of water-transport
vessels and oil pipelines grew steadily.
Motor vehicle ownership, use, and efficiency provide good indicators
of the nation's energy consumption in the transportation sector,
which accounts for approximately one-third of U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions. Between 1960 and 1991, the number of cars and trucks
registered in the United States more than doubled--from 74 million to
192 million. Rising incomes have much to do with this growth in
vehicle ownership. Population growth has been important as well.
Since 1960, the driving-age population has grown from 121 million to
192 million in 1990, while licensed drivers have increased from 72
percent of this group to 87 percent over the same period.
A 50 percent increase in vehicle kilometers traveled since 1969 has
been partly offset by a 34 percent decrease in the amount of fuel
consumed per kilometer. In 1990, personal passenger vehicles in the
United States traveled a total of 2.4 trillion kilometers (1.6
trillion miles), using 273 billion liters (82 billion gallons) of
fuel, with an average fuel efficiency of almost 8.9 kilometers
traveled per liter (21 miles per gallon) of fuel. By contrast, in
1969 U.S. personal-passenger vehicles traveled a total of 1.6
trillion kilometers (1 trillion miles), using 242 billion liters (64
gallons) of fuel, with an average fuel efficiency of about 5.7
km/liter (4 mpg).
The causes for the rapid rise in vehicle miles traveled are many,
although their relative importance is unclear. In 1990, there were
more personal vehicles than licensed drivers (1.02 vehicles per
licensed driver), compared to 0.74 vehicles per licensed driver in
1960. This increase in ownership rates translates into increased
vehicle use by reducing people's need to carpool or use public
transportation. And these vehicles are being driven farther--up from
5,906 kilometers (9,510 miles) in 1960 to 7,415 kilometers (11,940
miles) on average in 1990. Greater vehicle ownership and use are
related to changing patterns of land use, the changing composition
and location of work and shopping centers, reduced costs of driving,
increased labor force participation of women, and a host of other
U.S. Governing Institutions
The political and institutional systems participating in the
development and protection of the nation's environmental and natural
resources are as varied as the resources themselves. These systems
span federal, state, and local government jurisdictions, and include
legislative, regulatory, judicial, and executive institutions.
The U.S. government is divided into three separate branches: the
executive branch, which includes the executive office of the
President, departments, and independent agencies; the legislative
branch (the U.S. Congress); and the judicial branch (the U.S.  court
system). There is a distinct separation of powers in this tripartite
system--quite different from parliamentary governments.
Federal Departments  and Agencies
There are fourteen executive departments in the executive branch,
seven agencies, and a host of commissions, boards, other independent
establishments, and government corporations. The traditional
functions of a department or agency are to help the President propose
legislation; to enact, administer, and enforce regulations and rules
implementing legislation; to implement executive orders; and to
perform other activities in support of the institution's mission,
such as encouraging and funding research, development, and
demonstration of new technologies.
No single department, agency, or level of government in the United
States has sole responsibility for the panoply of issues associated
with climate change. In many cases, the responsibilities of federal
agencies are established by law, with limited administrative
discretion. At the federal level, U.S. climate change policy is
determined by an interagency coordinating committee, chaired from
within the Executive Office of the President, and staffed with
members of the executive offices and officials from the U.S.
Departments of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Treasury,
Commerce, Interior, and State, as well as the U.S. Environmental
Protection Agency.
The U.S. Congress
Responsibility for climate change and other environmental and natural
resource issues at the national level also resides with Congress,
which is the legislative branch of the U.S. government.  Congress
influences environmental policy through two principal vehicles: the
creation of laws and the oversight of the federal executive branch.
Under its constitutional authority, the Senate must provide its
advice and consent before the United States can ratify international
treaties, such as the U.N.  Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The U.S. Congress consists of two elected chambers, the Senate and
the House of Representatives, having generally equal functions in
lawmaking. The Senate has 100 members, two representing each state;
the House has 435 members, each of whom represents a district in a
state allocated by population. Less populated regions of the country,
therefore, have proportionately greater influence in the Senate than
in the House. Environmental proposals, like most other laws, may be
initiated in either chamber.  After their introduction, proposals--or
"bills"--are referred to specialized committees and subcommittees,
where most legislative work takes place.
Committees and subcommittees hold public hearings on the bills to
receive testimony from interested and expert parties. After reviewing
the testimony, they deliberate and revise the bills. Committees then
submit the bills for debate by the full membership of that chamber.
Differences between bills originating in either the House or the
Senate are resolved in a formal conference between the two chambers.
To become a law, a bill must be approved by the majorities of both
chambers, and then must be signed by the President. The President may
oppose and veto a bill, but Congress may override a veto with a two-
thirds majority from each chamber.
State and Local Governments
States, localities, and even regional associations still exert
significant influence over the passage, initiation, and
administration of environmental, energy, natural resource, and other
climate-related programs. For example, the authority to regulate
electricity production and distribution lies with state and local
public utility commissions. In addition, the regulation of building
codes--strongly tied to the energy efficiency of buildings--is also
controlled at the state and local levels.
Each of the fifty states enjoys significant autonomy in its approach
to environmental regulation and management activities. States
implement federal laws by issuing permits and by monitoring
compliance with regulatory standards. States also generally have the
discretion to set standards more stringent than the national
standards. In addition to regulation, some states and localities have
developed programs that encourage energy efficiency and conservation
or otherwise mitigate projected levels of greenhouse gas emissions.
Local power to regulate land use is derived from a state's power to
enact legislation to promote the health, safety, and welfare of its
citizens. States vary in the degree to which they delegate these
"powers" to local governments, but land use usually is controlled to
a considerable extent by local governments (county or city). This
control may take the form of authority to adopt comprehensive land-
use plans, to enact zoning ordinances and subdivision regulations, or
to restrict shoreline, floodplain, or wetland development.
The U.S. Court System
The U.S. court system is also crucial to the disposition of
environmental issues. Many environmental cases are litigated in the
federal courts. The federal court system is three-tiered:  the
district court level; the first appellate (circuit) court level; and
the second and final appellate level--the U.S. Supreme Court. There
are ninety-four federal district courts, organized into federal
circuits, and thirteen federal appeals courts.
Cases usually enter the federal court system at the district court
level. However, disputes between states may be brought directly
before the Supreme Court. In civil environmental cases, complaints
are brought on behalf of the government and are filed by the U.S.
attorney general. Any other person (regardless of citizenship) may
also file a complaint alleging a grievance.
Sanctions and relief in civil environmental cases may include
monetary penalties, awards of damages, and injunctive and declaratory
relief. For example, courts may direct that pollution cease, that
contaminated sites be cleaned up, or that environmental impacts be
assessed before a project proceeds. Criminal cases under federal
environmental laws may be brought only by the government (the
attorney general or state attorneys general).  Criminal sanctions in
environmental cases may include fines and imprisonment.
Scientific Institutions
Climate change is a highly technical, scientific issue. Political
action, at any level, requires sound advice and information from the
scientific community. Thus, governments must have access to the best
scientific information available. The independent, congressionally
chartered National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy
of Engineering (NAE) are important sources of high- level scientific
advice. The NAS is a key link between the academic and federal
research communities, convening special study groups. An example of
issues addressed is the identification of prudent actions that could
be taken to reduce greenhouse gases or adapt to global warming. NAS
and NAE panels are periodically requested by Congress or federal
science agencies to address global climate change issues. At present
the NAS is going through a transition to strengthen its ability to
provide scientific advice to the public sector that is both timely
and pertinent to policy decisions.
Organizing advice on climate change for the federal government is the
task of the newly established cabinet-level National Science and
Technology Council (NSTC). Chaired by the President, the Council was
created to coordinate research and development on science and
technology. One of the committees under the NSTC focuses exclusively
on environmental and natural resource issues. The largest and most
mature program under this committee is the U.S. Global Change
Research Program, described in depth in Chapter 6 of this report. A
high-ranking, private-sector committee has also been formed to
interact with the NSTC and enhance opportunities for public--private
partnerships. The President's Committee of Advisors on Science and
Technology provides the links to the private sector that will help
guide federal investments in science toward national goals.
U.S. Policies Related to Climate Change
U.S. climate change policies focus primarily on mitigating climate
change. Where mitigation strategies are infeasible, policymakers must
work to identify ways to adapt to those effects, so as to minimize
environmental and economic losses.
Agriculture and Land-Use Policies
For the past fifty years, agricultural and forestry policies have
increasingly reflected the principles of conservation and sustainable
use for food and fiber production. Legislation and public--private
partnerships have focused on protecting a productive resource base by
creating incentives to reduce soil erosion on crop, range, and
pasture lands; maintain or expand wetlands; enhance privately owned
wildlife habitat; and improve water quality.
U.S. policies to improve forest conservation on both public and
private lands involve initiatives for reforestation, improved harvest
systems, and the sustained use of all forest resources. In 1991, over
25 million trees were planted or improved in urban areas alone. In
1992, nearly $20 million was available to cost-share tree planting
and improvements in rural areas. The federal government also
encourages state foresters and private nonindustrial landowners to
develop forest stewardship plans before harvesting their timber.
Recently, the U.S. government adopted the principle of ecosystem
management for publicly owned forest lands, announced an end to
clearcutting as a standard harvesting practice on those lands, and
launched a major research effort focusing on ecosystem management.
The conservation title of the 1985 Farm Bill and its subsequent
amendments changed the priorities of U.S.  federal soil- and
water-conservation agencies, of their state and local program
participants, and of farmers themselves. It accomplished this through
such programs as the Conservation Reserve Program and the
"Swampbuster" and "Sodbuster" provisions, by giving farmers
incentives to prevent pollution and conserve highly erodible lands.
The Conservation Reserve Program pays farmers for easements on
environmentally sensitive cropland, including farmed wetlands and
prior-converted cropland. The Swampbuster provision protects the
environmental values of wetlands by severely restricting the
conversion of wetlands to cropland. The Sodbuster provision reduces
the incentive for converting grasslands and forests to crop
production by requiring the use of conservation measures on all such
converted land.
Environmental Policies
In the twenty-four years since the first Earth Day, the United States
has struggled to achieve a balance between the protection of the
environment on the one hand, and the consumption of resources and
discharge of waste on the other. In particular, there has been a
tension between the use of energy that fuels our economy and the need
to protect our environment.
Until the late 1980s, U.S. environmental programs were largely
focused on directly controlling the environmental releases from the
energy-producing sector and heavy-manufacturing industries that have
historically used a significant amount of energy, such as the metal
production and pulp and paper industries.
From 1970 to 1990, the U.S. Congress enacted the Clean Air Act, the
Clean Water Act, and the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act,
which empowered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and
other federal agencies to place significant environmental controls on
U.S. industries, in particular on the extraction, production,
distribution, and use of energy throughout our economy. During this
period, EPA directed industrial facilities to use "end-of- pipe"
pollution control technologies that often required significant
amounts of energy to operate.
In the latter half of the 1980s, the United States began to focus
more on preventing pollution and promoting energy efficiency than on
technologies that controlled the pollution after it had been
produced. For instance, EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
are now promoting and implementing a series of voluntary
energy-efficiency programs that encourage major U.S. companies to
reduce their electrical energy consumption at their facilities.
Besides preventing pollution, this reduced energy consumption can
result in substantial profits for program participants.
Another major shift in the direction of U.S.  environmental policy
was a new emphasis on identifying effective policies for reducing
environmental pollution other than direct "command- and-control"
regulation. For instance, under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990,
EPA is working with utilities to curb sulfur dioxide levels through
an "allowance trading" system that allows them to buy and sell to
each other sulfur dioxide permits as a means of meeting requirements
for reducing emissions.
Energy Policies
DOE supports a broad range of energy technology research,
development, demonstration, and deployment programs. Virtually all of
the technologies that DOE is developing could lead to significant
reductions in greenhouse gases, especially beyond 2000. The Energy
Policy Act of 1992 has expanded these efforts and has authorized many
new initiatives. It particularly emphasizes measures likely to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions, such as expanded efficiency standards and
incentives, the accelerated development and deployment of
renewable-energy technologies, and the introduction of alternative
fuels in the transportation sector.
Transportation Policies
Traditionally, U.S. transportation policy has focused on promoting
commerce and trade, national security concerns, safety, and personal
mobility.  Along with other factors, this focus has contributed to
the development of an extensive local and interstate highway network
and a widespread dependency on the automobile. While these original
goals are still highly valued, increasing concerns about the
environmental impacts of the construction and use of transportation
facilities have led policymakers to reevaluate traditional methods by
which to achieve transportation policy objectives.  The result has
been an aggressive campaign by federal transportation officials to
encourage more effective use of the existing transportation system
and increased flexibility for state and local transportation
officials in deciding how to meet their citizens' demand for safe,
efficient, and environmentally friendly travel. Examples include
promoting carpools, the use of mass transit, and telecommuting over
single-passenger-vehicle travel.
Environmental concerns, including greenhouse gas emissions, have
emerged as a priority in U.S.  transportation policy. Significant
federal efforts to limit the impacts of transportation on
environmental quality began in the 1960s, in response to concerns
about urban air quality and impacts of road construction on the
natural environment.
In the 1970s, the federal government established standards for
automotive fuel efficiency, based on the average fuel-efficiency
levels of all automobiles sold in the United States by each producer.
These norms, called the "corporate average fuel economy" (CAFE)
standards have risen from an initial level of 7.7. kilometers per
liter (18 miles per gallon) in 1978 to 12 kpl (27.5 mpg) in 1990. As
a result, U.S. average fuel efficiency has risen from about 9 kpl (14
mpg) in 1978 to 13 kpl (21 mpg) in 1990. Large increases in overall
vehicle miles traveled, however, have offset these gains in fuel
Recent legislation reflects a growing awareness of the environmental
implications of transportation policy. In 1991, the President signed
into law a major revision and updating of U.S. transportation law and
programs, called the Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act
(ISTEA), as well as a major revision to the Clean Air Act. Together,
these acts integrate environmental and transportation planning and
policymaking at the federal, state, and local levels, to an
unprecedented degree. For instance, state and local governments will
be considering congestion management and
transportation-demand-management strategies (including market
pricing), which will have the ancillary effect of reducing greenhouse
gas emissions.
The Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 also set federal and state
agencies on a course to develop and promote alternative-fueled
vehicles. To address continuing air pollution problems in U.S.
cities, the Amendments called for tighter vehicle-emission standards
and other emission-reduction measures for areas violating the
National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ambient tropospheric ozone.
As a result, some cities and states--most notably California--have
instituted "low-emission-vehicle" programs, which require that a
small but growing portion of new-car sales be composed of these
vehicles. Alternative-fuel infrastructure and vehicle conversions are
also receiving a boost through the use of ISTEA funds. Some types of
alternative-fuel vehicles could result in lower emissions per mile.
Text Box: Clean Air Act Amendments
Implementation of the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments achieves
substantial reductions in greenhouse gases and their chemical
precursors and contributes to the goals of the Action Plan by:
--  Directly reducing carbon dioxide as a result of more efficient
electricity generation.
--  Reducing U.S. emissions of volatile organic compounds, carbon
monoxide, and nitrogen oxides, which will curb ground-level ozone, in
addition to reducing emissions of the more familiar pollutants, such
as sulfur dioxide.
--  Promoting enhanced energy conservation and clean fuels, such as
natural gas.
--  Developing and implementing programs involving nonregulatory
approaches for the reduction of air pollutants, including CO2
--  Requiring EPA to prepare national and international inventories
of methane, monitor and report CO2 emissions from certain stationary
sources, and develop a research program to measure, monitor, and
analyze air pollutants.
Text Box: The U.S. Energy Policy Act
Several titles of the U.S. Energy Policy Act (EPAct) are extremely
important to the overall U.S. strategy of reducting greenhouse gas
--  Title I--The energy efficiency title establishes
energy-efficiency standards, promotes research and development of
energy-efficient technologies, promotes dissemination of
energy-saving information, and provides incentives for state and
local authorities to promote energy efficiency.
--  Titles III,  IV,  V, and VI--The alternative fuels and vehicle
titles provide monetary incentives, establish federal requirements,
and provide for research, design, and development of fuels and
vehicles that can reduce oil use and, in some cases, carbon emissions
as well.
--  Titles XII, XIX, XXI, and XXII--The renewable- energy title, the
revenue provisions, the energy and environment title, and the energy
and economic growth title promote increased research, development,
production, and use of renewable-energy sources and more
energy-efficient technologies.
--  Title XVI--The global climate change title provides for the
collection, analysis, and reporting of information pertaining to
global climate change, including a voluntary reporting program to
recognize utility and industry efforts to reduce greenhouse gas
--  Title XXIV--This title facilitates efforts to increase the
efficiency and electric power production of existing federal and
nonfederal hydroelectric facilities.
--  Title XXVIII--This title streamlines licensing for nuclear
plants, which enables nuclear power to displace carbon-emitting
Text Box: Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act
The Intermodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) of 1991
provides for improved operation of the transportation system and
gives state and local governments increased flexibility in spending
federal funds for a variety of projects. that would help reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. For instance, state and local
transportation officials may redirect federal highway construction
funds toward the development of high-occupancy-vehicle (carpool)
lanes and transit-facilities. Additionally, ISTEA provides for
testing and implementing intelligent- vehicle and highway-system
technologies and services to reduce congestion, energy use, and
emissions. The Act also created the Congestion Management and Air
Quality Improvement Program to allow state and local officials to
direct transportation funds to help certain areas meet the standards
set by the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990.
Chapter 3. Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Central to any study of climate change is the development of an
emission inventory that identifies and quantifies a country's primary
sources and sinks of greenhouse gases. The inventory process is
important for two reasons: (1) it provides a basis for the ongoing
development of a comprehensive and detailed methodology for
estimating sources and "sinks" of greenhouse gases, and (2) it
provides a common and consistent mechanism that enables all signatory
countries to the United Nations' Framework Convention on Climate
Change to estimate emissions and to compare the relative
contributions of different emission sources and greenhouse gases to
climate change. Moreover, systematically and consistently estimating
emissions at the national and international levels is a prerequisite
for evaluating the cost-effectiveness and feasibility of pursuing
possible mitigation strategies and adopting emission-reduction
This chapter summarizes the sources and sinks of U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions. The methods used to estimate emissions and sinks, as well
as the uncertainties associated with using them, are reported in
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks:
1991--1993, a supporting document to this Climate Action Report (U.S.
EPA 1994). Although estimates are provided for all four years, the
1990 estimates are considered the base year, because the Framework
Convention on Climate Change specifies that countries should submit
inventories of their greenhouse gas emissions for the year 1990.
The emission estimates presented here were calculated using the IPCC
Draft Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories (IPCC/OECD
1994), to ensure that the emission inventories submitted to the
Framework Convention are consistent and comparable across sectors and
among nations. The United States has followed these guidelines,
except where more detailed data or methodologies were available for
major U.S. sources of emissions. In such cases, the United States
expanded on the IPCC Guidelines to provide a more comprehensive and
accurate account of U.S. emissions. Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas
Emissions and Sinks for 1990- 1993 documents these sources, explains
the reasons for diverging from the IPCC Guidelines, and presents the
uncertainties associated with each emission estimate.
Recent Trends in U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous
oxide (N2O), and ozone (O3).  Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), a family of
human-made compounds, its substitute hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), and
other compounds, such as perfluorinated carbons (PFCs), are also
greenhouse gases. In addition, there are other "photochemically
important" gases, such as carbon monoxide (CO), oxides of nitrogen
(NOX), and nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs) that are
not greenhouse gases, but contribute indirectly to the greenhouse
effect.  These are commonly referred to as "tropospheric ozone
precursors" because they influence the rate at which ozone and other
gases are created and destroyed in the atmosphere. For convenience,
all gases discussed in this chapter are generically referred to as
"greenhouse gases" (unless otherwise noted), although the reader
should keep these distinctions in mind. This chapter also reports
U.S.  emissions of sulfur dioxide (SO2). Sulfur gases-- primarily
SO2--are believed to contribute negatively to the greenhouse effect.
Although carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide occur naturally
in the atmosphere, their recent atmospheric build-up appears to be
largely the result of human activities. This build-up has altered the
composition of the Earth's atmosphere and may affect future global
climate. Since 1800, atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide
have increased by more than 25 percent, methane concentrations have
more than doubled, and nitrous oxide concentrations have risen
approximately 8 percent (IPCC 1992).
And from the 1950s until the mid-1980s, when international concern
over CFCs grew, the use of these gases increased nearly 10 percent
per year.  However, the consumption of CFCs is declining quickly, as
they are phased out under the 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances
That Deplete the Ozone Layer. In contrast, use of CFC substitutes is
expected to grow significantly.
The current U.S. greenhouse gas inventory for 1990-- 93 is summarized
in Table 3-1. For the 1990 base year, total U.S. emissions were 1,444
million metric tons of carbon equivalent (MMTCE). To be consistent
with the IPCC Guidelines (IPCC/OECD 1994), this estimate excludes
emissions of 22.6 MMTCE from international transport.
As the table shows, changes in CO2 emissions from fossil fuel
consumption had the greatest impact on U.S. emissions during this
period. While U.S.  emissions of CO2 in 1991 were approximately 1.2
percent lower than 1990 emission levels, in 1992 they were about 1.5
percent over 1991 levels, thus returning emissions to about 1990
levels. This trend is largely attributable to changes in total energy
consumption resulting from the economic slowdown in the U.S. economy
and the subsequent recovery. Based on preliminary data for 1993, the
upward trend since 1991 has continued, with 1993 CO2 emissions from
fossil fuel combustion approximately 2.4 percent greater than in
U.S. CO2 emissions were partly offset by an uptake of carbon in U.S.
forests of 119 MMTCE. This carbon absorption was due to intensified
forest-management practices and the regeneration of forest land
previously cleared for cropland and pasture.
Methane, nitrous oxide, and HFCs and PFCs represent a much smaller
portion of total emissions than CO2.  Overall, emissions of these
gases remained relatively constant from 1990 to 1992. Methane
emissions from coal mining declined slightly due to small decreases
in coal production and increases in coalbed methane recovery. Nitrous
oxide emissions remained relatively constant, while HFC emissions
increased slightly, due to increased production of HCFC-22, which
increased by-product emissions of HFC-23.
Figure 3-1 illustrates the relative contributions of the primary
greenhouse gases to total U.S. emissions in 1990. These contributions
were calculated based on the global warming potentials (GWPs) of
these gases, as presented in the figure. Due largely to fossil fuel
consumption, carbon dioxide emissions accounted for the largest
share--85 percent. Methane accounted for 11 percent of total
emissions, which included contributions from landfills and
agricultural activities, among others. The other gases were less
important, with nitrous oxide emissions comprising 2 percent of total
U.S.  emissions; HFCs, slightly over 1 percent; and PFCs, about 0.3
The emissions of the photochemically important gases CO, NOX, and
NMVOCs are not included in Figure 3-1 because there is no agreed-upon
method to estimate their contribution to climate change. These gases
only affect radiative forcing indirectly. However, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency prepares publications that provide
data and trends on annual emissions of these gases from 1940 to the
present (e.g., U.S. EPA 1993b). Also, any gases covered under the
Montreal Protocol are not included in this figure because their use
is being phased out, and the IPCC Guidelines (IPCC/OECD 1994)
recommend excluding gases covered by the Montreal Protocol.
The following sections present the anthropogenic sources of
greenhouse gas emissions, briefly discuss the emission pathways,
summarize the emission estimates, and explain the relative importance
of emissions from each source category.
The global carbon cycle is made up of large carbon flows and
reservoirs. Every year, hundreds of billions of tons of carbon in the
form of CO2 are absorbed by the oceans, trees, and other carbon
"sinks" and are emitted to the atmosphere through natural processes.
When in equilibrium, carbon flows among the various reservoirs
roughly balance. Since the Industrial Revolution, however,
atmospheric concentrations of CO2 have risen more than 25 percent,
principally because of fossil fuel combustion (IPCC 1992), which
accounts for 99 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions. Carbon dioxide
emissions also result directly from industrial processes. And changes
in land use and forestry activities both emit carbon dioxide and have
the potential to act as a sink for CO2 emissions.
Table 3-2 summarizes U.S. emissions and uptake of carbon dioxide,
while the remainder of this section presents detailed information on
the various sources and sinks of CO2 emissions in the United States.
The Energy Sector
Approximately 88 percent of U.S. energy is produced through the
combustion of fossil fuels. The remaining 12 percent comes from
renewable or other energy sources, such as hydropower, biomass, and
nuclear energy (Figure 3-2).
As they burn, fossil fuels emit CO2 due to oxidation of the carbon in
the fuel. The amount of carbon in fossil fuels varies significantly
by fuel type. For example, coal contains the highest amount of carbon
per unit of energy, while petroleum has about 20 percent less carbon
than coal, and natural gas has about 45 percent less.
The U.S. inventory includes carbon dioxide emissions from all fossil
fuel consumption and oil and gas production and storage. Carbon
dioxide emissions from biomass and biomass-based fuel consumption are
reported, but are not included in the national total. This approach
is consistent with the 1994 IPCC Guidelines.
Fossil Fuel Consumption
In 1990 the United States emitted a total of 1,335 MMTCE from fossil
fuel combustion. (Bunker fuels, or fuels used in international
transport, accounted for an additional 22.6 MMTCE.) The
energy-related activities producing these emissions included steam
production for industrial processes, gasoline consumption in
automobiles and other vehicles, heating in residential and commercial
buildings, and the generation of electricity. Petroleum products
across all sectors of the economy were responsible for about 44
percent of total U.S. energy-related CO2 emissions, with coal
accounting for 36 percent, and natural gas, 20 percent.
Industrial Sector. The industrial sector accounts for 34 percent of
U.S. emissions from fossil fuel consumption, making it the largest
end-use source of CO2 emissions (Figure 3-3). About two-thirds of
these emissions result from the burning of fossil fuels to meet
industrial demand for steam and process heat. The remaining one-third
of industrial energy needs is met by electricity for such uses as
motors, electric furnaces and ovens, and lighting.
The industrial sector is also the largest user of nonenergy
applications of fossil fuels, which often store carbon. Fossil fuels
used for producing fertilizers, plastics, asphalt, or lubricants can
store carbon in products for very long periods.  Asphalt used in road
construction, for example, stores carbon indefinitely. Similarly, the
fossil fuels used in the manufacture of materials like plastics also
store carbon and release it only if the product is incinerated.
Transportation Sector. The transportation sector is also a major
source of CO2, accounting for about 31 percent of U.S. emissions.
Virtually all of the energy consumed in this sector comes from
petroleum- based products. Nearly two-thirds of the emissions are the
result of gasoline consumption in automobiles and other vehicles,
with other uses-- including diesel fuel for the trucking industry and
jet fuel for aircraft--representing the remainder.
Residential and Commercial Sectors. The residential and commercial
sectors account for about 19 and 16 percent, respectively, of CO2
emissions from fuel consumption. Both sectors rely heavily on
electricity for meeting energy needs, with about two-thirds of their
emissions attributable to electricity consumption. End-use
applications include lighting, heating, cooling, and operating
appliances. The remaining emissions are largely due to the
consumption of natural gas and oil, primarily for meeting heating and
cooking needs.
Electric Utilities. The United States relies on electricity to meet a
significant portion of its energy requirements. In fact, as the
largest consumers of U.S. energy (about 36 percent of total energy),
electric utilities are collectively the largest producers of U.S. CO2
emissions (Figure 3- 3). This sector generates electricity for such
uses as lighting, heating, electric motors, and air conditioning.
Some of this electricity is generated with the lowest CO2-emitting
energy technologies, particularly nonfossil options, such as nuclear
energy, hydropower, and geothermal energy. However, electric
utilities rely on coal for 55 percent of their total energy
requirements and account for about 85 percent of all coal consumed in
the United States.
Fuel Production and Processing
Carbon dioxide is produced via flaring activities at natural gas
systems and oil wells. Typically, the methane that is trapped in a
natural gas system or oil well is flared to relieve the pressure
building in the system or to dispose of small quantities of gas that
are not commercially marketable. As a result, the carbon contained in
the methane becomes oxidized and forms carbon dioxide. In 1990 the
amount of carbon dioxide from the flared gas was approximately 1.8
MMTCE, or about 0.1 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions.
Biomass and Biomass-Based Fuel Consumption
Biomass fuel is used primarily by the industrial sector in the form
of fuelwood and wood waste.  Biomass-based fuel, such as ethanol from
corn or woody crops, is used mainly in the transportation sector.
Ethanol and ethanol blends, such as gasohol, are typically used to
fuel public transport vehicles, such as buses or centrally fueled
fleet vehicles.
Biomass, ethanol, and ethanol-blend fuels do release carbon dioxide.
However, in the long run, the carbon dioxide they emit does not
increase total atmospheric CO2 because the biomass resources are
consumed on a sustainable basis. For example, fuelwood burned one
year but regrown the next only recycles carbon, rather than creating
a net increase in total atmospheric carbon. As a result, CO2
emissions from biomass have been estimated separately from fossil
fuel-based emissions and, as recommended in the 1994 IPCC Guidelines,
are not included in national totals.
For 1990, CO2 emissions from biomass consumption were approximately
48 MMTCE, with the industrial sector accounting for 73 percent, and
the residential sector, 25 percent. Carbon dioxide emissions from
ethanol use in the United States are generally declining, due to a
combination of low gasoline prices and limited ethanol supply. In
1990, total U.S. CO2 emissions from ethanol were estimated to be 1.2
MMTCE, and mostly originated in the South and Midwest, where the
majority of U.S. ethanol is produced and consumed.
Industrial Processes
Emissions are often produced as a by-product of various
nonenergy-related activities. For example, in the industrial sector,
raw materials are chemically transformed from one state to another.
This transformation often releases such greenhouse gases as carbon
dioxide. The production processes that emit CO2 include cement
production, lime production, limestone consumption (e.g., in iron and
steel making), soda ash production and use, and carbon dioxide
manufacture. Total CO2 emissions from these sources were
approximately 15 MMTCE in 1990, accounting for 1 percent of total
U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide.
Cement Production (8.9 MMTCE)
Carbon dioxide is produced primarily during the production of
clinker, an intermediate product from which finished Portland and
masonry cement are made.  Specifically, carbon dioxide is created
when calcium carbonate (CaCO3) is heated in a cement kiln to form
lime and carbon dioxide. This lime combines with other materials to
produce clinker, while the carbon dioxide is released into the
Lime Production (3.2 MMTCE)
Lime is used in steel making, construction, pulp and paper
manufacturing, and water and sewage treatment.  It is manufactured by
heating limestone (mostly calcium carbonate--CaCO3) in a kiln,
creating calcium oxide (quicklime) and carbon dioxide, which is
normally emitted to the atmosphere.
Limestone Consumption (1.4 MMTCE)
Limestone is a basic raw material used by a wide variety of
industries, including the construction, agriculture, chemical, and
metallurgical industries.  For example, limestone can be used as a
purifier in refining metals, such as iron. In this case, limestone
heated in a blast furnace reacts with impurities in the iron ore and
fuels, generating carbon dioxide as a by-product. It is also used in
flue-gas desulfurization systems to remove sulfur dioxide from the
exhaust gases.
Soda Ash Production and Consumption (1.1 MMTCE)
Commercial soda ash (sodium carbonate) is used in many consumer
products, such as glass, soap and detergents, paper, textiles, and
food. During the manufacture of these products, natural sources of
sodium carbonate are heated and transformed into a crude soda ash, in
which carbon dioxide is generated as a by-product. In addition,
carbon dioxide is released when the soda ash is consumed. Of the two
states that produce natural soda ash, only Wyoming has net emissions
of carbon dioxide, because producers in California recover the CO2
and use it in other stages of production. U.S. emissions of carbon
dioxide from soda ash production were approximately 0.4 MMTCE in
1990, while U.S. soda ash consumption generated about 0.7 MMTCE.
Carbon Dioxide Manufacture (0.3 MMTCE)
Carbon dioxide is used in many segments of the economy, including
food processing, beverage manufacturing, chemical processing, crude
oil products, and a host of industrial and miscellaneous
applications. For the most part, carbon dioxide used in these
applications will eventually be released into the atmosphere.
Changes in Forest  Management and Land Use
When humans use and alter the biosphere through changes in land use
and forest-management activities, they alter the natural balance of
trace- gas emissions and uptake. These activities include clearing an
area of forest to create cropland or pasture, restocking a logged
forest, draining a wetland, or allowing a pasture to revert to a
grassland or forest.
Forests, which cover about 295 million hectares (737 million acres)
of U.S. land in the contiguous 48 states (USDA/USFS 1990), are a
potentially important terrestrial sink for carbon dioxide. Because
approximately half the dry weight of wood is carbon, as trees add
mass to their trunks, limbs, and roots, more carbon is stored in the
trees than is released to the atmosphere through respiration and
decay.  Soils and vegetative cover also provide a potential sink for
carbon emissions.
In the United States, improved forest-management practices and the
regeneration of previously cleared forest areas have actually
increased the amount of carbon stored on U.S. lands. This uptake of
carbon is an ongoing result of land-use changes in previous decades.
For example, because of improved agricultural productivity and the
widespread use of tractors, the rate of clearing forest land for crop
cultivation and pasture slowed greatly in the late nineteenth
century, and by 1920 this practice had all but ceased. As farming
expanded in the Midwest and West, large areas of previously
cultivated land in the East were brought out of crop production,
primarily between 1920 and 1950, and were allowed to revert to forest
land or were actively reforested.  The regeneration of forest land
greatly increases carbon storage in both standing biomass and soils,
and the impacts of these land-use changes are still affecting carbon
fluxes from forests in the eastern United States.
In addition to land-use changes in the early part of this century,
carbon fluxes from forests in the East are affected by a trend toward
managed growth on private land in recent decades, resulting in a near
doubling of the biomass density in eastern forests since the early
1950s. More recently, the 1970s and 1980s saw a resurgence of
federally sponsored tree- planting programs (e.g., the Forestry
Incentive Program) and soil-conservation programs (e.g., the
Conservation Reserve Program), which have focused on reforesting
previously harvested lands, improving timber-management activities,
combating soil erosion, and converting marginal cropland to forests.
As a result of these activities, the net CO2 flux from standing
biomass and vegetative cover in 1990 was estimated to have been an
uptake (sequestration) of 119 MMTCE. The Northeast, North Central,
and South Central regions of the United States accounted for 99
percent of the uptake of carbon, largely due to high growth rates
that are the result of intensified forest-management practices and
the regeneration of forest land previously cleared for cropland and
pasture. Western states are responsible for a small net release of
carbon, reflecting mature forests with a near balance among growth,
mortality, and removals.
However, there are considerable uncertainties associated with the
estimates provided for the net carbon flux from U.S. forests. For
--The impacts of forest management activities on soil carbon are very
uncertain. Since soils contain more than 50 percent of the total
stored forest carbon in the United States, forest-management
activities can have a large impact on flux estimates. However,
because of uncertainties associated with soil carbon flux, this
component is not included in the U.S. estimate at this time.
--The United States has assumed that harvested timber effectively
results in immediate carbon emissions. This assumption is consistent
with the methodology recommended by the IPCC (IPCC/OECD, 1994).
However, other studies that model the product "pools" estimate a net
accumulation of carbon in 1990.
--The current estimate does not include forest land in Alaska and
Hawaii or reserved timber land throughout the United States.
--Forest management activities may also result in fluxes of other
greenhouse and photochemically important gases. Dry soils are an
important sink for CH4, are a source of N2O, and are both a source
and a sink for CO. Vegetation is a source of several NMHCs
(nonmethane hydrocarbons, a subset of NMVOCs).  However, the effects
of forestry activities on these gases is highly uncertain, and the
possible fluxes are not included in the U.S. inventory.
Methane Emissions
Atmospheric methane (CH4) is second only to carbon dioxide as an
anthropogenic source of the greenhouse effect. Methane's overall
contribution to global warming is large because it is 11 or 22 times
(counting either direct or both direct and indirect effects) more
effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere than carbon dioxide over
a one-hundred- year time horizon. Furthermore, methane's
concentration in the atmosphere has more than doubled over the last
two centuries. Scientists have concluded that these atmospheric
increases are largely due to increasing emissions from anthropogenic
sources, such as landfills, agricultural activities, fossil fuel
combustion, coal mining, the production and processing of natural gas
and oil, and wastewater treatment (Figure 3-4).
Landfills are the largest single anthropogenic source of methane
emissions in the United States.  There are an estimated 6,000
methane-emitting landfills in the United States, with 1,300 of the
largest landfills accounting for about half of the emissions.
In an environment where the oxygen content is low or nonexistent,
organic materials, such as yard waste, household waste, food waste,
and paper, are decomposed by bacteria to produce methane, carbon
dioxide, and stabilized organic materials (materials that cannot be
decomposed further). Methane emissions from landfills are affected by
site- specific factors, such as waste composition, moisture, and
landfill size.
Methane emissions from U.S. landfills in 1990 were 60 MMTCE, or about
37 percent of total U.S. methane emissions. Emissions from U.S.
municipal solid waste landfills, which received over 70 percent of
the total solid waste generated in the United States, accounted for
about 90--95 percent of total landfill emissions, while industrial
landfills accounted for the remaining 5--10 percent. Currently, about
10 percent of the methane emitted is recovered for use as an energy
The agricultural sector accounted for approximately 32 percent of
total U.S. methane emissions in 1990, with enteric fermentation in
domestic livestock and manure management together accounting for the
majority (Figure 3-5). Other agricultural activities contributing
directly to methane emissions include rice cultivation and field
burning of agricultural crop wastes. Several other agricultural
activities, such as irrigation and tillage practices, may contribute
to methane emissions, but emissions from these sources are uncertain
and are believed to be small; therefore, the United States has not
included them in the current inventory. Details on the emission
pathways included in the inventory are presented in this section.
Enteric Fermentation in Domestic Livestock (34.9 MMTCE)
In 1990, enteric fermentation was the source of about 22 percent of
total U.S. methane emissions, and about 68 percent of methane
emissions from the agricultural sector. During animal digestion,
methane is produced through a process referred to as enteric
fermentation, in which microbes that reside in animals' digestive
systems break down the feed consumed by the animals. Ruminants--which
include cattle, buffalo, sheep, and goats--have the highest methane
emissions among all animal types because they have a rumen, or large
"fore-stomach," in which a significant amount of methane-producing
fermentation occurs. Nonruminant domestic animals, such as pigs and
horses, have much lower methane emissions than ruminants because much
less methane- producing fermentation takes place in their digestive
systems. The amount of methane produced and excreted by an individual
animal depends upon its digestive system (i.e., whether or not it
possesses a rumen), and the amount and type of feed it consumes.
Manure Management (13.7 MMTCE)
The decomposition of organic animal waste in an anaerobic environment
produces methane. The most important factor affecting the amount of
methane produced is how the manure is managed, since certain types of
storage and treatment systems promote an oxygen-free environment. In
particular, liquid systems (e.g., lagoons, ponds, tanks, or pits)
tend to produce a significant quantity of methane.  However, when
manure is handled as a solid or when it is deposited on pastures and
range lands, it tends to decompose aerobically and produce little or
no methane. Higher temperatures and moist climate conditions also
promote methane production.
Emissions from manure management accounted for about 8 percent of
total U.S. methane emissions in 1990, and about 26 percent of methane
emissions from the agricultural sector. Liquid-based
manure-management systems accounted for over 80 percent of total
emissions from animal wastes.
Rice Cultivation (2.6 MMTCE)
Most of the world's rice, and all of the rice in the United States,
is grown on flooded fields. When fields are flooded, anaerobic
conditions in the soils develop, and methane is produced through
anaerobic decomposition of soil organic matter.  Methane is released
primarily through the rice plants, which act as conduits from the
soil to the atmosphere.
Rice cultivation is a very small source of methane in the United
States. In 1990, methane emissions from this source were less than 2
percent of total U.S. methane emissions, and about 5 percent of U.S.
methane emissions from agricultural sources.
Field Burning of Agricultural Wastes  (0.5 MMTCE)
Large quantities of agricultural crop wastes are produced from
farming systems. Disposal systems for these wastes include plowing
them back into the field; composting, landfilling, or burning them in
the field; using them as a biomass fuel; or selling them in
supplemental feed markets.
Burning crop residues releases a number of greenhouse gases,
including carbon dioxide, methane, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxide,
and oxides of nitrogen. Such burning is not considered to be a net
source of carbon dioxide emissions because the carbon dioxide
released during burning is reabsorbed by crop regrowth during the
next growing season.  However, burning is a net source of emissions
for the other gases. Because this practice is not common in the
United States, it was responsible for only 0.3 percent of total U.S.
methane emissions in 1990, and 0.9 percent of emissions from the
agricultural sector.
Coal Mining
Coal mining and post-mining activities (such as coal processing,
transportation, and consumption) are the third largest source of
methane emissions in the United States, behind landfills and domestic
livestock. Estimates of methane emissions from coal mining for 1990
were 26.4 MMTCE, which accounted for about 16 percent of total U.S.
methane emissions.
Produced millions of years ago during the formation of coal, methane
is trapped within coal seams and surrounding rock strata. When coal
is mined, methane is released to the atmosphere. The amount of
methane released from a coal mine depends primarily upon the depth
and type of coal, with deeper mines generally emitting more methane
(EPA 1993a). Methane from surface mines is emitted directly to the
atmosphere as the rock strata overlying the coal seam are removed.
Methane is hazardous in underground mines because it is explosive at
concentrations of 5 to 15 percent in air. Therefore, all underground
mines are required to remove methane by circulating large quantities
of air through the mine and venting this air into the atmosphere. At
some mines, more advanced methane- recovery systems may be used to
supplement the ventilation systems and ensure mine safety. The
recovered methane can be used as an energy source--a practice that
has been increasing in recent years.
Oil and Natural Gas Production and Processing
Methane is also a major component of natural gas.  Any leakage or
emission during the production, processing, transmission, and
distribution of natural gas emits methane directly to the atmosphere.
Because natural gas is often found in conjunction with oil, leakage
during the production of commercial quantities of gas from oil wells
is also a source of emissions. Emissions vary greatly from facility
to facility and are largely a function of operation and maintenance
procedures and equipment condition. Fugitive emissions can occur at
all stages of extraction, processing, and distribution. In 1990,
emissions from the U.S.  natural gas system were estimated to be 17.8
MMTCE, accounting for approximately 11 percent of total U.S. methane
emissions for 1990.
Methane is also released as a result of oil production and processing
activities, such as crude oil production, crude oil refining,
transportation, and storage, when commercial gas production is not
warranted due to the small quantities present.  Emissions from these
activities are generally released as a result of system leaks,
disruptions, or routine maintenance. For 1990, methane emissions from
oil production and processing facilities were 1.6 MMTCE, accounting
for about one percent of total U.S. methane emissions.
Other Sources of Methane
Methane is also produced from several other sources in the United
States, including energy-related combustion activities, wastewater
treatment, industrial processes, and changes in land use. The sources
included in the U.S. inventory are fossil fuel combustion and
wastewater treatment, which accounted for approximately 4.8 MMTCE in
1990, or about 3 percent of total U.S. methane emissions.  Additional
anthropogenic sources of methane in the United States--such as
land-use changes and ammonia, coke, iron, and steel production--are
not included because little information on methane emissions from
these sources is currently available.
Nitrous Oxide Emissions
Nitrous oxide (N2O) is a chemically and radiatively active greenhouse
gas that is produced naturally from a wide variety of biological
sources in soil and water. Although actual emissions of N2O are much
smaller than CO2 emissions, N2O is approximately 270 times more
powerful than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year
time horizon.
Over the past two centuries, human activities have raised atmospheric
concentrations of nitrous oxide by approximately 8 percent. The main
anthropogenic activities producing N2O are soil management and
fertilizer use for agriculture, fossil fuel combustion, adipic acid
production, and nitric acid production (Figure 3-6).
Agricultural Soil Management and Fertilizer Use
The primary source of anthropogenic nitrous oxide emissions in the
United States falls into the category of fertilizer use and
soil-management activities. By adding nitrogen to soils, synthetic
nitrogen fertilizers and organic fertilizers increase N2O emissions.
Nitrous oxide emissions in 1990 due to consumption of synthetic and
organic fertilizers were 13.5 MMTCE, or approximately 45 percent of
total U.S. nitrous oxide emissions (U.S.  EPA 1994).
Other agricultural soil-management practices--such as irrigation,
tillage practices, or the fallowing of land--can also affect N2O
fluxes to and from the soil. However, because there is much
uncertainty about the direction and magnitude of the effects of these
other practices, only the emissions from fertilizer use and field
burning of agricultural wastes are included in the U.S. inventory at
this time.
Fossil Fuel Combustion
Nitrous oxide is a product of the reaction that occurs between
nitrogen and oxygen during fossil fuel combustion. Both mobile and
stationary sources emit nitrous oxide. Emissions from mobile sources
are more significant and are better understood than those from
stationary sources. The amount of nitrous oxide emitted varies,
depending upon fuel, technology type, and pollution control device.
Emissions also vary with the size and vintage of the combustion
technology, as well as maintenance and operation practices.
For example, catalytic converters installed to reduce vehicular
emissions of pollutants have been proven to promote the formation of
nitrous oxide. As catalytic converter-equipped vehicles have
increased in the U.S. motor vehicle fleet, emissions of nitrous oxide
from this source have also increased (DOE 1993). Mobile emissions
totaled 6.8 MMTCE in 1990 (22.4 percent of total N2O emissions), with
road transport accounting for approximately 95 percent of these N2O
emissions. Nitrous oxide emissions from stationary sources were 2.6
MMTCE in 1990.
Adipic Acid Production
Nitrous oxide is emitted as a by-product of the production of adipic
acid. Ninety percent of all adipic acid produced in the United States
is used to produce nylon 6,6. It is also used to produce some
low-temperature lubricants, and to provide foods with a "tangy"
flavor. In 1990, U.S. adipic acid production generated 4.1 MMTCE of
nitrous oxide, or 13.7 percent of total U.S. N2O emissions.
Nitric Acid Production
Production of nitric acid is another industrial source of N2O
emissions. Nitric acid is a raw material used primarily to make
synthetic commercial fertilizer, and is also a major component in the
production of adipic acid and explosives. Virtually all of the nitric
acid that is manufactured commercially in the United States is
obtained by the oxidation of ammonia. During this process, N2O is
formed and emitted to the atmosphere. Nitrous oxide emissions from
this source were about 2.9 MMTCE in 1990, accounting for 9.7 percent
of total U.S. N2O emissions.
Other Sources of N2O
Nitrous oxide can also be emitted during the burning of agricultural
crop residues, although emissions from this source are extremely
small relative to overall U.S. N2O emissions. In 1990 nitrous oxide
emissions from such burning were approximately 0.4 MMTCE, or about
1.2 percent of total U.S. nitrous oxide emissions.
Forestry activities may also result in fluxes of nitrous oxide, since
dry soils are a source of N2O emissions. However, the effects of
forestry activities on fluxes of these gases are highly uncertain;
therefore, they are not included in the inventory at this time.
Similarly, the U.S.  inventory does not account for several land-use
changes because of uncertainties in their effects on trace gas
fluxes, as well as poorly quantified statistics on them. These
land-use changes include loss and reclamation of freshwater wetland
areas, conversion of grasslands to pasture and cropland, and
conversion of managed lands to grasslands.
Text Box: The Global Warming Potential Concept
Gases can contribute to the greenhouse effect both directly and
indirectly. Direct effects occur when the gas itself is a greenhouse
gas; indirect radiative forcing occurs when chemical transformation
of the original gas produces a gas or gases that are greenhouse
gases, or when a gas influences the atmospheric lifetimes of other
gases.  The concept of global warming potential (GWP) has been
developed to compare the abilities of each greenhouse gas to trap
heat in the atmosphere.
Carbon dioxide was chosen as the "reference" gas to be consistent
with the IPCC's GWP values, which the Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee (INC) adopted during its Ninth Session. This approach is
also consistent with the GWP values used in The Climate Change Action
Plan. All gases in this report are presented in units of millions of
metric tons of carbon equivalent, or MMTCE. Carbon comprises 12/44 of
carbon dioxide by weight.
The GWP of a greenhouse gas is the ratio of global warming--or
radiative forcing (both direct and indirect)--from one kilogram of a
greenhouse gas to one kilogram of carbon dioxide over a period of
time. While any time period may be selected, this report uses the
100-year GWPs recommended by the IPCC.
The direct GWP for methane is 11. The U.S. has accounted for both the
direct and the indirect effects of methane on radiative forcing. The
indirect effects of methane are considered comparable in magnitude to
the direct effects; therefore a GWP of 22 has been used (IPCC 1992).
Using a GWP of 22 for methane is consistent with the GWP used in The
Climate Change Action Plan and follows the INC's Ninth Session
guidelines, which request that countries include indirect effects in
their emission inventories where applicable. The magnitude of the
indirect effects of other gases is either zero or uncertain.
HFC and PFC Emissions
Partially halogenated compounds (HFCs) and perfluorinated compounds
(PFCs) were introduced as alternatives to the ozone-depleting
substances being phased out under the Montreal Protocol and Clean Air
Act Amendments of 1990 (see opposite page). Because HFCs and PFCs are
not directly harmful to the stratospheric ozone layer, they are not
controlled by the Montreal Protocol. However, these compounds are
powerful greenhouse gases and are, therefore, considered under the
Framework Convention on Climate Change. For example, HFC-134a has an
estimated direct global warming potential of 1,200, which makes
HFC-134a 1,200 times more heat absorbent than an equivalent amount by
weight of CO2 in the atmosphere. For this reason, emission estimates
for these gases have been included in the U.S. inventory and are
provided in Table 3-3.
In 1990, the use of substitutes for ozone-depleting substances was
minimal. Thus, emissions of HFCs were quite small, and were largely
the result of by- product emissions from the production of HCFC-22.
PFC emissions were the result of aluminum-smelting activities. For
example, HFC-23 is a by-product emitted during HCFC-22 production,
and PFCs (CF4 and C2F6) are emitted during aluminum smelting. While
the use of such ozone-depleting substances as methyl chloroform,
CFC-12, and HCFC-22 is declining, consumption of HFCs is increasing
markedly.  Emissions of HFCs and PFCs should continue to rise as
their use as replacements increases.
Text Box: U.S. Emissions of CFCs and Related Compounds
Halogenated fluorocarbons were emitted into the atmosphere for the
first time this century. This family of man-made compounds includes
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), halons, methyl chloroform, carbon
tetrachloride, methyl bromide, and partially halogenated
fluorocarbons (HCFCs).  These substances are used in a variety of
industrial applications, including refrigeration and air
conditioning; solvent cleaning; foam production; sterilization; fire
extinguishing; paints, coatings, and other chemical intermediates;
and in such miscellaneous products as aerosols and propellants.
Because these compounds have been shown to deplete stratospheric
ozone, they are typically referred to as ozone-depleting substances.
In addition, they are important greenhouse gases because they block
infrared radiation that would otherwise escape into space (IPCC 1990
and 1992).
Recognizing the harmful effects of these compounds on the atmosphere,
in 1987 many governments signed the Montreal Protocol on Substances
That Deplete the Ozone Layer to limit their production and
consumption. By June 1994, 133 countries had signed the Montreal
Protocol. The U.S. furthered its commitment to phase out these
substances by signing and ratifying the Copenhagen Amendments to the
Montreal Protocol in 1992. Under these amendments, the U.S. committed
to eliminating the production of all halons by January 1, 1994, and
all CFCs by January 1, 1996.
The 1994 IPCC Guidelines do not require countries to report their
emissions of CFCs and related compounds because their use is being
phased out by the Montreal Protocol. Nevertheless, because the U.S.
believes that no inventory is complete without these emissions,
estimates for emissions of several Class I and Class II
ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) are provided in the table below.
Compounds are classified as "Class I" or "Class II" substances, based
on their ozone-depletion potential, and must adhere to a distinct set
of phase-out requirements under the Montreal Protocol. Class I
compounds are the primary (ODSs) in use today; Class II compounds
include HCFCs, which were developed as interim replacements for CFCs.
Because these HCFC compounds are only partially halogenated, their
hydrogen- carbon bonds are more vulnerable to oxidation in the
troposphere and, therefore, pose only about one- tenth to
one-hundredth the threat to stratospheric ozone compared to CFCs.
Also, the effects of these compounds on radiative forcing are not
provided here. Although CFCs and related compounds have very large
direct global warming potentials, their indirect effects are believed
to be negative and, therefore, could significantly reduce the
magnitude of their direct effects (IPCC 1992). Given the
uncertainties surrounding the net effect of these gases, they are
reported here on a full molecular basis only.
Emissions of Criteria Pollutants
In the United States, carbon monoxide (CO), nitrogen oxides (NOX),
nonmethane volatile organic compounds (NMVOCs), and sulfur dioxide
(SO2) are commonly called "criteria pollutants." CO is created when
carbon-containing fuels are burned incompletely; oxides of nitrogen
(NO and NO2) are created from lightning, natural fires, fossil-fuel
combustion, and in the stratosphere from nitrous oxide; NMVOCs, which
include such compounds as propane, butane, and ethane, are emitted
primarily from transportation and industrial processes, as well as
forest wildfires, and nonindustrial consumption of organic solvents
(U.S. EPA 1990); and SO2 can result from the combustion of fossil
fuels, industrial processing (particularly in the metals industry),
waste incineration, and biomass burning (U.S. EPA 1993b).
Because of their contribution to the formation of urban smog (and
acid rain in the case of SO2), criteria pollutants are regulated
under the 1970 Clean Air Act and its amendments. These gases also
have an impact on global climate through their indirect radiative
effects (i.e., they do not directly act as greenhouse gases but react
with other chemical compounds in the atmosphere to form compounds
that are greenhouse gases). Unlike other criteria pollutants, SO2
emitted into the atmosphere affects the Earth's radiative budget
negatively; therefore, it is discussed separately from the other
criteria pollutants in this section.
The most important of the indirect effects of criteria pollutants is
their role as "precursors" of tropospheric ozone. In this role, they
contribute to ozone formation and alter the atmospheric lifetimes of
other greenhouse gases. For example, CO interacts with the hydroxyl
radical (OH)--the major atmospheric sink for methane emissions--to
form CO2.  Thus, increased atmospheric concentrations of CO limit the
number of OH compounds available to destroy methane, and increase the
atmospheric lifetime of methane.
Since 1970, the United States has published estimates of annual
emissions of criteria pollutants. In summarizing U.S. emissions from
these sources for 1990, Table 3-4 clearly shows that fuel consumption
accounted for the majority of emissions of these gases. In fact,
motor vehicles that burn fossil fuels comprise the single largest
source of CO emissions in the United States, contributing about
two-thirds of all CO emissions in 1990. Motor vehicles also emit
about one-third of total NOX and NMVOC emissions. Industrial
processes, such as the manufacture of chemical and allied products,
metal processing, and industrial uses of solvents, are also major
sources of CO, NOX, and NMVOCs.
Text Box: Sulfur Dioxide: Sources and Effects
Emitted into the atmosphere through natural and anthropogenic
processes, sulfur dioxide affects the Earth's radiative budget
through photochemical transformation into sulfate particles that (1)
scatter sunlight back to space, thereby reducing the radiation
reaching the Earth's surface; (2) possibly increase the number of
cloud condensation nuclei, thereby potentially altering the physical
characteristics of clouds; and (3) affect atmospheric chemical
composition--e.g., stratospheric ozone--by providing surfaces for
heterogeneous chemical processes. As a result of these activities,
the effect of these gases on radiative forcing may be negative (IPCC
1992), although the distribution is not uniform. Because their
effects are uncertain and opposite from the other criteria
pollutants, emissions of these gases are presented separately here.
Sulfur dioxide is also a major contributor to the formation of urban
smog, which can cause significant increases in acute and chronic
respiratory diseases.  Once SO2 is emitted, it is chemically
transformed in the atmosphere and returns to Earth as the primary
source of acid rain. Because of these harmful effects, the United
States has regulated SO2 emissions in the Clean Air Act of 1970 and
its 1990 amendments.
The largest source of overall U.S. emissions of SO2 is electric
utilities, accounting for about 70 percent.  Coal combustion
contributes nearly all of those emissions (approximately 96 percent).
The second largest source is fuel combustion for metal smelting and
other industrial processes, which produced about 14 percent of 1990
SO2 emissions.
Chapter 4: Mitigation:The Action Plan
While the Climate Convention includes no internationally binding
obligations to reduce anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases to
any specified level in any set year, each Annex I party (i.e.,
developed countries and countries with economies in transition) is
committed to:
     adopt national policies and take corresponding measures on the
mitigation of climate change, by limiting its anthropogenic emissions
of greenhouse gases and protecting and enhancing its greenhouse gas
sinks and reservoirs. These policies and measures will demonstrate
that the developed countries are taking the lead in modifying longer-
term trends in anthropogenic emissions consistent with the objective
of the Convention, recognizing that the return by the end of the
present decade to earlier levels of anthropogenic emissions of carbon
dioxide and other greenhouse gases not controlled by the Montreal
Protocol would contribute to such modification-- (Article 4,
Paragraph 2(a), FCCC).
A full-scale international response is needed to confront the climate
change effort, and the United States is committed to that effort. In
October 1993, President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced the
U.S. Climate Change Action Plan to cost- effectively reduce U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 in
accordance with the aim of the Climate Convention and the President's
1993 Earth Day commitment.
The Action Plan responds to the threat of global climate change and
helps guide the U.S. economy toward environmentally sound economic
growth into the next century. It is comprehensive, targeting all
greenhouse gases and all sectors of the economy through a portfolio
of nearly fifty different actions. The Plan inaugurates a new era of
partnership with U.S. business to improve environmental performance
while enhancing economic growth and job creation. Because time is of
the essence, the Plan is designed for rapid implementation, building
on existing programs, technologies, and voluntary efforts to deliver
cost- effective results. It is a coordinated federal response,
involving many government agencies working together, and was
developed using an interagency process with significant public input.
The Plan is being actively monitored to ensure that it will meet the
President's goal, and will be modified to adapt to changing
circumstances. Finally, the Plan lays the foundation for an
international response to climate change through the U.S. Initiative
on Joint Implementation.
Text Box: Differences Between Estimates in the Action Plan and
The 1990 emission estimates reported in this chapter were developed
for the U.S. Climate Change Action Plan in October 1993. This
estimate is slightly different from the official U.S. inventory
reported in Chapter 3 of this report. The Chapter 3 inventory
represents an update to reflect recent guidance from the
Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee's (INC's) Ninth Session and
improvements in information developed since the Action Plan's
The largest difference is due to international bunker fuel
consumption, which is reported separately in Chapter 3 and is not
included in U.S.  totals (consistent with INC guidance). Estimates of
international bunker fuels are included in the Action Plan
projections reported in this chapter.
Other differences not reflected in this chapter include updates for
forest carbon sequestration rates, improvements in fossil fuel
emission coefficients, new estimates of the percent of fossil fuel
feedstock sequestered in products, and a correction to the estimate
of nitrous oxide emissions from fertilizer use. (A complete and
transparent description of the methods and data used in developing
the U.S. inventory is reported in Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas
Emissions and Sinks for 1990--1993 (U.S. EPA 1994).)
Because of these differences, the 1990 inventory values reported in
Chapter 3 cannot be compared to projections of future U.S. emissions
presented in this chapter to estimate changes in emission levels over
time. However, each chapter is internally consistent. Our preliminary
review suggests that under the assumptions made in October 1993
regarding action funding and effectiveness, economic growth, and
world energy prices, the differences between the inventory and the
Action Plan baseline do not affect the Plan's ability to achieve a
return to 1990 emission levels in 2000. Reconciliation of reporting
methods in the Action Plan and the inventory will be addressed as
part of the biennial review of U.S.  actions scheduled for 1995.
The Plan and Its Development
The Action Plan builds on policies and programs already in
place--notably, the Energy Policy Act (EPAct), the Clean Air Act
Amendments, and the Integrated Surface Transportation Efficiency Act,
described in Chapter 2. Without these policies, projected net U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions would rise to 1,674 million metric tons of
carbon equivalent (MMTCE) by 2000. With these measures, but without
the additional steps in the Action Plan, net emissions would rise to
1,568 MMTCE by 2000.
The Effects of the Plan
The combined effect of all the measures in the Action Plan, on the
basis of the 1993 economic assumptions and also assuming full funding
of all measures, would reduce emissions by a further 109 MMTCE by
2000, bringing them to 1,459 MMTCE, or slightly below the 1990 level
of 1,462 MMTCE (Figure 4-1). Net carbon emissions are likely to be
slightly higher in 2000--about 2 percent above their 1990 levels. The
rate of increase in HFC emissions is cut in half. Offsetting these
increases in emissions are even larger reductions in methane and
nitrous oxide emissions. These figures are based on the global
warming potentials of these gases, as provided in the 1992 IPCC
Supplementary Report.
Many of the programs outlined here encourage individuals and firms to
invest in energy-saving equipment or other technologies that yield
significant cost savings over the long term.  Comparing the magnitude
of these investments with the value of energy savings indicates the
overall cost-effectiveness of the Action Plan. While investing over
$60 billion in greenhouse gas emission reductions between 1994 and
2000, individuals and firms are projected to realize over $60 billion
in energy savings between 1994 and 2000, and continued returns in the
form of an additional $207 billion in energy savings between 2001 and
2010. By stimulating investments in cost-effective opportunities for
greenhouse gas emission reductions, the Action Plan can increase the
long- term profits for American business and can help consumers save
Since these policies and measures were first developed and their
effects projected, economic growth has been more robust, and oil
prices have been lower than projected in the Action Plan. These
differences, as well as other data that may affect current and future
greenhouse gas emission levels, are now being evaluated. A more
complete discussion of the steps being taken within the United States
to achieve our objective in light of changing circumstances appears
in Chapter 8 of this report.
Applying a Portfolio Approach
The Action Plan targets multiple emission-reduction opportunities in
all major areas: energy demand in the residential, commercial,
industrial, and transportation sectors; energy supply; forestry; and
methane and other gases. Notwithstanding changes in the economy, a
broad portfolio of policy actions is more likely to succeed than a
narrow approach. Some programs called for here will work better than
expected, while others may fall short of their estimated impact. A
portfolio approach reduces the risk that a failure in any specific
program will cause a substantial shortfall in overall emission
The U.S. program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is based on a
number of different approaches that combine efforts of the public
sector (federal, state, and local governments) and the private
sector. From the public-sector viewpoint, these can be grouped into
four main categories:
--  Undertaking regulatory actions, including setting standards.
--  Conducting research and development to enhance efficiency,
improve supplies, and promote fuel switching.
--  Enhancing market performance by developing incentives and
providing information.
--  Encouraging voluntary adoption of processes and technologies that
make both environmental and economic sense.
The majority of the actions in the Plan are in the second half of
these categories, which focuses on voluntary choices and policies.
The efficacy of the voluntary approach has been demonstrated by the
significant commitments already undertaken within the private sector
to reduce emissions. Whereas mandatory programs may take years to
enact into law and are often the focus of intense and lengthy legal
battles after enactment--and even, on occasion, limited
compliance--voluntary measures have already resulted in rapid and
significant action. The specific measures in the Action Plan are
described in detail in this chapter (and in substantially greater
detail in the Technical Supplement to the Action Plan [U.S. DOE
1994]); some of the Plan's highlights appear on the following page.
Various programs in the Action Plan focus on one or another of these
strategies. EPAct calls for advanced technologies and improved
management practices to help maintain supplies of environmentally
benign fuels while reducing energy demand. Voluntary programs target
individual energy end use and assess barriers that are preventing
greater penetration of advanced, energy-conserving technologies into
the market. The overall effect of these efforts is not to create a
binding regulatory framework, but to enhance the level of information
provided to the private sector. The focus is on ensuring that
consumers and corporations recognize the benefits that result--in
both their financial and their environmental bottom lines--from
improving energy efficiency.
While the aggregate effect of the U.S. voluntary programs cannot be
precisely determined--and the modeling of the projected effects
itself has been a challenge--the effort is beginning to bear fruit.
Some of the voluntary programs already have hundreds of
private-sector participants and are operating more effectively than
even optimistic estimates originally projected. The Climate Challenge
program is also enormously successful, having already attracted over
750 participants. The United States intends to build on such efforts
in moving toward the future and continuing the trend of greenhouse
gas emission reductions. The progress of the U.S.  program--and some
of the factors that are influencing its effectiveness--are discussed
in Chapter 8.
Developing the Plan:  A Public Process
Following President Clinton's announcement of the nation's commitment
to reduce "our emissions of greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by
the year 2000" and "to produce a cost-effective plan" to do so, the
Administration began to develop a climate action strategy. One of the
principal aims in the process was to maximize public
participation--both as a means to draw on the ingenuity and
creativity of the American people in developing a cost- effective and
comprehensive program, and to ensure that those with interests most
affected by such a strategy would be involved and supportive of the
measures ultimately adopted.
On June 10--11, 1993, the White House-sponsored Conference on Global
Climate Change brought together more than eight hundred participants
in a forum designed to provide an exchange of ideas among the federal
government, industry stakeholders, state and local governments, and
nongovernmental environmental organizations. With the aim of
developing specific measures, the conference was divided into ten
working groups addressing emission reductions in the following areas:
energy supply; energy demand (residential, commercial, and
industrial); transportation (auto/light truck, commercial, and
infrastructure); methane and other gases; sinks; and joint
implementation. In addition to the intensive effort put forward at
the June session, many of the individual working groups met several
times in the following months, continuing to develop and detail
Operating in parallel with the public process was a broad federal
interagency program convened to consider mitigation opportunities in
all sectors of the economy--a process divided into working groups
identical to those in the public process. These groups were
coordinated at senior levels within the government, through a
coordinating body ultimately responsible for shaping the content of
the U.S.  Action Plan. Ideas for emission-reduction actions evolved
from both internal and public recommendations. By early July 1993,
the United States had assembled a list of nearly 250 measures,
approximately 150 of which included detailed program descriptions,
and that together covered a broad range of greenhouse gas reduction
On the basis of this extensive list (which often included overlapping
or similar proposals), a first cut was made to identify the most
promising measures. The key criteria used to make this assessment
included the size of the near-term greenhouse gas reductions (the
focus being on meeting the year 2000 goal set by the President); the
cost-effectiveness of the measures (both the government and the
private-sector costs); the long- term potential (looking at the
post-2000 implications); and the ease and speed of implementing the
measures. Using these criteria, the working groups narrowed the list
of measures to approximately fifty.
Assessing the Effects of the Plan
An ongoing interagency analysis was a key part of the process for
developing the Plan, and called for an unprecedented degree of
coordination and cooperation at all levels of the government. An
analytical team was established, composed of members from all
relevant federal agencies. It was charged with evaluating all actions
proposed, and when the list of options had been narrowed, it was
called upon to provide an integrated assessment of the set of
Whenever the list of measures was modified, modeling analysis had to
be repeated to account for potential overlap and synergistic effects
with other actions.  The new emission-reduction estimates were then
presented and evaluated relative to the goal of cost-effectively
meeting the target of 1990 levels by 2000. For example, most of the
energy policy options affect more than one sector or fuel--changes in
one sector can affect fuel prices, which in turn can affect energy
demand and supply in other sectors. Therefore, interactions among
energy supply, demand, and policies were considered to generate the
best possible estimate of overall energy and emission impacts.
Two modeling scenarios were created: an Administration Baseline and a
Combined Policy Case.  The former was the baseline scenario, defined
to reflect expectations of private- and public-sector behavior based
on all legislation already in effect and all federal programs funded
as of the date of issuance of the Action Plan. The Combined Policy
Case added to the Administration Baseline the effects of the
emission-reduction actions included in the Action Plan.
Baseline projections are derived from a set of specific assumptions
about markets, technologies, and resources, such as growth rates in
the gross domestic product (GDP) and oil and gas prices. There are
four main types of assumptions underlying the projections:
--  Economic factors, including GDP growth rates, world oil prices,
and other economic assumptions.
--  Energy resources, including proven reserves and undiscovered
--  Market behavior, reflecting the demand and supply decisions of
energy-market participants, as influenced by oil prices, standards,
and partnership programs.
--  Technology factors, which include information on the costs of
energy-consuming and -producing technologies, their performance, and
when they will be commercially available.
While a full description of the assumptions used in generating these
scenarios is contained in the Technical Supplement to the Action Plan
(U.S. DOE 1994), a partial list, including some of the most critical
factors, is provided in Table 4-1.
The Integrated Dynamic Energy Analysis Simulation (IDEAS) model was
used as a tool for the integrated analysis of energy-related options.
This model has elements of both top-down and bottom-up modeling.  The
macroeconomic effects are combined with a microeconomic,
technology-specific representation of energy- service methods that
link energy supply and demand through equilibrium market prices.
Other sectors and gases were estimated independently.
For example, projections for carbon sequestration were based on two
of the U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Forest Service
models that analyze the impacts of changes in forest policies in the
United States. Methods for projecting CFC emissions are based on
estimates developed through use of vintaging models and estimates
regarding the use of substitutes for the replacement gases.
Projections for nitrous oxide are based on assumptions regarding
fertilizer use and production of adipic acid, as well as on fossil
fuel combustion. Finally, projections for methane emissions are based
on assumptions regarding all major methane sources, including
landfills, coal mining, natural gas systems, fuel combustion,
ruminant livestock manure, and rice production.
Box Text:  Highlights of The Climate Action Plan
--  Identifies and promotes the use of energy- efficient products.
The Action Plan provides opportunities for corporate purchasers and
consumers to make educated decisions on energy use.  uch educational
initiatives and voluntary programs help overcome the inertia and lack
of good information, which often make it difficult to adopt the most
cost-effective and environmentally beneficial products.
--  Promotes large-scale purchasing of energy- efficent and
renewable-energy technologies.  By helping improve economies of scale
and by moving these technologies into the market, the Action Plan
helps prices fall to levels equal to or below those of alternatives
that result in higher greenhouse gas emissions.
--  Encourages industry to commercialize more resource-efficient
technologies.  The Action Plan demonstrates that these technologies
will see by providing clear cmarket-pulld signals that are organized
through mass-purchase initiatives and utility program coordination
aimed at getting new technologies off the drawing boards and onto
store shelves.
--  Promotes sensible regulatory and legal frameworks.  The Action
Plan encourages cost- effective investments in energy-conservation
and methane-recovery programs to ensure that companies and consumers
can profit from wise use of resources leading to a more productive
and less polluting economy.
Carbon Dioxide
Carbon dioxide (CO2) accounts for 83 percent of total U.S. greenhouse
gas emissions. Net CO2 emissions, primarily from energy production
and consumption, stood at 1,237 MMTCE in 1990. Without the measures
in the Action Plan, they are forecast to rise to 1,337 MMTCE in 2000.
However, the Plan is designed to reduce this increase by 76 MMTCE, to
a level of 1,261 MMTCE in 2000 (Figure 4-2).
Energy-Demand Strategies
In 1990, the United States consumed nearly 85 quadrillion Btus of
primary energy, which produced 1,338 million metric tons (MMTs) of
carbon. The largest end-use energy consumer in 1990 was the
industrial sector, which used 32.1 quadrillion Btus (39 percent) of
the primary energy supplied.  Residential and commercial energy
consumption comprised slightly more than one-third of primary energy
supplied to end users, with the residential sector consuming about 28
percent more than the commercial sector. Transportation comprised 27
percent of primary energy (Figure 4-3). ("End-use" energy does not
include the generation and distribution losses in electric
generation, which on average account for almost 70 percent of the
fuel input used in power plants.)
Investing in energy efficiency is the single-most cost-effective way
to reduce CO2 emissions. The Action Plan combines an array of
public-private partnerships to stimulate the deployment of existing
energy-efficient technologies and accelerate the introduction of more
advanced technologies. These programs will cut CO2 emissions while
enhancing productivity at home and U.S. competitiveness abroad.
Technical studies have consistently shown that potentially profitable
energy-efficiency investments exist in the residential, commercial,
and industrial sectors. However, many of these opportunities go
unrealized, frequently because of information, regulatory, financial,
and institutional barriers.  The Action Plan includes a comprehensive
strategy that applies innovative solutions to address these
investment barriers--from financial reforms in residential mortgages
to agreements between motor manufacturers and users. This Action Plan
aligns market forces with the environmental imperative to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
In the past, many federal programs have been a confusing patchwork of
competing activities that were not coordinated effectively with
utility or state and local efforts. By expanding existing successful
programs, by combining them with new and complementary initiatives,
and by linking programs with state, local, and private-sector
efforts, the United States will maximize the energy-saving impacts of
federal programs and their associated greenhouse gas emission
reductions. The following discussion of the energy-efficiency
programs and initiatives included in the Action Plan is broken out by
sector. Figure 4-3 illustrates the effect of the Action Plan on
carbon emissions by sector.
Because of the difficulty in projecting their effects, several of the
major new initiatives in the Action Plan are not scored for any
reductions toward the U.S. goal of 1990 levels by the year 2000;
however, they are expected to provide underlying support for existing
measures, as well as leading to additional emission reductions. Two
of the most prominent of these are the Climate Challenge and Climate
Wise programs; the third is the U.S.  Initiative on Joint
Implementation, described at the end of this chapter.
Climate Challenge
On April 19, 1994, associations representing 766 utilities signed a
Memorandum of Understanding with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),
outlining their commitment to the Climate Challenge. This voluntary
program is being developed jointly by the electric utility industry
and DOE to reduce, limit, or avoid greenhouse gas emissions. It also
builds upon Section 1605(b) of the Energy Policy Act of 1992, in
which participants report emission baselines and submit periodic
reports of actions taken voluntarily to cost-effectively reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.  These utilities represent about 80 percent
of U.S.  electricity generation and about 80 percent of CO2 emissions
from this sector.
Through company-specific agreements, participating utilities will
have the flexibility to implement a portfolio of emission-reduction
measures, including enhancing the efficiency of generation and
transmission, switching to lower-carbon fuels, investing in renewable
generation, enhancing the performance of existing hydroelectric and
nuclear capacity, expanding demand-side management programs,
undertaking forestry projects, promoting electrotechnologies that
displace direct fuel use, and participating in international
projects. To the extent that utilities invest in international
projects to help meet their voluntary commitments, they could provide
an important source of private- sector participation in the U.S.
Initiative on Joint Implementation.
Climate Wise
Climate Wise is a program designed to encourage and publicly
recognize voluntary efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This
program establishes partnerships with business, industry, state and
local governments, and other organizations that make commitments to
reduce greenhouse emissions and report their results. Organizations
participate by committing to undertake specific actions to reduce
greenhouse gas emission reductions and by reporting their reductions,
primarily through the new Voluntary Greenhouse Gas Reduction
Reporting System established under Section 1605(b) of EPAct. In
return, Climate Wise will publicly recognize these commitments and
will provide additional recognition- -both nationally and
locally--for the most successful emission-reduction efforts. As one
of the foundation actions in the Action Plan, Climate Wise provides
technical assistance and public outreach as an umbrella program to
encourage participation in the full range of Action Plan initiatives.
Commercial Sector
Commercial buildings are complex, dynamic systems made up of numerous
components and subsystems. The energy-related subsystems include the
building envelope (i.e., the foundation, walls, and roof); the
lighting system; and the heating, air- conditioning, and ventilation
systems. The energy requirements of a building depend not only on the
performance of these individual systems, but also on how they are
integrated and operated in the building.
In 1990, commercial buildings accounted for nearly 11 percent of
total end-use energy consumption in the United States (U.S. DOE/EIA
1993a). However, commercial buildings consumed over 30 percent of all
electricity, primarily for lighting, heating, cooling, and air
handling. Including the fossil fuel used to generate the electricity,
the commercial sector accounts for over 15 percent of gross U.S.  CO2
emissions. (This emission figure assumes that the sector's electric
utility CO2 emissions are proportional to its share of electric
The Action Plan is supporting these efforts by expanding existing
federal programs that address specific building attributes, such as
lighting, as well as those that take a whole-building approach.  The
Action Plan creates financial mechanisms for funding state and local
efforts to conserve energy in commercial buildings and thus cut their
greenhouse gas emissions. Across America, companies are investing in
energy efficiency in order to improve their energy performance, lower
overhead, and increase their competitiveness. By supporting these
efforts in the commercial sector, the Action Plan programs are
projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 10.6
MMTCE in 2000.
Demonstrations of Energy Technologies. The United States will
initiate cost-shared demonstrations of emerging technologies in
public and private buildings. These demonstrations will allow
manufacturers to acquire field experience that will lower the
perceived risk of using the technologies and lead to accelerated
commercialization. DOE will solicit demonstration proposals that will
be evaluated on the basis of technical merit, level of co-funding by
manufacturers and host agencies, state and local government
involvement, and information- dissemination benefits. Demonstrated
technologies will include fuel-cell applications for on-site power
generation; advanced windows, including electrochromic technologies;
advanced building monitoring/control systems; and active and passive
solar technologies. Jointly with efforts to establish the Energy
Efficiency and Renewable Energy and Information and Training
Programs, this action is projected to lead to greenhouse gas emission
reductions of 3.8 MMTCE.
Energy Star Buildings and Rebuild America. The United States is
launching new coordinated initiatives--Energy Star Buildings and
Rebuild America--to improve the efficiency of heating, cooling, and
air handling in commercial buildings.  EPA and DOE will provide the
product development, marketing, and technical assistance necessary
for comprehensive commercial building upgrades. By bringing the most
up-to-date technical knowledge to the people who need it, these
voluntary programs will help companies to reduce their overhead and
become more efficient, and will stimulate the introduction of more
advanced commercial technologies. Projected emission reductions from
this action are approximately 3.1 MMTCE.
Green Lights. Since its inception in 1991, the voluntary Green Lights
program has entered into more than fifteen hundred partnerships with
corporations, utilities, nonprofit organizations, and other groups
who agree to analyze and, where profitable, to upgrade lighting
equipment with more energy- efficient systems. These lighting-system
upgrades are designed to save energy and provide positive returns on
investment. For its part, EPA provides technical support to Green
Lights participants through a technical hotline, a comprehensive
lighting upgrade manual, regional training workshops, computer
software tools, a financing directory, current information on
name-brand lighting products, and on-site implementation assistance.
EPA also publicly recognizes exceptional partnerships in journal
articles, media venues, and by selecting a "Partner of the Year."
To date, over 4.5 billion square feet of facility space has been
committed to the Green Lights program, representing over 5 percent of
all U.S.  commercial and industrial space. The United States will
enhance its Green Lights efforts to reach untapped portions of the
commercial lighting market.  The expanded Green Lights will include a
new marketing effort targeted to attract nonprofit partners, and
increased technical support for program participants. The expansion
is projected to yield reductions of approximately 2.5 MMTCE in 2000.
State Buildings Energy Incentive Fund. The United States will create
a State Buildings Energy Incentive Fund that includes state revolving
funds for public buildings. DOE will provide seed money of $10
million per year over five years to state governments to fund,
design, and start up energy- management programs for public
buildings. Emission reductions are projected to be 1.1 MMTCE from
this action.
Residential Sector
In 1990, America's homes consumed 15 percent of all U.S. end-use
energy and accounted for 34 percent of U.S electricity demand.
Including the fossil fuels used to generate electricity for homes,
the residential sector generated 19 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions in
The Action Plan targets key opportunities in the residential
sector--such as delivery of heating and cooling services, home
appliances, lighting, and the design of the building exterior
itself--and includes a mix of partnerships with businesses and
utilities, economic incentives, and new standards and building codes.
There are environmental and economic advantages to bringing energy
efficiency to the residential sector. An energy-efficient new home
that meets today's best design criteria consumes 50 percent less
energy than a poorly designed alternative, while offering a lower
life-cycle cost (i.e., the amortized annual cost of a product,
including capital costs, installation costs, operating costs,
maintenance costs, and disposal costs discounted over the lifetime of
the product).  A typical home built fifteen years ago can be upgraded
to save 20 percent of its energy use, at a profit to homeowners.
In the aggregate, measures in the U.S. Action Plan are anticipated to
lead to emission reductions of 16.3 MMTCE in the residential sector.
These will result from the combined effects of appliance improvements
(yielding 11.8 MMTCE) and home improvements (providing another 4.4
MMTCE). Because of the overlapping effects of action within this
sector, more precise measurement of the individual effects is
Home Energy-Rating Systems and Energy-Efficient Mortgages. The United
States is launching a new national effort to market Home
Energy-Rating Systems (HERS) and Energy-Efficient Mortgages (EEMs).
HERS provide home buyers with information on the energy efficiency of
new and existing homes (similar to the miles-per-gallon guide for
automobiles). These ratings are the yardstick by which EEMs are
created.  EEMs recognize that the energy savings from efficient new
and retrofitted housing will enable home buyers to afford larger
mortgage payments.  These programs allow home buyers to finance
investments in energy improvements through their mortgage lender when
the monthly energy savings are greater than increased monthly
mortgage payments.  Current federal and state ratings and finance
programs are fragmented and are not readily accessible to realtors,
lenders, or borrowers, and their use is not widespread. Federal
agencies will coordinate an effort involving financial institutions,
utilities, and contractors to ensure that a uniform EEM program
reaches the intended market.
Residential Building Code. The federal government will help state
governments update and enforce residential building codes by the end
of 1994. EPAct requires states to assess the feasibility of improving
residential building standards. DOE will help states to comply with
this requirement and will encourage them to adopt energy-efficient
building codes. Many states have no code enforcement, which is an
effective tool to increase the energy efficiency of homes.
Cool Communities. The Cool Communities program promotes the use of
strategic landscaping to shade residential and commercial buildings,
and of light- colored building surfaces to reduce absorption of
sunlight. In targeting 100 federal facilities and 250 new cities with
minimum populations of 30,000, the program is working with
homeowners, businesses, and their communities and partners to adopt
these strategies to keep communities cooler during the hottest days
of the summer and to reduce the demand for air conditioning. Planting
trees to cool communities will also help create more sinks for
absorbing carbon dioxide emissions.
New "Golden Carrot" Partnerships. The United States will form new
"Golden Carrot" partnerships with nonprofit organizations, utilities,
and environmental groups to accelerate the commercialization of
advanced energy-efficient appliances. The Golden Carrot program
creates a financial incentive for the development of more efficient
appliances by combining financial resources from a variety of
sources. The incentive might be a winner-take-all prize, a rebate
from the utility for all new products that meet energy-saving
targets, or a guaranteed number of purchases by a utility or a large
For example, some utilities offer rebates to customers who purchase
efficient appliances because the efficiency investment "on the
consumer side of the meter" (i.e., the rebate) can help the utility
avoid having to build an expensive new power plant.  Under a Golden
Carrot partnership, several utilities pool their rebates to provide a
clear market signal (a guaranteed pool of rebate money) for appliance
manufacturers to commercialize advanced energy- efficient appliances,
such as rooftop air- conditioning units, clothes washers and dryers,
and water heaters. The original Golden Carrot--the Super-Efficient
Refrigerator Program--pooled $30 million in utility rebate money for
the manufacturer who could commercialize a 50 percent more energy-
efficient, CFC-free refrigerator.
New Residential Appliance Standards. The United States will
accelerate the schedule for new standards that are required under the
National Appliance Energy Conservation Act of 1987. DOE will issue
new residential appliance standards for eleven product categories:
central air conditioners, furnaces, refrigerators, room air
conditioners, water heaters, direct heating equipment, mobile home
furnaces, kitchen ranges and ovens, pool heaters, televisions, and
fluorescent lamp ballasts. Cost- effective energy standards ensure
that consumers will only be able to purchase appliances that are both
energy efficient and affordable. Raising the energy efficiency of
appliance standards will result in a measurable decline in U.S.
electricity use and greenhouse gas emissions.
Industrial Sector
U.S. industries consumed 39 percent of the nation's end-use energy in
1990, including 35 percent of the electricity generated. Since
two-thirds of the industrial sector's electricity use is for motors,
industrial motors use over 20 percent of all U.S.  electricity
generation. Including the emissions from electricity generation, the
industrial sector accounted for 33 percent of U.S. CO2 emissions in
1990. A small number of major manufacturing groups-- primary metals,
petroleum refining, chemicals, and pulp and paper--account for about
two-thirds of industrial energy use and 19 percent of the U.S.  gross
domestic product.
Since the 1970s, the federal government has funded a large research
and development program for energy- efficiency and waste-reduction
technologies in the industrial sector. Following are some of the
industrial measures included in the Action Plan.  They establish
working partnerships with American industry to help get those
improvements off of the drawing board and onto the factory floor. The
total projected emission reductions from this sector are 19.0 MMTCE.
Motor Challenge. The United States has launched the Motor
Challenge--a voluntary, industry-driven collaborative program aimed
at galvanizing U.S.  business and industry into action to better
understand, apply, and target energy-efficient industrial electric
motor systems. DOE will work with industry to test, verify, and
disseminate information on the cost-saving potential of industrial
motor systems, and will obtain commitments from industry to use them.
Companies will achieve increased efficiency in their motor systems
through the system integration of a variety of technology and
application options, including energy-efficient motors,
adjustable-speed drives, and efficient motor-driven equipment (e.g.,
pumps, fans, and compressors). Efficiency gains will result in
significant energy savings and reduced greenhouse gas emissions,
particularly since motor systems being targeted for this initiative
currently account for two-thirds of U.S. industrial electricity
consumption. The plan projects emission reductions of 8.8 MMTCE from
this program.
"Golden Carrots" for Industrial Equipment. To complement the Motor
Challenge, federal agencies will create Golden Carrot programs for
industrial equipment analogous to the Golden Carrot programs for
residential appliances. By helping to pool financial incentives and
purchasing power, these programs can stimulate rapid
commercialization of new energy-efficient equipment. Targeted
equipment includes air compressors, fans and pumps, and other types
of industrial process equipment. This program is expected to yield
emission reductions of 2.9 MMTCE when evaluated jointly with a
program to accelerate the adoption of energy-efficient process
Waste Management. The United States is expanding voluntary
source-reduction, pollution-prevention, and product-recycling
programs, and is focusing on ways to enhance the recycling of
forestry products (paper and wood). Source-reduction efforts will
encourage the adoption of unit pricing (charging homeowners by the
amount of garbage they throw away), provide incentives and education
to practice reducing waste at the source of its production, and
promote the design of longer-life, reparable goods.  Recycling
efforts will foster "buy recycled" programs, expand access to
information clearinghouses, increase the use of government loan
guarantees for recycling manufacture investment, and provide
technical assistance to state and local governments to improve the
quality of recycled materials. Increased source reduction and
recycling of paper and other municipal waste will save energy and
money, increase carbon sequestration in forests, reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, reduce the level of exploitation of our natural
resources, and help alleviate disposal problems at landfills. This
program is expected to reduce CO2 emissions by 4.2 MMTCE in 2000 and
to sequester an additional 5 MMTCE in forests--a projection that does
not include the additional potential reductions from the associated
methane emissions in the landfills.
Transportation Sector
The combustion of fossil fuels to move people and goods consumed 35
percent of the nation's energy in 1990 and produced over 32 percent
of U.S. CO2 emissions. The expected increase in demand for
transportation services over the next decade will hamper efforts to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  It will also continue to contribute
to urban air pollution and to U.S. reliance on foreign oil.
Transportation will be the fastest-growing source of CO2 emissions
through the year 2000. Following are initiatives in the Action Plan
that will help to slow the growing demand for vehicle travel and
enhance the market for more efficient technologies and cleaner fuels.
Overall, actions in the transport sector account for reductions of
8.1 MMTCE in the year 2000. This figure represents the combined total
for tire labeling (1.5 MMTCE) and parking reforms, telecommuting, and
a transportation efficiency strategy (6.6 MMTCE).
Cash Value of Parking. This action will transform an existing tax
subsidy--employer-paid parking--into a powerful reward for commuters
who ride public transit, carpool, or find ways to get to work other
than driving alone in personal vehicles. The Clinton Administration
is proposing legislation that will give workers the option of
receiving the cash value of employer-provided parking as an
alternative to existing subsidized parking arrangements. Employees
given subsidized parking at work will have the option of retaining
the parking space or accepting a cash allowance equal to the market
cost of the leased parking space minus any amount paid by the
employee. While the cash reward will be considered taxable income to
the employee and will generate tax revenue for the federal
government, the costs of administering such as program will be
tax-deductible for the employer. Those employees who choose to use an
employer-provided parking space will be unaffected. Parking cash-out
is one of the most innovative programs included in the U.S. Action
Plan because of its prospect as a "win-win" proposal.  While it
provides maximum flexibility to employers and employees, its
administrative costs are minimal, and it generates revenue for the
federal government.
Innovative Transportation Strategies. The Transportation System
Efficiency Strategy will broaden the arsenal of strategies available
to cities and states seeking to meet the joint challenges of clean
air and urban mobility. The U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), in consultation with the U.S. Department of Transportation
(DOT), is drafting guidance documents that identify the air-quality
benefits of innovative transportation strategies to reduce the number
of vehicle miles traveled.
To encourage people to drive less, the United States is aggressively
advocating innovative pollution control strategies that concentrate
on such market mechanisms as parking charges, emission-based fees,
accelerated vehicle scrapping, and transportation subsidies. Some
states have experimented with innovative programs, such as congestion
pricing tolls and mass-transit finance. New technologies, such as
virtual offices (completely portable communications and computing
equipment), smart cars and transit vehicles, and advanced traveler-
information systems, will be encouraged. This initiative will reduce
the costs of complying with clean air regulations and will improve
the quality of life of transportation users through increased choice
and enhanced environmental quality.
Tire-Labeling Program. DOT is developing a tire- labeling program to
help consumers identify tires that have low rolling resistance and,
therefore, provide better fuel economy. Consumers often purchase
replacement tires that have 20 percent more rolling resistance than
original-equipment tires, reducing their fuel economy by up to 4
percent. With the labeling program, consumers will readily have the
information they need to make better decisions on how to save gas,
save money, and protect the environment, and tire manufacturers will
have greater incentive to produce low-rolling-resistance tires. This
program is expected to result in the purchase of about 20 million
additional fuel- efficient tires (out of a total replacement market
of about 120 million units) in the year 2000.
Telecommuting Program. DOT has initiated a telecommuting program
aimed at reducing commuter travel through arrangements that allow
employees to work at home or at neighborhood "telework" centers.  DOT
has begun to implement a federal pilot telecommuting program, in
collaboration with the General Services Administration (GSA), DOE,
and EPA, that will both use the existing federal telework centers
developed by GSA and encourage work-at-home arrangements. On April 1,
1994, the Secretary of Transportation issued a formal departmental
policy on telecommuting and directed DOT to begin to identify
potential candidates for this program.
Energy Supply Strategies
The energy industry is entering an era of unprecedented change due to
market and regulatory shifts. The EPAct and actions taken by the
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) have increased
competition in energy markets, increasing the efficiency of energy
supply. New requirements under the Clean Air Act have prompted a
shift to cleaner fuels. Federal research and development into new
energy technologies is helping the industry increase the efficiency
of generating and distributing electricity and meet environmental and
market challenges.
The Action Plan includes a number of new actions that build on the
EPAct, Clean Air Act, and FERC actions to reduce the amount of CO2
emitted from energy production and use. The intent is to increase the
use of natural gas, encourage the commercial application of
renewable-energy resources, make more efficient use of our existing
hydroelectric resources, and reduce the amount of energy lost in
electricity transmission and distribution.
Among fossil fuels, natural gas emits the least amount of CO2 per
unit of energy provided, and renewable-energy sources--such as solar,
wind, geothermal and biomass energy--release no net CO2.  Nuclear
power, which currently accounts for slightly more than 20 percent of
electricity generated, will continue to play a key role in limiting
CO2 emissions from electricity production. Newer technologies can
also increase the efficiency of generating and distributing
electricity. Increased efficiency lowers the amount of greenhouse
gases emitted by reducing the amount of fuel required to generate and
deliver electricity to customers. The combined effects of the U.S.
energy-supply actions are projected to reduce emissions by 10.8 MMTCE
in the year 2000.
Natural Gas
Natural gas, an abundant domestic fuel, emits from 30 to 45 percent
less CO2 per unit of energy provided than fuels from either oil or
coal.  Therefore, the Action Plan increases our use of natural gas
over other fuels (Figure 4-4). The United States is taking the
following specific actions.
Clean Air Act Guidelines. Encouraging the use of natural gas as a
pollution control strategy under the Clean Air Act will lower the
cost of combating the severe tropospheric ozone pollution problem
plaguing many of our cities in a way that also reduces greenhouse gas
emissions. As part of that effort, EPA recently issued guidelines to
urge state and local pollution control agencies to allow the use of
natural gas in the summer in existing coal- and oil-fired power
plants as a strategy for reducing nitric oxide (NOX) emissions. EPA
will examine additional regulatory options where shifts to cleaner
fuels could provide environmental benefits and cost savings. This
action is expected to reduce emissions by 2.8 MMTCE in 2000.
High-Efficiency Gas Technologies. The United States will accelerate
the commercialization of high- efficiency gas fuel-cell technologies,
through joint ventures with utilities, research organizations, and
technology developers to fund demonstrations and market-entry
initiatives. Fuel cells are an ultra- high-efficiency and
environmentally benign method of producing electricity and by-product
thermal energy.  They provide a means of converting a fuel's chemical
energy into electrical energy without a combustion process. This
action is projected to lead to reductions of 0.6 MMTCE in the year
Regulatory Reform. The United States will continue to facilitate the
implementation of reforms that will increase the availability and use
of natural gas. DOE and the FERC are working together to enhance the
market orientation of an industry that previously had been
characterized by excessive regulation, which unnecessarily hampered
the industry's ability to serve its customers at cost- effective
prices. This initiative will include an investigation of current
pipeline construction rules, promulgation of incentive rate-making
guidelines, and a review of the rules regarding the secondary market
for pipeline transportation of natural gas. Reforms at the federal
level will establish a more efficient and competitive wholesale
market for natural gas and its transportation. As wholesale markets
become more efficient, increased opportunities for reform of retail
regulation will then exist. DOE has committed to working with state
public utility commissions to reform retail regulation to create
market conditions that permit increased cost-effective use of natural
Renewable Energy
Renewable-energy sources include solar energy, biomass energy (wood,
wood waste, and energy crops), geothermal energy, wind energy,
hydroelectric power, and related energy sources that emit relatively
little or no net greenhouse gases. Through increased funding, use of
incentives included in the EPAct to promote the use of renewable
energy, and the removal of institutional barriers, the United States
is already laying the groundwork for a future that can rely on these
promising resources. The Action Plan features new initiatives to
accelerate the widespread commercial deployment of renewable-energy
sources. The combined effect of these initiatives is projected to
lead to 2.2 MMTCE of reductions in the year 2000. Renewable energy
also holds great promise for reducing greenhouse gas emissions after
the year 2000.
Renewable-Energy Technology Consortium. The United States is forming
a renewable-energy technology consortium with utilities to increase
the emphasis on commercialization programs for wind power,
photovoltaics, biomass, and geothermal energy. By collaborating with
private industry to accelerate market acceptance of renewable
technologies and conducting industry cost-shared demonstrations of
renewable-energy technologies, DOE will facilitate the collective
purchases of nearly commercial renewable-energy technologies
(including technologies in the wind, solar, and biomass areas) by
states, utilities, and other interested firms.  Mass-purchase
strategies enable equipment manufacturers to increase their
production capacity and reduce their unit costs--which will in turn
further broaden the market for and increase the competitiveness of
these technologies.
Profitable Hydroelectric Efficiency Upgrade. This initiative, as
proposed, would enable nonfederal developers to invest in
environmentally sound upgrades at existing federal hydroelectric
projects, and to sell the incremental power thus generated at market
rates. Significant technological potential exists for increasing
generation at hydroelectric facilities, but institutional barriers
have stifled efforts to make these profitable efficiency upgrades.
Nonfederal investments will increase generation from hydroelectric
facilities, reducing the need for fossil-fuel-fired generation.
Furthermore, lease payments will help reduce the federal deficit.
Implementing legislation is currently being drafted.
Electric Distribution
In 1991, about 7.4 percent of U.S. electric generation was lost while
being distributed from power plants to consumers. Stemming
transmission and distribution losses will decrease the amount of
electricity that needs to be generated to meet electricity demands,
thus reducing CO2 emissions.  FERC is currently implementing changes
called for in the EPAct that will foster competition and promote
access to transmission systems. The Action Plan focuses on increasing
the adoption of more efficient transmission and distribution
equipment through the following actions, which jointly are projected
to reduce emissions by 1.6 MMTCE in the year 2000.
Distribution Transformer Standards. The United States is determining
the need for distribution transformer standards. If standards are
warranted, DOE will accelerate the process of establishing test
procedures, standards, and labeling. This process is based on an
EPAct provision that uses technological feasibility, economic
justification, and level-of- energy savings as the basis for the
decision.  Distribution transformers reduce the distribution system
voltage to a level that can be used by customers. There are
approximately 50 million distribution transformers in service, with
approximately 40 million units located on the utility side of the
meter. Approximately 61 billion kilowatt-hours are lost per year in
the delivery of electricity from utility distribution transformers.
Losses from comparable-size distribution transformers on the customer
side are significantly higher. Utilities typically use total owning
cost criteria in their specifications for transformers.  Initial cost
is a significant factor in the sales of transformers on the customer
side of the meter.
Energy Star Identification Program. The United States is implementing
an "Energy Star" identification program to encourage electric
utilities to invest in high-efficiency, cost- effective distribution
transformers that reduce transformer losses. Participating utilities
would agree to purchase only high-efficiency transformers, wherever
they are cost-effective, and to accelerate the replacement of
higher-loss transformers where economically warranted. EPA will
distribute information regarding energy-efficient transformers to
utilities and state regulatory bodies, and will help participating
utilities to organize group purchases of energy-efficient
transformers in order to obtain lower prices.
Electric Utilities
The energy demand and supply programs outlined above rely on an
assumed private-sector response to a collection of government
initiatives. The analysis of their impact assumes that a favorable
climate exists for the penetration of energy-efficient technologies
and that electric utilities will support the programs. To ensure that
these programs deliver the estimated impacts, and to enhance the
prospects for early emission reductions, DOE has begun to forge
partnerships with electric utilities to limit greenhouse gas
emissions through the Climate Challenge, described earlier in this
chapter. In addition, DOE and EPA will expand their efforts to
encourage supportive state regulatory actions. This strategy is not
scored for reductions under the current plan.
Expanded Assistance for Utility Integrated Resource Planning.
Integrated resource planning (IRP) stresses systematic consideration
of all relevant options and uncertainties in the development of a
utility's resource plan. Such options include both supply and demand
actions, such as promoting renewable generating technologies;
programs to help customers improve energy efficiency or use
alternative fuels; utility investments to improve the efficiency of
generation, transmission, and distribution equipment; purchase of
electricity from nonpower producers; and electricity imports from
DOE will expand utility IRP assistance to provide a foundation for
other federal and state programs, and to encourage a supportive
regulatory environment for utilities signing the Climate Challenge.
The expanded IRP program will focus on increasing federal technical
and financial support to state regulatory commissions to make utility
investments in energy efficiency as profitable as other traditional
investments and for more effective demand- and supply-side planning.
It will also increase federal support for removing regulatory
barriers to the increased use of renewable energy and natural gas.
The intent behind this initiative is to provide more planning
flexibility, to lower costs for utilities over the long term, and to
spur the adoption of innovative technologies and approaches,
including electrotechnologies, which more than offset the increased
use of electricity with reduced fossil fuel consumption.
Forestry Strategies
Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are the net result of continuous
emissions and sequestration that occur through natural processes and
human activities.  Future concentrations of CO2 in the
atmosphere--the key factor of the global warming threat--can be
limited both by reducing emissions and by increasing the amount of
annual sequestration by natural systems, sometimes called carbon
"sinks." Trees, plants, and soils absorb and store CO2 from the
atmosphere and are a significant carbon sink. CO2 emissions occur
when the carbon stored in these sinks is released--for example, when
trees are harvested and the wood is burned for energy.  Protecting
the carbon stored in these forest reservoirs, therefore, can prevent
CO2 emissions from occurring.
The United States has already taken significant steps to protect
carbon sequestered in forests.  Lower harvests in old-growth forests
help prevent CO2 emissions, even if accompanied by increased harvests
elsewhere, because old-growth forests have higher carbon densities
than second-growth forests.  The shift toward ecosystem management
also favors timber harvest methods that inflict less damage, and
helps retain carbon on forest lands. Sink-protection actions are very
cost-effective methods for limiting net CO2 emissions.
The Action Plan includes several programs to maintain carbon
sequestered in forest ecosystems, which provide about 9 percent of
the emission reductions needed to reach the greenhouse gas target in
2000, or a total of approximately 10.0 MMTCE.  Figure 4-5 illustrates
the expected impact of these actions on net CO2 emissions. In
addition to the two programs described below, several other actions
detailed above lead to increased carbon sequestration in U.S.
forests. In particular, efforts to enhance recycling will extend the
useful life of forest products, thus reducing demands on rapidly
growing forest stands and enhancing biological carbon reservoirs.
Concurrently, the Cool Communities program will encourage the
planting of shade trees to improve home energy efficiency, which will
also serve as a carbon sink, contributing to the overall carbon
reservoir, both above and below ground.
Reduce Depletion of Nonindustrial Private Forests
The United States will enhance the health of private forests by
providing technical and economic assistance to nonindustrial private
forest landowners to aid them in making silviculturally and
financially sound timber-harvesting decisions that are consistent
with landowner objectives and good forest stewardship. USDA's Forest
Service will carry out this action in cooperation with state
foresters and private consulting foresters who will prepare stand
evaluations that describe the owner's timber (tree species
composition, age, stocking, growth rate, and approximate volume and
value) and recommend management options for the next ten years.
Nonindustrial private landowners generally do not manage their
holdings intensively. As a result, about 16 percent of these forests
are in poor health, and many are harvested for short-term economic
gain without adequate regard for the future condition of the forest.
Large increases in the ability of forests to capture and store carbon
can be achieved by reducing harvesting practices that leave forests
in an understocked and depleted condition. This measure is projected
to reduce net emissions by sequestering an additional 4 MMTCE in the
year 2000.
Accelerate Tree Planting in Nonindustrial Private Forests
This program aims to increase tree planting on poorly stocked and
nonstocked nonindustrial private forest land by 233,000 acres within
five years. To accomplish this, the federal government will expand
management assistance under the Stewardship Incentive Program by
funding additional free technical consultations and management plans
for nonindustrial private landowners. Technical assistance and up to
75 percent federal cost-sharing will be provided by the Forest
Service in cooperation with respective state foresters.  Accelerated
planting programs increase carbon uptake and provide significant
economic and environmental benefits over the long term. This program
is expected to lead to reductions of approximately 0.5 MMTCE in 2000.
Methane and Other Gases
Methane comprises about 12 percent of the U.S.  greenhouse gas
emissions. The primary sources of methane emissions in the United
States are landfills, domesticated livestock, coal mines, and natural
gas systems. The U.S. Action Plan includes specific measures for each
of these. The total greenhouse gas emission reductions achieved from
methane-related actions amount to 16.3 MMTCE.
The United States has also developed emission- reduction strategies
for hydrofluorocarbons and perfluorocarbons and for nitrous oxide.
Methane Recovery and Reduction Strategies
In many cases, methane that would otherwise be emitted to the
atmosphere can be captured and used to generate power, or can be
significantly reduced through the use of cost-effective management
methods. Therefore, methane-control options offer tremendous
opportunities to reduce greenhouse gas emissions at low cost or even
at a profit (Figure 4- 6). The Action Plan builds on several U.S.
programs that are already delivering cost-effective methane
reductions, and establishes new initiatives to reduce methane
emissions from all of the major methane sources.
Natural Gas STAR
The new Natural Gas STAR program will set an industrywide performance
benchmark for leakage and emission control throughout the entire
natural gas system. EPA will expand the existing Natural Gas STAR
partnership with the natural gas industry to include additional
transmission and distribution companies and production companies. Key
1994 milestones for this initiative include (1) the completion of a
full analysis of the barriers companies face in implementing
emission-control practices and (2) the launching of a marketing
campaign for gas producers and processors.
Increase Stringency of Landfill Rule
This action will increase the amount of organic compounds that must
be recovered and destroyed at landfills and will result in additional
methane recovery. EPA will formulate a more stringent rule to reduce
methane emissions from landfills under Section 111 of the Clean Air
Act. This rule, which will be promulgated in 1994, is expected to
affect about the largest 10 percent of the more than 6,000 landfills
in the United States.
Expand Coalbed and Landfill Outreach Program
New outreach and technical assistance programs for landfill and coal
mine owners will promote energy recovery rather than the minimum
requirement of flaring the methane. Studies indicate that many coal
mine owners could make a profit by using or selling the methane they
currently emit to the atmosphere.  However, most mines have not
installed recovery systems because of institutional, regulatory, and
financial barriers and a lack of technical support.  This voluntary
program will significantly reduce methane emissions. DOE and EPA will
work to broaden the range of cost-effective technologies and
practices for recovering methane associated with mining. They will
expand an outreach program with key coal utilities and state agencies
to raise awareness of these cost-effective, emission- reduction
AgSTAR Partnerships
Cattle are currently responsible for over 30 MMTCE of methane
emissions per year. AgSTAR is a partnership effort designed for dairy
and swine farmers to provide on-farm energy needs with methane
produced from animal manure. An outreach program by EPA and USDA will
promote practices that improve production efficiency and reduce
methane emissions per unit of beef, pork, or milk produced.
HFC and PFC Control Strategies
Due to their high global warming potentials, long atmospheric
lifetimes, and increasing emissions, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are a
growing contributor to the climate change problem. HFCs are produced
commercially as a substitute for ozone-depleting CFCs and are also
emitted as a by-product of HCFC-22 production (another CFC
substitute).  Perfluorocarbons (PFCs), emitted primarily during
aluminum smelting, are also potent greenhouse gases.
The United States is the first nation to articulate a national
strategy to control the emissions of HFCs and PFCs. HFC and PFC
emissions are projected to grow from 20 MMTCE in 1990 to 45 MMTCE in
2000 without the Action Plan; with the Plan, increases in emissions
from these gases are expected to be substantially smaller (Figure
4-7). The Plan uses a combination of partnership efforts and
regulatory mechanisms to minimize the future contribution of HFCs and
PFCs to global warming, without disrupting the orderly and
cost-effective transition away from CFCs.
The United States will use both regulatory and voluntary approaches
to limit HFC and PFC use. EPA will use its authority under the Clean
Air Act to narrow the scope of uses allowed for HFCs with high global
warming potentials where better alternatives exist, and to initiate
rulemaking early in 1994. In addition, EPA will establish a
partnership with chemical manufacturers to assist their efforts to
limit by-product emissions of HFCs from their manufacturing
operations by 50 percent. Another partnership, with aluminum
producers, will identify opportunities to reduce PFC emissions by up
to 50 percent.
Nitrous Oxide Strategy
Nitrous oxide emissions, mostly from fertilizer and chemical
manufacture, accounted for 39 MMTCE in U.S.  greenhouse gas emissions
in 1990, and are projected to decline to 36 MMTCE even without the
actions in the Plan. With the Plan, a further decline, to 31 MMTCE,
is projected (Figure 4-7).
Improved Fertilizer Management
A new partnership with American farmers to improve the efficiency of
fertilizer management will result in lower emissions of nitrous oxide
from soil. This initiative will begin with the conduct of field
experiments regarding bacterial denitrification and the testing of
management options to improve the efficiency of nitrogen use.
Demonstration projects and an outreach campaign using nationwide USDA
outlets will begin by 1996.
State and Local Outreach
To facilitate all the actions in the Plan, state government agencies
and federal officials are developing new working relationships. The
intent is for the federal government to provide support to states and
localities to build expertise in climate change policy issues and to
provide a central federal point of contact for greenhouse gas
mitigation efforts. States have been involved in the implementation
planning process from the beginning, bringing their considerable
expertise to these issues, particularly as related to energy
efficiency and renewable technologies.
The federal government is coordinating efforts to work with states
and localities through a variety of mechanisms. DOE has been holding
a series of Regional Roundtable discussions for stakeholders,
including state and local government officials, to obtain input and
feedback on the DOE initiatives.  DOE has established a centralized
point-of-contact staff, known as the "Green Room" for climate-related
activities, and has been working closely with state energy office
staff to ensure internal and external coordination. EPA's State and
Local Outreach Program is geared toward energy offices, environmental
agencies, and public utility commissions to provide technical and
financial assistance in understanding climate change impacts and
reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Industrial and Commercial Efficiency Programs
Thirty-five states currently operate industrial and commercial
efficiency programs. They have significant expertise working with
builders, manufacturers, utilities, public utility commissions (who
regulate utilities and natural gas distribution companies), and
building owners. For example, many utility demand-side management
programs have been initiated through the joint efforts of utilities
and state energy offices. State programs have helped hundreds of
industrial and commercial energy users to convert from fossil fuels
to low-cost biomass and other renewable technologies, have organized
photovoltaic technologies to work in new applications, and have
coordinated with state regulatory commissions and utilities to
implement integrated resource planning, opening up new opportunities
for efficiency and renewable technologies.
EPA's State and Local Outreach Program
EPA's "one-stop-shopping" efforts are designed to encourage states
and localities to develop and implement cost-effective greenhouse
gas-reduction strategies, in addition to those identified in the
Action Plan. The outreach program builds capacity in climate change
issues and helps the targeted groups integrate the Action Plan with
other efforts, such as the Clean Air Act, the Energy Policy Act, and
the Internodal Surface Transportation Efficiency Act.  The program
provides technical and financial assistance to states and localities
to conduct greenhouse gas inventories, to develop state "action
plans" to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, to study the impacts of
climate change, and to demonstrate innovative mitigation policies.
Other efforts include providing training workshops and guidance
To date, eight states have completed inventories and are developing
action plans, and nearly twenty states and localities have completed
projects that range from telecommuting demonstrations to studies of
the impact of sea level rise on land use and development policies.
Nearly fifteen states will begin greenhouse gas inventories in 1995.
Agricultural Outreach Programs
Ongoing programs within the U.S. Department of Agriculture transfer
technical assistance in the management of forest and agriculture
carbon sinks to state and local jurisdictions. For the most part,
these programs have been in place for the past fifty years at the
county level in every state, providing over three thousand locations
for on-site assistance in resource conservation and judicious land
use.  Through its offices in each county in the United States, the
U.S. Soil Conservation Service works with locally elected officials
and with farm and forest land owners in local soil- and water-
conservation districts.
The State Agricultural Extension Service fully complements federal
assistance through the County Agricultural Extension Agents, which
are funded jointly by county, state, and federal programs. In
addition, private, nonindustrial woodlot and forest owners receive
resource management technology through the State and Private Forest
Division of the U.S. Forest Service, which coordinates technical
assistance from forestry experts at the local, county, and state
levels and provides overall guidance for consistency in management
designs and practices.
Joint Implementation
Efforts undertaken cooperatively between countries or entities within
them to reduce net greenhouse gas emissions--called joint
implementation--hold significant potential for combating the threat
of global warming and promoting sustainable development. Joint
implementation is recognized under the Framework Convention on
Climate Change as an approach open to all parties to the Convention.
Joint implementation could achieve greater emission reductions than
would be possible if each country pursued only domestic actions, and
could achieve these reductions more cost effectively. Joint
implementation could also spur technology cooperation--increasing
developing countries' access to energy-efficient and renewable-energy
technologies, including providing countries with additional
operational capability, while stimulating export markets for
industrialized countries. At the same time, significant questions
arise about what kinds of actions might take place under the rubric
of joint implementation: whether these would produce "real"
reductions, whether they would be "new and additional" to ongoing
development assistance or private business transactions, how to
measure and track net emission reductions achieved, how to ensure
that reductions in one place do not give rise to increases in
another, and how to ensure that reductions will not be lost or
reversed through time.
The U.S. Climate Change Action Plan was developed to achieve the goal
of emission reductions to 1990 levels by the year 2000 through
domestic actions alone. However, recognizing the enormous potential
for cost-effective greenhouse gas emission reductions in other
countries, the United States chose to develop ground rules for joint
implementation, which would allow the promise of these measures to be
realized. Published in final form in the June 1, 1994, Federal
Register after an extensive domestic review process, the ground rules
establish a pilot program, the intent of which is to evaluate
possible approaches to joint implementation domestically, including
the development of methods to measure and verify the achievements of
the projects, and to help serve as a model for international
consideration of this important tool to combat climate change. The
final ground rules for the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation
(USIJI) include the following key features:
--  The USIJI provides a mechanism for investments by U.S. firms, to
be evaluated for net greenhouse gas emission reductions.
--  The USIJI includes an interagency Evaluation Panel, co-chaired at
senior policy levels by DOE and EPA, to certify net emission
reductions and to approve projects for inclusion in the program.
--  The USIJI will adhere to strict criteria to evaluate potential
emission reductions in order to maximize international acceptance.
--  Net emission reductions achieved as a result of projects
developed under the USIJI will be measured, tracked, and scored, and
an accounting of the reductions will be part of the Action Plan.
The Evaluation Panel, which has formally begun its work and is now
supported by a Secretariat, is in the process of developing
guidelines for the day-to- day operations of the Initiative,
including both application and review procedures for project
proposals. The Panel will accept its first project applications by
mid-November 1994, will evaluate them within ninety days, and will
select the first portfolio of projects by early February 1995.
At this time, it is envisioned that the participants in the program
will be given technical assistance to reduce the transaction costs
associated with USIJI projects. Such costs might include those
involved in working with host country governments, and identifying
appropriate methodologies to perform specific tasks. While the
program is still in a pilot phase, USIJI participants will receive
public recognition for their efforts to combat global warming and
contribute to sustainable development.
Chapter 5: Impacts and Adaptation
The bulk of scientific evidence suggests that greenhouse gases
emitted over the last century will eventually warm the Earth 1--2-C
(1.8--3.6-F). While the Framework Convention on Climate Change can
greatly affect future emissions and the magnitude and rate of
additional climate change, it cannot offset all change. Both adverse
and beneficial consequences of climate change are plausible, with the
overall effect depending on the rate and magnitude of change and the
vulnerability or sensitivity of natural and human systems to such
changes. Thus, society and nature may have to adapt to rising sea
levels, more variable precipitation patterns and periods of
temperature extremes, changes in water supplies, disruption of
ecosystems, and changes in many other climate-sensitive natural
For example, sea level rise could lead to higher storm surges,
increased erosion of coasts, and accelerated loss of coastal
wetlands. Shifts in precipitation patterns could cause more floods,
droughts, water-supply disruptions, hydropower reductions, and
ground-water overdrafts, especially in the arid West. The ideal range
for agricultural crop varieties
and other plant species might move north as temperatures increase,
and prolonged droughts could become more frequent. Forests could
experience more frequent fire and diebacks driven by drought,
insects, and disease. Retaining unique assemblages of plants and
animals in preserves could become extremely difficult as the climate
to which they are adapted effectively shifts northward or to higher
elevations. And regional drying could eliminate some prairie potholes
that support local wetland ecosystems and transcontinental wildlife
The Adaptability of Natural Systems
The loss of soil moisture that may result from higher evaporation
rates at warmer temperatures is likely to present the greatest threat
to the present composition and structure of natural systems. Figure
5-1 shows the areas of the United States that may undergo significant
changes in soil moisture based on climate changes projected by two
global change models that assume a doubling of CO2 concentrations.
The Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) scenario suggests that
large areas face moderate drying. However, the Geophysical Fluid
Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) scenario shows more severe drying across
much of the eastern and central United States. While there is
substantial uncertainty in the models, their projections suggest that
much of the nation's natural resource base may face at least moderate
drying, which is likely to increase stress on current vegetation and
crop varieties.
Atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide--the main greenhouse
gas--are changing thirty to one hundred times faster than shown in
ice-core records, which go back millennia. The projected rates of
temperature change exceed the estimated rates for the past fifteen
thousand years, which averaged about 0.5-C (0.9-F) per thousand
years. Under a changing climate, temperatures could rise 1.5--to
4.5-C (2.7--8.1-F) within one hundred years. These changes may be too
rapid to allow forest ecosystems to effectively migrate.
It is impossible to estimate with any confidence the costs to society
of climate change. Estimates of the costs to the United States
resulting from an average temperature increase of 2--3-C (3.6--5.4-F)
range from 0.3 percent to 2.0 percent of the gross national
product--corresponding to billions of dollars per year.
Adaptation can include any adjustment to altered
conditions--biological, technical, institutional, regulatory,
behavioral, or economic. It encompasses passive adjustments (e.g.,
gradual change in human behavior and tastes, or biologically driven
changes in communities); deliberate reactive responses (e.g.,
management responses after climate change effects are observed); and
anticipatory actions (e.g., planning, engineering, or regulatory
responses taken in advance of observed climate change). Ongoing
adaptation-related efforts in the United States fall into this last
category. Most have been initiated because they will increase the
nation's ability to cope with existing threats to natural resource
systems, such as those related to climate extremes and fragmentation
of natural habitat.
Overall, various strategies for coping with climate change can be
identified for managed natural resources, such as coastal zones,
agriculture, and water resources. For these, active technological
measures (such as building sea walls, fertilizing soils, applying
genetic breeding techniques, or transferring water) exist to some
extent today. For unmanaged natural systems, however, such
technological options do not currently exist. For example, we are
limited by our fundamental understanding of what maintains an
ecosystem as it is, and we don't know how to transplant existing
ecosystems or facilitate migration.
The Committee on Science, Engineering, and Public Policy of the
National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering
and Institute of Medicine recently studied this problem and presented
its findings (Table 5-1). It concluded that the sensitivity and
adaptability of both human systems and natural, unmanaged ecosystems
vary considerably, although they do not account for potential
nonlinear changes. In industry, the Committee found that
decision-making horizons and building schedules are shorter than the
time frame within which most climate changes would emerge, so
adaptation can occur as change occurs. The Committee categorized
human migration and water resources as "sensitive to climate change"
but "adaptable at some cost."  Unmanaged natural ecosystems, however,
respond relatively slowly, making their ability to adapt to climate
change more questionable and "problematic" than that of managed
cropland or timberland. The EPA report The Potential Effects of
Climate Change similarly concluded that natural ecosystems have only
limited ability to adapt rapidly to climate change, and suggested
that "managed systems may show more resilience."
U.S. Ecosystem Management Initiative
The goal of ecosystem management is to restore and maintain the
health, sustainability, and biological diversity of ecosystems while
supporting sustainable economies and communities. Ecosystem
management is important to ameliorate today's problems as well as to
help us adapt to new environmental challenges, such as global change.
Many factors, such as piecemeal monitoring, incompatible data bases,
a lack of research on ecosystem function, inconsistent planning and
budgeting cycles, and differing agency organizational structures have
hampered the development of a coordinated U.S. approach to actively
maintaining or restoring the health of ecosystems, which are the
cornerstones of sustainable economies.
One of the most far-reaching environmental recommendations of Vice
President Gore's National Performance Review was to develop a
"proactive approach to ensuring a sustainable economy and a
sustainable environment through ecosystem management." An interagency
Ecosystem Management Task Force has been established to implement an
ecosystem approach to environmental management. The Task Force, which
consists of Assistant Secretaries from twelve federal departments and
agencies, as well as representatives from several White House
offices, is in a unique position to advance a consistent approach to
environmental management by establishing overarching goals for all
agencies; removing barriers that frustrate more efficient, effective
interagency cooperation; and learning from large-scale,
ecosystem-based management efforts. One of the group's most important
tasks is to examine major areas that influence the effectiveness of
ecosystem management, such as the budget process, legal authorities,
and information management, and to recommend improvements.
The Task Force has selected eleven ecosystems for attention and has
divided them into two categories:  (1) "Survey and Assist" case
studies--ecosystems where ecosystem-based activities are already
ongoing; and (2) "New Initiatives" laboratories-- locations where the
interagency, ecosystem-based activities are not as well developed but
where the development of new, integrated approaches holds great
The ecosystems identified as case studies are parts of the Great
Lakes, the coastal Louisiana wetlands, the South Florida ecosystem,
the southern Appalachian highlands, Pacific Northwest forests, Prince
William Sound, and the Anacostia River watershed in the Washington,
D.C., area. The Task Force is currently assessing the ecosystem-based
activities of the case study ecosystems to elicit lessons and
identify opportunities to assist those efforts, and will make its
initial recommendations by late 1994. The "New Initiative"
laboratories will be the West Mojave Desert, Monterey Bay, and the
Great Plains.
Contingency Planning
Climate change alters the baseline against which future actions are
gauged. Our way of life relies on a dependable, consistent, and
sustainable supply of water, food, and other things society values
from natural resources. Our institutions and infrastructure presume
that the past is a reasonable surrogate for the future. When
designing reservoirs, for example, engineers assume historic rainfall
patterns provide a good indication of the range of future patterns. A
farmer plants knowing that at times weather conditions will cause a
crop to fail, but--based on past climate--expects the crop will
succeed in most years.
Climate change poses two potential problems for current management
strategies for resources: (1) increased unpredictability resulting
from changing climate averages, and (2) increased risk of surprises
or large-scale losses. These, together with the "background" of
increasing population, greater future demand, and growing competition
for the use of scarce resources, make the need to improve the
nation's ability to deal with an uncertain climate all the more
The goal of contingency planning is to minimize losses from natural
disasters or accidents by preparing in advance to take appropriate
actions.  Contingency planning is important where the threat of
significant losses is high in the absence of preparation and prompt
response--as is the case with floods, forest fires, droughts, and
Our response to such events has often proven to be expensive and
reactive rather than anticipatory.  Almost $4 billion in federal
payments went to farmers suffering crop losses during the 1988
drought. Hurricane Hugo cost the federal government about $1.6
billion. Hurricane Andrew topped $2 billion in federal disaster
payments, and expected damages from the Mississippi River flooding in
1993 range from $5 billion to $10 billion, with federal disaster
payments of about $3 billion. Climate change makes preparedness
perhaps even more important than it is now. With a rising sea level,
storm surges will reach property further inland, and erosion will
increase, even if the frequency or intensity of extreme events
remains constant.
Given the current inability to predict accurately where, when, and
how much change will occur, decision makers must plan for natural and
managed systems in light of considerable uncertainty. A critical
first step in contingency planning is improving our understanding of
these uncertainties.  Accordingly, impacts and adaptation issues are
receiving increased attention within the U.S. Global Change Research
Program (described in Chapter 6).
Nonetheless, uncertainty does not mean we cannot position ourselves
better to cope with the broad range of impacts possible under climate
change.  Delaying anticipatory measures may leave the United States
poorly prepared to deal with the changes that do occur and may
increase the possibility of impacts that are irreversible or
substantially increase the cost of adaptation. Options that can be
justified for other reasons today and that can make us more flexible
or resilient to the changes posed by the threat of climate change are
particularly desirable.
Floodplain Management
In response to the Mississippi floods in 1993, the President
established a Floodplain Management Task Force to assess how to
reduce vulnerability to damages and how to create a balance among
natural and human uses of floodplains and their related watersheds
that would meet the social and environmental goals of the nation.
Initial recommendations promote a regional approach of avoidance,
minimization, and mitigation; increased use of natural buffers, such
as wetlands; and decreased emphasis on structural solutions.
Following the floods, the first priority for federal mitigation funds
was buyout of structures. The federal government bought out over four
thousand structures, mostly in areas of recurring flood damage. The
buyouts not only eliminated the need for future disaster relief, but
in many instances also removed poor-quality, lower-value housing. The
Clinton Administration's commitment to buyout measures marks the
first time that this strategy has been used on such a large scale.
A report of the interagency review to the Management Task Force
envisions future floodplain use in which human activity is attuned to
flood cycles.  Development in commonly flooded areas would be
curtailed and gradually replaced with recreational areas. Critical
infrastructure, such as roadways and water-treatment facilities,
would be elevated, protected, or otherwise designed to withstand a
flood. Larger urban areas would remain protected behind large levees,
but would incur a greater proportion of expenses for maintenance.
The Committee concluded that better use of science and
technology--from creating a computerized data base of flood-prone
structures to developing hydrologic, hydraulic, and hydrometeorologic
models- -would be a part of this future vision of floodplain
management. Such models would improve the government's ability to
both avoid and mitigate the damage from such a natural disaster.
Predicting El Nino Events
Abnormal interannual climate variability, such as El Nino/Southern
Oscillation (ENSO) events, dramatically change world weather
patterns, with some areas of the world experiencing severe droughts,
while others suffer from floods. The ENSO cycle is an oscillation of
relatively warm and cold waters, with a variable period of two to
seven years in the tropical Pacific Ocean, which causes concomitant
response of the global atmosphere. The cycle influences the onset and
intensity of the Asian and Indian monsoons, the frequency and
severity and paths of storms in the Pacific, the viability of
commercial fisheries off the coast of South America, and the
occurrence of short-term regional drought and floods in many parts of
the world, including the United States. The El Nino of 1986--87 is
hypothesized to have been a key factor in the severe nationwide
drought of 1988, which is estimated to have cost the U.S. economy
tens of billions of dollars.
Recent scientific results have demonstrated the ability to predict
the onset of El Nino events and to estimate rainfall in equatorial
regions one to two years in advance. These predictions are already
being used with success in many tropical countries to affect
decisions on crop selection, planting schedules, and water resource
allocations. For example, in 1987, agricultural production in
northeastern Brazil dropped by 85 percent when rainfall fell to 70
percent of the historic average.  In 1992, however, agricultural
production was near normal, despite a similar decrease in rainfall,
because farm-management practices were adapted on the basis of the
Current global change research is directed at extending the forecasts
to middle latitudes--e.g., to North America. Improved seasonal and
interannual climate forecasts could result in potential annual
savings to the United States of several billion dollars.
Federal Interagency  Coordination: CENR
On November 23, 1993, President Clinton established the National
Science and Technology Council by executive order. This cabinet-level
council is the principal means for the President to coordinate
science policies across the federal government and to identify clear
One of the Council's nine committees is the Committee on Environment
and Natural Resources. CENR aims to enhance the nation's ability to
anticipate and respond to environmental change by:
--  Developing a balanced, comprehensive environmental and natural
resource research and development program that provides the
scientific and technical basis for national and international
policymaking, including the global environmental conventions
(stratospheric ozone depletion, global climate change, loss of
biological diversity, and desertification).
--  Strengthening research on: (1) the socioeconomic aspects of
environmental changes; (2) the impacts of environmental changes on
human health, ecological, and socioeconomic systems; and (3)
adaptation to and mitigation of environmental changes.
--  Creating an interagency organization that improves the way that
the federal government plans and coordinates environmental and
natural resource research and development activities.
--  Developing the tools needed for policy formulation--e.g.,
integrated models and risk assessments.
Many U.S. government agencies are involved in planning for response
to natural disasters. Through the CENR's Subcommittee on Natural
Disaster Reduction, the federal government is promoting "strategic
coordination and advancement of programs and research to reduce the
social, environmental, and economic costs of natural hazards among
federal agencies and among the various levels of government for
responding to disasters."
All the federal agencies are participating in the CENR effort. The
Committee has developed a draft environmental research and
development strategy across all areas, has vetted it in a public
forum held by the National Academy of Sciences in February 1994, and
is preparing an implementation plan to address the near-term
priorities. Under the full Committee are subcommittees developing
strategies and implementation plans in the "issue" areas of global
change, biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics, resource use and
management, water resources and coastal and marine environments, air
quality, toxic substances and solid and hazardous waste, natural
disasters, and the "cross-cutting" areas of risk, socioeconomic
effects, and environmental technologies. Each of these subcommittees
is reviewing where federal dollars are being spent and how near-term
priorities can be augmented despite fiscal constraints. The
subcommittees are attempting to build on agency program strengths and
to eliminate redundancies where they may exist. Through this effort,
the full federal environmental and natural resource budget can be
coordinated, and agreed-upon priority areas can be pursued
Text Box: Key Issues for the Committee on Environment and Natural
The CENR has subcommittees in key environmental issue areas: global
change, biodiversity and ecosystem dynamics, resource use and
management, water resources and coastal and marine environments, air
quality, toxic substances and solid and hazardous waste, and natural
disasters. Each subcommittee is explicitly considering:
--The depth of understanding of the issue. How well do we observe,
understand, and predict the physical, chemical, geological, and
biological states of the natural system and how human activities are
affecting it?
--The socioeconomic driving forces of environmental change. What are
the social and economic forces that lead to anthropogenic changes in
the environment?  These forces include the organization and
functioning of human society, population growth and migration,
consumption patterns, and economic systems.
--The impacts of environmental change. What changes to human health,
the structure and functioning of unmanaged ecosystems, and the
productivity and structure of managed systems (agriculture, forestry,
fisheries, energy systems, transportation, etc.) occur in response to
single and multiple socioeconomic and environmental stresses?
--Mitigation of environmental change. What technologies can be
developed to mitigate environmental change, and what research should
be conducted to analyze the barriers and opportunities for the
diffusion of these technologies into the marketplace, both nationally
and internationally?
--Adaptation to environmental change. How can the United States best
position itself to respond in a timely, cost-effective way to both
short-term and long-term environmental changes? (This includes
development of methodologies and strategies designed to adjust to the
consequences of environmental change.)
--Assessment of the state of the knowledge. The United States will
provide a mechanism to perform national assessments and to involve
the U.S.  scientific and technical communities in the international
assessments--e.g., of ozone depletion, climate change, and biological
Resource  Adaptation Strategies
Using the framework described above, the United States is analyzing
the vulnerabilities of key resource and ecological systems to climate
change:  water, coastal areas, agricultural land, forests, and
lightly managed ecosystems. At the same time, it is developing
strategies to facilitate the adaptation of these resources and
systems to a changed climate.
Water Supplies
Water is an indispensable component of life on Earth: its abundance
or scarcity is a key factor in the development of ecosystems in any
given location.  Human communities are dependent on water not only
for consumption, but also for industry, transportation, and energy.
Many factors are straining U.S. water resources and leading to
increased competition among a wide variety of different uses and
users of water. Human demands for water are increasingly in conflict
with the needs of natural ecosystems, which has led to significant
water-quality and water-quantity problems. In addition, water
infrastructure in many urban areas is aging.
Climate change may heighten the competition for water in water-short
areas and may affect the social and economic well-being of
communities in those areas. Regions traditionally considered to be
rich in water may also be directly affected by climate change because
of increased demand for water for domestic and agricultural uses.
Changes in precipitation and higher levels of evapotranspiration can
affect surface-water and ground-water supplies, the frequency of
floods and droughts, and hydropower production. Arid basins could
experience the largest relative change in water flow from climate
change--even small reductions in water availability could be
significant. The drawing down of ground-water levels may result in
land subsidence, saltwater intrusion into freshwater aquifers, and
the loss of surface- water systems and associated wetlands. Reduced
surface flow may impede or even render unviable current
transportation routes and waste-disposal practices.
Numerous studies have been conducted on the relative vulnerability of
the major U.S. river basins to flooding and drought, supply
disruptions, hydropower reductions, ground-water overdrafts, and
extreme events. They conclude that the water-resource regions most
vulnerable to some or all of these events are the Great Basin,
California, Missouri, Arkansas, Texas Gulf, Rio Grande, and Lower
Colorado (Figure 5-2).
Adaptation Strategies
Many institutional arrangements for managing and allocating water
resources have evolved over the past 150 years as agricultural,
hydropower, and industrial development supported an expanding
economy. Policies were developed for managing potential water
scarcity, and the industrial, hydroelectric, and agricultural sectors
greatly increased the efficiency of their use of water, while meeting
several external environmental needs as well. Primary among the
water-resource use issues is the realignment of incentives to
conserve water as more efficient delivery and use systems are
Many of the existing predictive tools (climate, watershed, and
aquatic/ecosystem models) are not yet sufficiently developed to
predict potential water shortages or potential system responses to
them.  Virtually all techniques of hydrologic analysis are based on
the assumption of an unchanging climate.  Water-resource managers
require improved methods for assessing the sensitivity of the systems
they manage to seasonal and longer-term variations in weather and
climate. Equally important is the ongoing development of methods for
evaluating the risk or uncertainty associated with such assessments.
The federal government is attempting to facilitate adaptation of its
water resources to climate change by building ever-improving
capabilities for predicting supplies of and demand for water
resources and the effects of climate change on them.  Comprehensive
aquatic/ecosystem models are just now being developed. Improved
understanding will help private and public decision makers as they
consider management and policy alternatives to protect and enhance
water supplies and associated ecosystems, to encourage pollution
prevention and cleanup, and to guard against water hazards.
To facilitate adaptation to changes in water resources caused by
climate change, the federal government, in cooperation with state and
local agencies, is focusing on encouraging five types of activity:
improving demand management through conservation and market-oriented
pricing; improving supply management (by improving coordination,
jointly managing ground- and surface-water supplies, and improving
the management of reservoirs and reservoir systems); facilitating
water marketing and related types of water transfers; improving
planning for floods and droughts; and promoting the use of new
analytical tools that enable more efficient operations.
The following first steps toward improving water- resource planning
and management both help relieve existing stresses and make sense for
climate change.
Development of New Analytical Tools. Further development,
dissemination, and use of new modeling and forecasting tools will
greatly enhance water- resource management. Joint research projects
between federal agencies and private industry related to the creation
of a new generation of technologies for developing river basin models
have just been initiated, and new models are expected to be used in
the arid West within five years.
Adoption of Demand-Management and Water-Conservation Practices. The
Energy Policy Act of 1992 requires each federal agency to implement
by 2005 all water- conservation measures that have a payback period
of ten years or less. Proposed legislative changes being considered
in the reauthorization of the Clean Water Act will enable the states
to improve their water use, primarily by ensuring that private
ownership of water resources carries with it incentives toward wise
Basinwide Management of Reservoirs. Pilot programs are under way in
the Tennessee Valley Authority and the upper Colorado River system to
operate reservoirs within the same basin as a single system, rather
than individually. The objective is to greatly improve the efficiency
and flexibility of water quantity and quality.
Improved Information and Models. The CENR is coordinating programs to
determine the impact of climate change on water resources. Studies
are aimed at developing a capability to predict the
hydrometeorological and water-resource responses to climate
variability and change across the range of environmental conditions
existing in the United States. This involves integrating
meteorological and climate factors with stream-flow, ground-water
recharge, and sea level changes. Additional studies emphasize
understanding the hydrologic processes and the interactions among
snow accumulation and melt, soil moisture and freezing, distribution
of precipitation, evapotranspiration, ground-water recharge, and
stream-flow management. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has begun a
study of decision making about water resources, given the uncertainty
of climate change.
Coastal Zones
The U.S. coastal zone includes 9,000 square kilometers (15,000 square
miles) of coastal wetlands, 1,500 square kilometers (2,500 square
miles) of developed barrier islands, and 4,800 square kilometers
(8,000 square miles) of dry mainland areas within one meter (3.28
feet) of mean high water. Traditional farming and fishing areas are
already under assault from increased development and water pollution.
The wetlands provide habitat for numerous species of birds, are a
nursery ground for many commercial fish and shellfish, and play a
vital role in extracting nutrients and toxic chemicals from water.
The developed barrier islands are primarily recreational communities.
Although the mainland areas include some cities, they are mostly
farms and forests. All of the lowlands are threatened by a rise in
sea level; estuaries are also threatened by potential hydrologic
Population growth in U.S. coastal regions is more rapid than anywhere
else in the country. At present, more than 50 percent of the
population lives within 80 kilometers (133 miles) of an ocean or
Great Lake.  This growth and increased use of the coastal zone are
stressing coastal systems and place them at particular risk of
several potential climate change impacts.
Coastal land (including buildings, transportation infrastructure, and
recreational and agricultural areas) is vulnerable to inundation and
increased erosion as a result of sea level rise. Heightened storm
surge could increase the rate of erosion. The highest-risk areas are
those currently experiencing rapid erosion rates and with very low
relief, such as the southeastern United States and the Gulf Coast.
Because most recreational beaches in developed areas are less than 50
meters (164 feet) wide, they would be completely lost from under the
"low" IPCC sea level rise scenario. A 50-centimeter (20-inch) rise
would inundate 1,320--3,660 square kilometers (2,200--6,100 square
miles) of dry land and could necessitate spending $50--$200 billion
for coastal protection. Coastal systems would also be highly
vulnerable to the increased occurrence of hurricanes, as well as to
increased or decreased freshwater and sediment flux from river
Coastal wetlands are already eroding in most states, particularly
Louisiana and Maryland. They require a delicate balance of fresh and
salt water and are particularly vulnerable to inundation and erosion
as a result of sea level rise. Coastal wetlands are also vulnerable
to decreased flux of fresh water and sediment if upstream areas
become more arid.  Wetlands naturally migrate as land subsides and
sediment supply changes, but migration has been limited in several
areas by the encroachment of urban areas with sea walls and other
protective structures. In addition, the possible rate of sea level
rise predicted by some climate change models is more rapid than the
natural rate of wetland migration. A 50-centimeter (20-inch) rise by
2100 would inundate or erode 20--45 percent of U.S.  coastal
Fragile systems, such as coral reefs, are highly susceptible to
temperature increases. Reefs in many parts of the world have
undergone episodes of bleaching (particularly in the 1980s),
apparently as a result of local surface temperature increases.  Some
of these episodes appear to be associated with the El Nino effect.
Fisheries in estuaries and the coastal ocean are also vulnerable to
changes in water temperature and freshwater inflow. The loss of
coastal wetlands has already been implicated in the decline of shrimp
harvests in Louisiana, and would also be likely to reduce yields of
crab and menhaden. In the open ocean, increased temperatures could
result in the migration of certain species. In estuaries, decreased
freshwater inflow could result in increased salinity and, in turn, a
replacement of some freshwater species by saltwater species.
Increased salinity has already contributed to the decline of oyster
harvests in Delaware and Chesapeake Bays.
Adaptation Strategies
Adaptation approaches in coastal regions include two strategies. The
first is to gain a better understanding of the coastal ecosystems at
risk to climate change to be able to anticipate the magnitude of
impacts from the change. This includes determining (1) the
flexibility of wetlands or coastal systems, to enable them to modify
or move under changing climate conditions, and (2) the robustness of
systems to accommodate a greater range of conditions. Coastal
barriers and low-lying coastal regions are susceptible to increased
erosion and damage from major storms. Adaptation can be facilitated
by identifying areas at high risk, improving understanding of the
processes that build and erode shorelines, and developing integrated
coastal ocean-prediction systems.
The second strategy is to take these concerns into account in the
integrated coastal resource management programs at the various
governmental levels to take precautionary measures that will minimize
the potential damage caused by climate change. The Federal Coastal
Zone Management Act was amended in 1990 to require states to consider
in their programs the problems of climate change and sea level rise.
Many states have already taken considerable measures to ensure that
growth in the coastal zones and the potential loss of resources will
be planned for and managed accordingly.  Examples include specific
policies addressing sea level rise, setback zones, standards for
infrastructure development, research, and education.
In highly urbanized and high-use recreational areas, coastal beaches
are nourished with imported sand and are protected by structures. A
better understanding of the effectiveness of various beach
nourishment and protection methods is needed. Improved planning for
catastrophic events, improved building codes in high-risk coastal
regions, widespread public education about the risks of living in
coastal zones, and limiting certain kinds of development in high-risk
zones are additional adaptation strategies. In the San Francisco Bay
area, for example, regulations passed in response to projections of
sea level rise now require additional elevation on newly reclaimed
Coastal wetlands naturally migrate in response to changes in sediment
supply and relative sea level.  It is unknown if the rate at which
wetlands can naturally migrate is sufficient for the possible rates
of sea level rise that would accompany climate change. Establishing
locations for wetlands to migrate to by expanding reserves and
protected areas adjacent to current coastal wetlands can facilitate
adaptation. Maine explicitly requires that development will be
removed to allow the landward migration of coastal wetlands in dune
areas; and a few states recognize "rolling easements" along ocean
shores to permit natural dune systems to migrate inland. Other states
have decided that protecting private property from erosion has a
higher priority than allowing wetlands to migrate and have guaranteed
landowners the right to erect a bulkhead.
Creation or restoration of wetlands is another adaptive strategy,
which requires the development of effective methods for restoring
coastal wetlands and for measuring the effectiveness of those
restoration efforts.
CENR is currently coordinating several wetland activities--including
studies of recent changes in wetland systems along the eastern Gulf
of Mexico and southern Atlantic coasts, and studies of changes
documented in the Mississippi Delta--which should establish credible
limits on the ability of coastal wetlands to adapt to sea level rise
by vertical growth. Other CENR research related to the vulnerability
and adaptation of coastal systems includes space-based geodesy
studies to distinguish the long-term trends in sea level change due
to glacial melting and ocean expansion from effects of post-glacial
rebound and active tectonics; studies that test existing geological
models of coastal erosion processes; and studies of the frequency,
magnitude, and tracks of storms. In addition, the U.S. Global Change
Research Program is developing and validating methodologies for
estimating the effects of global climate change on regional fishery
resources, and is examining the reproductive dynamics of the sardine,
anchovy, and mackerel stocks off the coasts of California, Chile,
Spain, and West Africa.
The United States is developing a Coral Reef Initiative, which
promotes the conservation and sustainable use of coral reefs and
related ecosystems (mangroves and sea-grass beds), both within the
United States and throughout the world.  The initiative will attempt
to integrate the research, assessment, monitoring, and management of
reef ecosystems through better coordination of existing activities
and the creation of new programs. Among other activities, this
program would focus on improving understanding of how reef ecosystems
are affected by global climate change.
Agricultural Land
Agriculture in the United States is an intensively managed,
market-based activity. Throughout the world, agriculture has adapted
continuously to the risks associated with normal climate variability,
just as it has adapted to changes in economic conditions. For
example, the American agricultural sector continues to respond to new
technologies, new environmental regulations, and changes in
population and market demands. Market forces continue to be the
principal catalyst for rewarding and encouraging rapid adaptation,
and the domestic agricultural sector--which is already well attuned
to these forces--is expected to be able to adapt to climate change.
The possible effects of climate change on agriculture are difficult
to predict. Agricultural productivity is likely to be affected
worldwide, which would lead to alterations in both national and
multinational regions, redistributing agricultural activities and
changing farming intensity. In the United States, the range over
which major U.S. crops are planted could eventually shift hundreds of
miles to the north. For American farmers, who are already facing
increasingly competitive and growing world markets, any relative
change in regional productivity compared with the rest of the world
would mean market-driven incentives to adapt to the changes. Some
individual farmers might benefit through locally improved yields or
higher prices, while others might suffer because of relatively severe
local climate changes requiring significant economic investment to
adjust farming systems. Rapid geographical shifts in the agricultural
land base, brought about by very rapid climate changes, could disrupt
rural communities and their associated infrastructures. Shifts in
climate can also be expected to shift the distribution and extent of
many agricultural pests and pathogens, which could also influence
changes in regional productivity.
Adaptation Strategies
Climate change adds to the importance of government efforts to
improve the knowledge and skills of farmers, to remove impediments to
farmers' ability to adapt and innovate, and to expand the array of
options available to farmers. Efforts to increase the diversity of
crops and of farm technologies ensure against a future in which
existing crop varieties or farming systems cannot cope with change.
Similarly, efforts to speed the rate at which appropriate farming
systems can be adopted lower the potentially high financial and human
costs of adjusting to climate change.
The opportunities for adjusting to climate change are numerous.
Oversubscribed water demands will limit the potential for
compensating adjustments in certain regions, however. The uncertainty
of climate change makes effective response difficult to project, as
does lack of experience and knowledge about alternative crops and
agricultural practices suitable for rapid adaptation to such changes.
The decline in the federal government's support for agricultural
research and for technology development, demonstration, and education
will require refocusing existing resources to meet projected needs to
enhance adaptability.
Certain agricultural programs may increase the costs associated with
a changing climate. Because the commodity programs link support
payment to maintaining production of a particular crop, such support
programs could inadvertently discourage farmers from making the
necessary switch to other crops. Disaster-assistance programs will
become increasingly costly under a harsher climate and, if not well
designed, may tend to reduce the incentive for farmers to take
appropriate precautionary actions to reduce their exposure to climate
risks.  In contrast, water-resource planning and changes to state and
regional laws regarding the marketing of conserved water are already
enhancing incentives for efficient use of scarce water resources in
The U.S. Congress is beginning to evaluate agriculture's future needs
as it starts the process of revising the U.S. omnibus farm bill,
which occurs every five years. Congress is expected to consider
modifying commodity-support programs, which have traditionally
focused on individual commodities. One approach would be to develop
greater flexibility in crop support within any farm unit, enabling
more rapid adaptation to the most efficient farming systems
accommodating environmental changes.
The most pressing tasks that the federal government is currently
undertaking with regard to agriculture and climate change are:
--  Improving technology and information transfer to farmers in order
to speed adaptation and innovation through the development of a
nationwide telecommunications system.
--  Strengthening research, development, and pilot programs for
computerized farm- and ranch-management systems.
--  Supporting research and technology that will ensure that the
agricultural sector can deal successfully with the various challenges
of the next century, through the continuing development of new crops
and crop varieties to meet the needs of farmers due to changes in
soil, water, pest, climate, and processor requirements.
A wide range of U.S. agricultural research programs can support
adaptation to climate change. Ongoing programs include the
development of salt-tolerant crop varieties, strengthening of the
plant germplasm repositories and long-term germplasm storage, the
plant genome mapping program, and biological engineering research in
pest resistance. The potential for a fertilization effect from
enhanced CO2 is also being examined under conditions of low and high
nutrient availability. Further, The U.S.  Global Change Research
Program is developing research on management tools for responding to
the potentially undesirable effects of climate change on agricultural
productivity domestically and worldwide. These research tools include
methods for aggregating plant-scale models to predict regional- scale
effects. Current research programs also focus on the needs of
production systems, long- and short- term storage and post-harvest
protection systems, food safety and quality, processing technologies,
transportation technologies, and market systems.
An "Integrated Farm Management System" that will provide for the
development and broader use of technologies is under way, with
significant potential to enhance farming efficiency and to increase
the flexibility with which farmers can respond to climate change.
Forests cover roughly one-third of the U.S. land area, shaping much
of the natural and urban environment and providing the basis for a
substantial forest products industry. These forests are enormously
variable, ranging from the complex juniper forests of the arid
interior West to the humid and highly productive forests of the
coastal Pacific Northwest and the Southeast. Besides being the source
of one of the nation's most important agricultural crops--timber, the
nation's forests provide essential fish and wildlife habitat,
livestock forage, watershed protection, attractive vistas, and an
array of recreational opportunities.
Climate change will present a wide array of adaptation challenges for
forests, particularly forests that are not intensively managed for
timber or pulp production. At the very extreme, within a century,
climate change might shift the optimum growing range for some North
American forest species more than three hundred miles to the north
(Figure 5-3). Such a shift would almost certainly exceed the ability
of less intensively managed forests to migrate. Forest species
stranded outside their optimum climate range could suffer from
declining growth rates and increased mortality from climate- related
stresses, such as insects, disease, and fires. Some forests may
rotate rapidly through a change in dominant canopy species, similar
to the change that took place when the American chestnut was removed
from the forest canopy in the 1920s.  Certain species and unique
populations would most likely become isolated if climate change is
too rapid, and may become rare or extinct. In many cases,
adaptation--or ecosystem resilience--will depend on the availability
of a wide genepool within the species.
The most vulnerable forest resources are in those regions where
moisture stress may increase significantly, as in the already arid
continental interior. Forests on coastal margins may also be at
risk--from rising sea levels with the threat of flooding and
saltwater intrusion, or from increases in damaging cyclonic storm
events. Forest communities with small or highly fragmented ranges may
be lost, such as those at the upper elevations of mountains with no
clearly discernible migration routes. While evidence of survival of
pockets of temperate species throughout previous ice ages indicates
that relic communities may survive radical climate change, models are
not sufficiently sophisticated to enable scientists to predict such
events. Forests in locations already subject to droughts, fire, and
wind damage will be highly vulnerable to rapid depopulation or change
in species composition and structure if the frequency or intensity of
these stressors is increased.
Adaptation Strategies
Government intervention to facilitate adaptation may be impractical
or limited. Even timber-industry forests are not intensively managed
by the standards of annual agricultural crops. Furthermore, on large
areas of public forest lands, such as wilderness areas, even a
minimal management response may itself be viewed as incompatible with
the goals for which the forest is held. The challenge is to find
unobtrusive and cost-effective means to ensure that the health and
primary services of U.S. forest resources will not be severely eroded
under a changed climate.
The federal government is considering several programs that will
enable U.S. forests to respond to long-term climate changes. Research
focusing on the development of high-quality forest product species
continues to develop suites of varieties adapted to greater levels of
stress, both in the intermountain West as well as the Southeast.
Studies are under way to determine how atmospheric deposition affects
tree growth and how to increase the U.S. carbon sink.  Improved
technologies for managing forest pests are being developed, and
forest seed banks and tree nurseries are being expanded to meet a
growing demand for trees for planting on marginal cropland or thinned
forest stands. This expanding research will enable species more
adapted to projected harsher environmental conditions to be
propagated and planted as needs arise. The economic impacts of
climate change scenarios on forest inventories in the southern United
States are also being modeled under the U.S. Research Program.
"Lightly Managed" Ecosystems
Ecosystems are structurally and functionally interrelated groups of
living things and their physical environment. Effective ecosystem
management recognizes the importance of understanding how each of the
living and nonliving parts of an ecosystem contributes to, and is
affected by, the health of the whole system and how the system
responds to stress. Lightly managed ecosystems are those natural
systems with little or no management. They include wilderness areas,
preserves, wetlands, some coastal systems, alpine tundra, and some
economically marginal forests.
Ecosystems are always changing and would continue to do so without
climate change. Many natural systems, however, are already degraded
by pollution and geographic fragmentation. Changes in the
availability and quality of surface and ground water, and changes in
atmospheric deposition, may further stress ecosystem function and
limit productivity. Natural areas are being effectively dissected
into smaller and smaller parts, which leaves them more vulnerable to
other stresses that could degrade habitat quality, ecosystem health,
and species mobility.
Federally protected natural areas have become repositories for some
of the nation's rarest species and play a role in conserving in-situ
biological diversity. However, these areas are subject to increased
stress from activities that occur both within and outside their
boundaries. Certain general characteristics of lightly managed
ecosystems--such as being small, isolated, fragmented, or already
under considerable stress, and containing sensitive species or
ecosystems--make them extremely vulnerable to climate change.
Climate change could realign the environmental boundaries that have
shaped existing natural areas, while the boundaries that define the
management and degree of protection for these areas will remain fixed
(Figure 5-4). As a result, the biological makeup of the protected
natural areas will change.  Some natural areas may become incapable
of providing the benefits or serving the functions for which they
were originally established, such as maintaining their unique or
distinctive character, providing protection for rare species and
other biological resources, and maintaining the quality and
availability of other services, such as nature study or certain kinds
of recreation. For example, climate change could lead to shifts in
climate zones that may exceed the ability of flora and fauna to adapt
through migration. Potential climate change impacts on forests and
terrestrial vegetation include migration of vegetation, geographical
change in inhabited range, and altered ecosystem composition.
Potential climate change impacts on species include loss or changes
in composition or structure of diversity, migration of species, and
rise in dominance of new species. If climate change accelerates
habitat change or proceeds so quickly that some species cannot adapt
quickly enough, the rate of extinction of species may rise, and
overall biodiversity may decline. Isolated species may find
themselves in climate zones no longer suitable for their survival.
Adaptation Strategies
The ability of humans to adapt the composition and structure of
species diversity to climate change is currently limited. Little
information exists about the probable timing, rate, or geographical
extent of climate change. Likewise, there is limited understanding
about which species are most sensitive to climate change, which could
be saved, how to recreate habitats or entire ecosystems elsewhere,
and what lands will be most valuable as preserves under varying
climate change scenarios. Despite the recent removal of the American
bald eagle from the Endangered Species list, much remains to be
learned about restoring species and their natural habitat.
The U.S. government is involved in several efforts to facilitate
adaptations to climate change in natural areas, by coordinating
information gathering (including research, inventory, and monitoring
options) and by evaluating management measures. Two CENR
subcommittees (Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, and Resource Use
and Management) will coordinate research on species sensitivity to
climate change, restoration and translocation ecology, the design and
effectiveness of migratory corridors or protective buffer zones, the
development of ecological models, and the effect of elevated CO2
concentrations on plants and animals.  Under the U.S. Global Change
Research Program, contributing research on the adaptation of natural
ecosystems to global change includes forest health monitoring;
studies on threatened, endangered, and sensitive species; and
research into the physiological basis of resistance to drought,
ultraviolet radiation, and other stresses.
The United States, through the U.S. Man and the Biosphere Program, is
also assisting in the development of the Biosphere Reserve Integrated
Monitoring Network in Europe and North America. This pilot program
establishes electronic linkages among the 170 biosphere reserves in
Europe and North America for monitoring biodiversity and global
change. If this pilot program is successful, it will is expanded to
other biosphere reserves throughout the world.
In addition, federal agencies are developing programs to fill key
gaps in the understanding of ecosystem functions and how they may be
protected, restored, and enhanced. The South Florida Initiative
exemplifies this approach. In addition, the U.S.  Environmental
Protection Agency's Environmental Monitoring and Assessment Program
is (1) estimating the current condition of U.S. ecological resources,
(2) monitoring indicators of pollutant exposure and habitat, and (3)
providing ecological status and trends reports to managers and the
public. The U.S.  Fish and Wildlife Service's Gap Analysis Project
aims to preclude species extinctions by promoting protection of
species-rich areas and unprotected vegetation types before they are
The National Science Foundation is conducting a Long-Term Ecological
Research Program that focuses on seventeen sites and five core
research categories: primary productivity, nutrient cycling, site
disturbance, population distribution, and organic matter
accumulation. The spatial and temporal scales of these
processes--decades to centuries--make this program's activities
especially important for climate change and adaptation-related
Chapter 6: Research and Public Education
Key to successfully mitigating and adapting to climate change is a
better understanding of the global climate system and the deleterious
impacts human activities have on it. Besides requiring further study
of the magnitude, timing, and regional and local impacts of climate
change, acquiring this understanding also involves substantial
additional research on and dissemination of information to enable
society to better prevent or--as some change is unavoidable--to
accommodate climate change. In short, it calls for programs in both
research and public education.
The United States has several programs that address these needs. The
U.S. Global Change Research Program is a nationally integrated effort
that seeks to expand our knowledge of the processes that affect
climate change and to develop integrated models to predict these
effects. The U.S. initiative, the largest climate change research
program in the world, not only supports a domestic effort, but also
is linked to numerous international organizations and global research
and assessment programs. In addition to its focus on basic science,
in an effort to understand and monitor changes in the climate system,
United States is promoting research in all economic
sectors--including industry, transportation, housing, and
agriculture--to develop strategies to reduce greenhouse gas
Ultimately, of course, the public is the true arbiter of national
response strategies and policies. Thus, the public must have a solid
understanding of global change science, particularly the consequences
of policy options. To promote this understanding, the United States
has programs for general education, communication, and dissemination
of climate change information. These activities are coordinated
broadly under the U.S. Research Program, with the key agencies
involved with climate change each having outreach programs, many of
which now are being extended from a purely domestic focus to include
international activities.
The U.S. Global Change Research Program
Scientists and governments around the world agree that continuing
anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide, methane,
chlorofluorocarbons, and other greenhouse gases are expected to lead
to significant global warming, shifts in precipitation patterns, and
rising sea levels. However, uncertainties remain in quantifying the
magnitude, timing, and regional patterns of climate change, and the
implications for socioeconomic and ecological systems. Despite these
uncertainties, the United States has responded to the concern over
climate change through negotiating, signing, and ratifying the
Framework Convention on Climate Change; developing the 1993 Climate
Change Action Plan to reduce the nation's emissions to their 1990
levels by the year 2000; and increasing and reorienting aid to
developing countries to fund the transfer of energy-efficient
technologies. To better predict and assess the magnitude, timing, and
regional patterns of climate change, the United States supports a
major research program in global change, funded at $1.4 billion in
Fiscal Year 1994, with a proposed budget of $1.8 billion for Fiscal
Year 1995 (Figure 6-1).
The U.S. Global Change Research Program makes a major scientific
contribution to international research and assessment efforts.
Funding for research conducted through this program has accounted for
almost half of that spent worldwide on global change research to
date. Climate change assessments coordinated by the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--which draws upon hundreds of
scientists from more than fifty countries--not only have provided
information requested by governments, but also have served to
identify components of the climate change issue that deserve priority
attention from the international research community. Participation of
U.S. scientists as lead and contributing authors in IPCC assessments
is particularly strong because of the many activities supported by
the U.S. Research Program.  The Research Program also supports the
Secretariat for IPCC Working Group II, which is coordinating the
development of an assessment on the impacts, adaptation, and
mitigation of global change, due in 1995.
The United States has been conducting research into global change
issues for many years. By adopting the Global Change Research Act in
1990, the U.S.  Congress established the U.S. Global Change Research
Program to combine and coordinate the global change research and
policy development interests of all U.S. departments and agencies.
The Research Program is coordinated through the National Science and
Technology Council's Committee on Environment and Natural Resources.
The Council is chaired by the President.
In accordance with its importance to the policymaking process, the
budget for the Research Program has increased steadily since 1990
(Figure 6- 1). These funds support a wide range of policy- relevant
research programs that provide scientific insight into the causes and
effects of changes in the Earth system--especially those related to
human activities--and the evaluation of options for responding to
such changes.
The Research Program focuses on trace atmospheric species and their
effects on climate, the role of terrestrial and marine ecosystems in
climate change and the impacts of climate change on these ecosystems,
the socioeconomic and policy implications of climate change, and
potential responses to and mitigation of climate change. As the depth
of our understanding of these systems and their feedbacks grows, the
research results will provide increasingly valuable input to support
national and international policy responses to system changes, and to
evaluate the impacts and effectiveness of those responses.
Atmospheric Constituents Important to Climate Change
While human activities have long influenced a community's local
environment, over the past few decades observations of increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere
have shown that human activities are significantly influencing the
global environment. Reconstructions of past climate change, analyses
of volcanically induced changes in recent years, and theoretical
models suggest that the changes in atmospheric composition will lead
to global warming. The measured rise in global temperatures, however,
is less than and different in timing from the rise expected from
greenhouse gas increases alone, suggesting the additional influence
of sulfate aerosols, ozone depletion, and other factors. These
complexities emphasize the importance of understanding all human
influences, as well as the natural variations that may be either
offsetting or enhancing the warming that is expected from greenhouse
gases in both the short and the long terms.
The Research Program's work on radiative trace species that influence
climate focuses on: (1) the growth rates of the common greenhouse
gases and why they are changing; (2) the global warming potentials
(GWPs) of greenhouse gases, with particular emphasis on the GWPs of
the proposed substitutes for ozone- depleting substances; (3) the
climate role of "emerging" greenhouse gases, such as
perfluorocarbons; (4) the abundance, trends, variability, chemistry,
and role of tropospheric ozone in the climate system, including the
impacts of the ozone precursors (e.g., carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons,
and reactive nitrogen species); (5) the impact of lower stratospheric
ozone depletion on the climate system; and (6) the effect of human-
induced aerosols on offsetting and masking the warming trend of
greenhouse gases. Recent findings from this research have led to the
following policy- relevant information about these trace species.
Carbon Dioxide
The atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has increased by more
than 25 percent since preindustrial times. This increase is
responsible for more than half of the enhancement of the trapping of
infrared radiation due to human activities. Over the past two years,
there has been an apparent pause in the rate of increase in CO2
concentrations. It is speculated that enhanced sinks for carbon are
responsible for the recent slowdown, but the exact cause remains
unexplained. Lately, the rate of increase appears to be returning to
prior rates observed in the 1980s.
Recent evidence suggests that in the short term, at least, the CO2
sinks provided by lands in the temperate zone may be larger than
previously thought. Anomalies in surface temperature and
precipitation may have allowed terrestrial ecosystems to accumulate
more carbon during 1991--93 than normally would have been the case.
New research is ongoing to monitor CO2 exchange between the
atmosphere and vegetation and soils.
Because CFCs destroy lower stratospheric ozone, which is also a
greenhouse gas, the net effect of CFCs as greenhouse gases is less
potent than previously believed. The indirect offset of the
hydrochlorofluorocarbon substitutes, however, may be smaller than
that of the CFCs. Observations show the rate of increase of CFCs in
the atmosphere to be slowing, consistent with international emission
controls. Stratospheric ozone depletion, however, continues because
of the long residence time of CFCs in the atmosphere. And in 1993,
the observed springtime ozone depletion in the Antarctic was the
largest ever recorded. Because the depletion of ozone in the lower
stratosphere has a negative radiative-forcing effect on the climate
system, characterization of these ozone trends and processes is a
requirement for improved understanding and interpretation of surface
temperature trends.
Very-Long-Lived Greenhouse Gases
Laboratory and modeling studies have shown that the lifetimes of
fully fluorinated ("perfluorinated") carbons (PFCs)--potent
greenhouse gases--exceed millennia. Understanding the chemistry and
lifetimes of PFCs (such as CF4, C2F6, C6F14) is critical to
predicting climate change, because some have been proposed as CFC
substitutes, while others are emitted as trace products of industrial
processing, including aluminum production.
The atmospheric lifetime of methane--an especially potent greenhouse
gas--has recently been determined to be 25 percent longer than
previously thought, which raises its global warming potential.
However, following the guidelines set by the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee (UN/INC 1994), the United States uses the 1990
IPCC global warming potential values in its emissions inventory.
Over the last few years, the rate of increase of atmospheric methane
has slowed. In 1992, the rate of increase was sharply reduced, but
current measurements indicate that the rate of increase of
atmospheric methane is returning to the earlier values measured
before the slowdown. Continued research is planned to understand
whether the reduced rate was due to decreased human emissions or to
an enhancement of sinks.
Calculations suggest that increases in ozone in the upper troposphere
substantially augment radiative forcing. Field measurements have
shown that a significant amount of tropospheric ozone over the
temperate north Atlantic Ocean is derived from transported emissions
of North American precursors (nonmethane hydrocarbons and reactive
nitrogen compounds). Although the precursors of tropospheric ozone
are increasingly being controlled in industrialized countries, more
research is necessary to understand the global contribution of
tropospheric ozone to radiative forcing.
Emissions into the atmosphere of aerosols (airborne particles or
collections of particles) and of gases that chemically react to form
aerosols can have direct effects both on the global radiation balance
and on global atmospheric chemistry. These direct effects can then
have subsequent effects on climate and surface radiative fluxes
(e.g., of ultraviolet radiation), which could offset and mask a
portion of the greenhouse warming.
Research on the radiative effects of sulfate particles formed in the
lower troposphere, mainly as a result of emissions from coal and oil
combustion and from industrial processes, is important to
understanding whether they may be counterbalancing the enhanced
greenhouse warming of carbon dioxide, as hypothesized. For aerosols
emitted by biomass burning, the effect is less certain and depends on
the amount of black carbon in the aerosol. The absence of
measurements confirming the predicted increase in land surface
temperatures in the United States appears to be most closely related
to recent increases in the frequency of cloud cover. Recent studies
suggest that the hemispheric asymmetry in this century's warming may
be due--at least in part- -to the higher concentrations of aerosols
in the Northern Hemisphere.
Aerosols ejected into the stratosphere from volcanic eruptions can
have very significant short-term effects on climate. Observed
climatic responses to the Mt. Pinatubo eruption have included
tropospheric cooling, stratospheric warming, and an overall drop of
about 0.5-C (1-F) in the global average surface temperature. During
1993, measurements from satellites and the surface showed that these
volcanic aerosols are finally settling out of the atmosphere, leading
to a return of the global average temperature to levels typical of
the 1980s, and to a small recovery from the sharply increased rate of
ozone depletion in the lower stratosphere, which studies suggest was
caused by volcanic aerosols.
Understanding the Carbon Cycle
There is a natural cycling of carbon in the environment, causing a
large exchange of carbon among the atmosphere, the land vegetation
and soils, and the oceans and marine biosphere. Evidence from
ice-core data suggests that this natural cycle was roughly in
balance, with only minor variation, from about 10,000 years ago until
recently. Over the past two centuries, however, the concentration of
carbon dioxide has risen from preindustrial levels at an increasing
rate. Although the anthropogenic emissions are only about 5 percent
as large as the natural fluxes, the rising concentration indicates
that emissions from changes in land use (e.g., deforestation, biomass
burning, and agricultural expansion) and from fossil fuel combustion
(i.e., the use of coal, oil, and natural gas) have become
increasingly larger than can be accommodated by natural removal
processes. Projections of these trends unabated suggest that the
atmospheric CO2 concentration may reach double its preindustrial
value by the middle of the next century, leading to an average global
temperature increase of 1.5--4.5-C (2.5--8-F).
Research shows that interannual fluctuations in climate can modify
natural removal processes, such as carbon uptake and release by
respiration. Other studies suggest that mid-latitude forests may be
taking up more carbon than previously estimated and that this natural
removal process could be enhanced with reforestation and
land-management practices.  The U.S. Research Program continues to
support these efforts to better understand the global carbon cycle,
which is vital to understanding and predicting climate change, and
assessing potential response options.
Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems
The Research Program supports the study of marine and terrestrial
ecosystems and their role in climate change. There is particular
interest in studying the exchange of carbon among the land vegetation
and soils, the oceans and marine biosphere, and the atmosphere.
Understanding the carbon balance is critical for predicting future
concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and, hence,
greenhouse warming. Recent regional measurement of CO2 uptake by
forest vegetation suggests that the net uptake of carbon worldwide
could account for "missing" carbon in the global carbon budget.
Confirmation of these results with other natural vegetation studies
would support the use of forest management (including reforestation)
as an interim mitigation strategy.
The U.S. Research Program supports research designed to enhance the
fundamental understanding of the physiological and ecological
responses of plants and animals to global changes of climate,
atmospheric gas concentrations, and increased ultraviolet radiation.
These studies include research on the effects of climate change on
agriculture, forestry, marine resources, biodiversity, and areas with
special vulnerabilities, such as coastal regions.  Some of the
projected impacts of climate change follow.
Effects on Agriculture
Prospective shifts in precipitation patterns could cause dramatic
changes in world agricultural regions and in the availability of
water resources, disrupting long-established patterns of land use.
Recent research has shown that for a moderate scenario of climate
change, projected to accompany a doubling of greenhouse gases, the
global agricultural production potential may not be seriously
threatened. At the regional level, however, agricultural production
losses, particularly in developing countries, are likely to be
Although the growth rate of some plants has been shown to increase in
the presence of additional CO2, altered precipitation patterns due to
climate change could threaten the viability of agricultural regions.
Also, increasing population pressures and misguided land-management
practices may cause shifts in flora and fauna greater than those that
have occurred in response to natural climatic fluctuations. The U.S.
Research Program is increasing efforts to understand the
vulnerabilities and resilience of these systems to change, and their
adaptive capabilities.
Effects on Forests
Studies are currently being conducted to determine how climate change
may affect tree growth.  Potentially altered precipitation patterns
and changes in regional hydrology due to climate change may threaten
forest health. Elevated CO2 has also been shown to influence
host--pest relationships in a way that can reduce forestry yields.
The Research Program is using existing data on fire history, lake
sedimentation, and climate to refine models that predict how
ecosystems respond to changes in temperature, precipitation, and
atmospheric composition. The Research Program is also studying the
potential economic impacts of climate change scenarios on forest
inventories in the southern United States.
Effects on Biodiversity
New research in this area will focus on the potential effects of
climate change on the species diversity, genetic diversity, and
habitat diversity of managed and unmanaged ecosystems and, in turn,
how changes in biodiversity will affect the functions of ecosystems.
Effects on Aquatic Ecosystems and Fishery Resources
The U.S. Research Program contributes substantially to Global Ocean
Ecosystems Dynamics, an international program that is examining how
climate change may affect the relationship between the oceanic
physical and biological processes that govern the health of marine
fish. For example, research is under way to study the effects of
climate on the reproductive dynamics of fishery resources, such as
sardine, anchovy, and mackerel stocks. Studies are also assessing the
influence of increased ultraviolet radiation, due to ozone depletion,
on the oceanic carbon cycle and, hence, on the rate of global
warming. Methodologies for estimating the regional effects of global
climate change on environmental conditions in lakes and freshwater
fisheries are being developed and validated.
Regional Effects
Efforts have been initiated to evaluate the potential effects of
climate change at the regional level. Recent modeling efforts have
successfully simulated winter precipitation at the local scale for a
high-elevation, high-water-yielding mountain watershed in western
Colorado by coupling regional- and local-scale atmospheric models to
watershed models. These models also simulated the increase in
temperature surrounding several federally managed reservoirs in
western U.S. watersheds that might result from doubling of
atmospheric CO2. After coupling global-, regional-, and local-scale
models for watersheds with three-year current climate records, the
models predicted an average temperature increase of 3.8-C (6.8-F) in
areas surrounding several reservoirs in the model watersheds with
doubled CO2 in the environment. Water temperatures were also
predicted to increase.
Coastal areas are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Warming
of the oceans, coupled with land- surface warming in high latitudes,
may melt icecaps and glaciers, which would raise the level of the
sea. The amount of sea level rise could be tens of centimeters over
the next century (several times the rate of rise in the recent past).
In addition, climate change may increase the frequency of severe
storms and hurricanes and, hence, the potential for increased natural
Text Box: Organization of the U.S. Research Program
The development of a predictive understanding of how human activities
are affecting and are affected by the Earth's climate system is among
the most complex of all scientific undertakings. The activities of
the U.S. Research Program are organized into the following elements:
--  Observations: (1) Establishing an integrated, comprehensive,
long-term program of land-, ocean-, satellite-based, and in-situ
observations on a global scale that monitor and describe the current
state of the Earth system, and (2) assembling and analyzing
observations on recent and past social and environmental changes in
the Earth system.
--  Data and Information Management: Assembling, processing, storing,
and distributing data and information that document the state of the
global system, and the conditions of both the natural and the
societal systems that are influencing and are influenced by global
environmental changes.
--  Process Research: Conducting a program of focused studies to
measure, analyze, and investigate the physical, chemical, biological,
and geological processes and societal influences that govern Earth-
system behavior and the interactions of human activities with the
global environment.
--  Predictions: Developing, testing, and applying integrated
conceptual and predictive models of the coupled Earth system in order
to provide insights and projections of the response of the
atmosphere, oceans, and land surface to natural and human influences
and to reconcile predicted and observed Earth-system behavior.
--  Analyzing Consequences: Evaluating and interpreting the
environmental, human health, and societal consequences and impacts of
global change and understanding the potential for natural and
technology-enhanced adaptation to and mitigation of global change.
--  Assessing Policies and Options: Researching social and economic
interactions and decision frameworks (especially those that include
decision making under uncertainty), and developing policy and
economic tools to examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of
the various choices for responding to global change.
--  International Cooperation: Encouraging and promoting cooperation
with other nations in developing scientific understanding and
establishing the institutional framework necessary for broad- based
consideration of global change issues.
--  Education and Public Awareness: Preparing materials and
organizing activities that promote consideration of global change and
its human dimensions as part of both public awareness and educational
Text Box: Socioeconomic Issues Related to Climate Change
International Population Trends and the Human Condition
--  What are the interactions between population growth/migration and
environmental change?
--  What demographic and social factors are particularly relevant for
assessing the vulnerability of societies to environmental change?
--  How do the human health impacts of climate change, such as the
potential for changing patterns in the incidence of diseases, affect
health-care needs?
Patterns of Trade and Global Economic Activity
--  How do world economic growth and international trade patterns
affect the use and value of environmental resources, such as
wetlands, coastal zones, and forests?
--  What effects might large-scale, debt-for-nature swaps have on
global environmental resources?
--  How will the development and diffusion of technology affect the
impacts of global change?
--  What effects might such changes as political and economic
liberalization have on the use of environmental goods?
Adaptation and Mitigation, Including Environmental Resource Use and
--  Under what conditions in the past have people adapted to
environmental stresses?
--  What are the costs and benefits of various policy approaches that
influence the use of key resources, such as land, energy, water, and
coastal zones?
--  How do institutional and legal rules affect the use of
common-property resources?
--  What international mechanisms and processes can be used to build
the international coalition needed to stabilize concentrations of
greenhouse gases?
Socioeconomic and Policy Implications of Climate Change
The problems associated with climate change have highlighted the need
to understand the fundamental relationships between policy goals and
the social processes that contribute to achieving those goals.  The
U.S. Research Program is increasing its focus on the socioeconomic
impacts of climate change, including studies on human health, water
quality and supply, the availability of food and fiber, and the
potential impacts of change on social, political, and economic
An important new area of emphasis in the U.S.  Research Program is
the development of decision tools and analytic approaches that will
assist both the short- and long-term needs of decision makers.  These
new tools will enable decision makers to address competing objectives
and to analyze potential trade-offs among available options. Many of
these tools are designed for addressing local responses to global
change. Particularly high demand has been expressed for new decision
tools that can be used in coastal zone management. Issues like
fisheries, flooding, erosion, water quality and allocation, and sea
level rise in coastal settings require adaptive strategies, which
must be considered in the context of complex human/environmental
interactions over varying time scales, despite high degrees of
Integrated assessments are especially important tools for assisting
the policy process.  Methodologies for conducting integrated
assessments are being developed to bring research results from
natural, social, and policy sciences into a framework that can help
decision makers formulate and evaluate actions to respond to
potential environmental change.
Recent successes in the refinement of decision- support tools have
been made possible through advances in knowledge of critical natural
processes.  As more complete understanding is gained of the frequency
and scale of physical phenomena, decision tools have been refined to
reduce uncertainties about the socioeconomic consequences of
environmental changes. One example of these improvements is the
enhanced predictive accuracy of the El Nino/Southern Oscillation
(ENSO) phenomenon.  Research suggests that although ENSO is a
naturally occurring, short-term climatic variation, the frequency of
ENSO events may be intricately linked to long-term climate change.
Because the impacts of ENSO may be significant at regional levels,
continued research in this area is important. Using the recently
developed ability to provide more accurate ENSO forecasting, resource
managers have been able to alter management strategies with respect
to water use and agricultural practices and, hence, avert potentially
significant adverse consequences.
Research on Mitigating Climate Change
Research on mitigation focuses on reducing greenhouse gas emissions
into the atmosphere and increasing the sinks for these gases. U.S.
funding for mitigation research to develop energy-efficient
technologies for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from all sectors
has increased by about 40 percent in the past year. Some research
topics include energy supply and fuel use in the utility, industrial,
commercial, and residential sectors; manufacturing processes and
operations in energy- intensive industries, such as primary metals,
chemical and petroleum, cement, and pulp and paper; transportation
fuels and their efficiency, as well as transportation modes and
influences of urban planning; energy consumption, biomass-burning
practices, and fertilizer use in the agriculture and forestry
industries; afforestation/reforestation efforts; coal-mining
practices; and CFC alternatives and new refrigeration,
air-conditioning, and fire- retarding technologies.
The U.S. Research Program is providing information relevant to the
greenhouse gas reduction programs outlined in this document by
contributing to: (1) the development and continuation of worldwide
CO2 and CH4 emission data bases needed to document country-level
emissions and to evaluate overall emission-reduction performance; (2)
the understanding of the capacity for natural vegetation to sequester
carbon and the potential influence of a changing climate on that
capacity; (3) the development of national data bases for evaluating
forestry actions that could enhance carbon sinks through assessing
experimental data and models on the carbon balance of natural and
managed ecosystems; and (4) evaluation of the ozone- depleting
potentials and the global warming potentials of proposed CFC
Coordination With International Research Efforts
To be most effective, global change research must be a global effort
in which scientists from different countries work together to assess,
evaluate, and build on one another's research. The primary vehicle
for this cooperation is the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
(IPCC), in which the United States and the U.S. scientific community
are deeply involved. The United States also plays a major role in
other international efforts to understand and assess the state of
knowledge about global change through multilateral organizations,
bilateral research projects, and internationally coordinated research
programs involved with climate change.
Multilateral Organizations
Besides working with the IPCC to assess climate change mitigation and
adaptation strategies, the United States provides substantial
financial and technical support to the World Meteorological
Organization and the United Nations Environment Program. These
organizations provide important international underpinning to the
international global climate change effort, including support for
global climate modeling and the full and open exchange of global
climate data and information.
World Meteorological Organization. The United States provides
significant support to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO),
which coordinates, standardizes, and improves world meteorological
activities and encourages the efficient exchange of meteorological
information among countries throughout the world. As part of its
activities, WMO has been actively engaged in various aspects of
climate and climate change, with such programs as the World Climate
Research Program and the World Climate Impacts Program. Along with
the United Nations Environment Program, WMO has helped sponsor the
scientific assessments of both climate change and ozone depletion.
WMO has long been one of the principal organizations upon which the
United States relies for providing needed international coordination
for these programs.
U.N. Environment Program. The United States is also an active
supporter of the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP). One of
UNEP's major climate change activities is the design and
implementation of a Global Environment Monitoring System with a
Global Resources Information Data Base component. This program links
more than twenty-five major global monitoring networks, a number of
which are established and supported by U.S. agencies.  Along with
WMO, UNEP has been a key sponsor of the scientific assessments of
climate change and ozone depletion.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. In 1988, WMO and UNEP
established the IPCC to assess the information in the professional
literature related to various components of the climate change issue.
The IPCC does not sponsor research, although it does encourage its
lead authors to synthesize results and apply insights from the
literature in novel ways.  U.S. scientists, both within the
government and in the academic research community, have been
instrumental in assisting these efforts.
Specific U.S. contributions to the IPCC include the following:
--The United States and Zimbabwe co-chair the IPCC Working Group II,
which is assessing potential impacts of climate change and adaptation
and mitigation measures. In addition, the United States is providing
financial sponsorship for several of the lead authors for the Second
Assessment Report, whose contributions will be in the areas of energy
supply, energy demand, transportation, and human settlements (IPCCb,
in preparation). The United States is also helping to prepare an
appendix on Energy Technology Characterizations.
--U.S. scientists are participating in the IPCC Working Group I,
which is assessing the state of science with respect to the
functioning of the climate system and possible anthropogenic changes
to it.
--U.S. scientists are also supporting the IPCC Working Group III,
which is focusing on cross- cutting issues, including the economic
implications of climate change and of available emission scenarios.
--Participation of U.S. scientists as lead and contributing authors
is particularly strong, due to the many activities supported by the
U.S. Research Program and individual U.S. government agencies.
Bilateral Research Cooperation
The United States is engaged in a number of global change research
activities in cooperation with countries and regions around the
globe. Examples of these activities follow.
Brazil. The United States participates in the Brazilian Rain Forest
Pilot Project, which the Government of Brazil initiated in 1990 in
cooperation with the G-7 countries to improve the knowledge and
understanding of Amazonian ecosystems, promote sustainable natural
resource management, and encourage the application of environmentally
friendly technologies to improve human conditions in the region.
Canada. The Boreal Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (BOREAS) is a
coordinated ground, aircraft, and satellite study of how Canada's
boreal forests exchange energy, heat, water, CO2 and other trace
gases with the atmosphere. A joint U.S.--Canadian project involving
over eighty-five teams of scientists from around the world, BOREAS
seeks to better understand the role of boreal forests in climate
change, and how a warmer climate may affect the composition of the
boreal forests and their role as carbon sinks.
Indonesia. The U.S. Research Program is working closely with the
Indonesian National Institute of Aeronautics and Space to study the
flow of water from the Pacific to the Indian Oceans, a poorly
understood but critical factor in global ocean circulation.
Complementary studies of coastal and terrestrial ecologies and their
responses to global change are also proposed.
Japan. The United States has several bilateral agreements with Japan
involving global change research. The U.S.-Japan Science and
Technology Agreement covers more than forty-seven global change
projects. The Global Observation Information Network initiative met
twice during 1993 to identify existing and planned networks, to
propose candidate data sets and prototype demonstrations, and to
draft a two-year work plan.
Russia. A bilateral agreement with Russia supporting joint research
on environmental change covers several dozen activities, such as a
study using paleoclimatic data (especially from the large land areas
of the two countries) to attempt to determine how past changes in
atmospheric composition, solar insolation, and other naturally
changing factors have affected the Earth's climate. The U.S. Research
Program, in cooperation with the Russian Academy of Sciences, is
supporting an analysis of the biospheric role of the Siberian forests
and their influence on global change. Other joint research includes
the use of remote-sensing and ground- sampling data in a geographic
information system to monitor catastrophic changes in the boreal
Informal International Coordination Groups
U.S. federal science agencies that support global change research
also coordinate their efforts with their counterpart agencies in
other countries through informal arrangements.
The International Group of Funding Agencies for Global Change
Research serves as a forum for exchanging information on national
global change research programs, for supporting programs and
facilities, and for considering the integration and phasing of global
change research in light of available resources.
The Committee on Earth Observation Satellites serves as the focal
point for international coordination of global change activities
related to space-based Earth observations and data. Comprising
government agencies with funding and program responsibilities for
satellite observations and data management, the Committee has
contributed significantly to global change research through improved
coordination among Earth-observing satellite operators in payload
planning, calibration and validation, networking, data management,
and data policy.
International Research Programs
The U.S. Research Program is a major contributor to international
global change research programs. Many nations, both developed and
developing, are involved in this international cooperative research,
primarily through three major international programs: (1) the World
Climate Research Program (WCRP), (2) the International
Geosphere-Biosphere Program (IGBP), and (3) the Human Dimensions (of
Global Environmental Change) Program (HDP).
International programs are coordinated at a series of levels,
including scientist-to-scientist, agency- to-agency, and
government-to-government through a broad range of multilateral and
bilateral organizations and arrangements. Many of these arrangements
involve United Nations agencies concerned with global change
research, including WMO, UNEP, and the Intergovernmental
Oceanographic Commission (IOC) of UNESCO. The International Council
of Scientific Unions (ICSU) provides strong leadership for scientific
planning for many of these key international programs, especially the
WCRP and the IGBP. The United States shares in funding ICSU's
coordination of these activities, and U.S.  scientists and agencies
participate in and interact regularly with ICSU, its Secretariat, and
various related committees. U.S. scientists have chaired many of the
international scientific steering groups for the major international
global change research programs. Moreover, the U.S. Research Program
supports the international offices of the IGBP Task Force on Global
Analysis, Interpretation, and Modeling, as well as the IGBP regional
field programs.
Leading international economic organizations are also now considering
how global change may affect economic development and are identifying
global change research-related issues. These include the Organization
for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), which in 1993
convened an experts' meeting on global change that recommended
greater scientific input from the social science community to the
policy process, and the Asia- Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)
organization, whose Marine Resource Conservation Working Group is
reviewing the effects of global change on the Asia/Pacific region.
International Institutes and Networks for Global Change Research
The United States is currently placing special emphasis on the
creation of networks and institutes to promote the development of
regional capabilities to conduct global change research. The
agreement establishing the Inter-American Institute for Global Change
Research (IAI) entered into force on March 11, 1994. The IAI
Conference of the Parties will meet for the first time in September
1994. The United States is working closely with the other parties to
the agreement to ensure that the IAI adopts a broad regional
scientific program that also contributes to global objectives.
The United States is also working with key countries in Europe, Asia,
and other regions to promote the establishment of complementary,
broadly based international networks in those regions. The European
Union and the countries of Central and Eastern Europe and of Africa
are developing regional global change research agendas for the
European Network for Research in Global Change (ENRICH). This network
is intended to improve the coordination of global change research in
three regions: Western Europe, Central and Eastern Europe, and
Africa. The European Union has established a central ENRICH office in
Brussels, with liaison offices in each of the three regions. Japan is
leading efforts to develop an Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change
Research (APN), which will focus on regional issues, such as tropical
and coastal processes in the Pacific.
The United States will continue its active support for the
establishment of a multinational network of centers to develop and
issue experimental seasonal- to-interannual climate predictions. The
purpose of this network is to improve understanding of the global
climate system, to advance our ability to predict ENSO-related
climate variability on seasonal-to-interannual time scales, and to
produce and systematically disseminate regionally tailored climate
forecasts for use in a wide range of economic and social planning
The international commitment to build indigenous capacities for
global change research in the developing world is reflected in the
SysTem for Analysis, Research and Training (START), a joint effort of
the HDP, IGBP, and WCRP to develop regional research networks for
global change research that will be linked to the three more broadly
based regional networks (IAT, ENRICH, and APN). The START regional
research networks promote focused research and training on regional
issues of global importance, integrate and synthesize the research
results, and provide input to decision makers at national and
regional levels. The U.S.  Research Program supports the operations
of the START Secretariat and the participation of U.S.  scientists in
the development of the START scientific agenda.
U.S. Support for National Inventories
The United States has provided substantial technical and financial
support for the development of guidelines and specific default
methods for calculating and reporting national inventories of
greenhouse gas emissions and sinks. The IPCC, with the assistance of
the Secretariat of the OECD, initially released draft guidelines and
reporting instructions in 1991 through the OECD (IPCC/OECD 1991).
During the past three years, the IPCC/OECD joint program has devoted
considerable effort to improving the methodologies and addressing
major limitations and areas of uncertainty in methods for
high-priority greenhouse gases and sectors. A major update of the
methods and reporting guidelines was released for review by the IPCC
and Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) processes in
December 1993 and was adopted by the INC in February 1994 (UN/INC
The United States has funded a $25-million Country Studies program
(of which $18 million is funded through the U.S. Research Program) to
assist developing countries and countries with economies in
transition to generate inventories of greenhouse gases, assess their
vulnerability to climate change, and evaluate strategies for reducing
net emissions of greenhouse gases and adapting to the potential
impacts of climate change. (Chapter 7 of this document describes the
Country Studies program in further detail.)
The United States also provides funding for the Tropical Forestry and
Climate Change Research Network, which is working with researchers in
about ten countries worldwide to improve estimates of the greenhouse
gas emissions from forestry activities in key countries and to
develop plausible policy scenarios to slow these emissions. Methods
developed by the Network have been adopted by the U.S. Country
Studies program for analysis of climate change mitigation through
forestry and by several countries for use in preparing their national
climate change reports.
Data and Information Dissemination
To increase worldwide access to climate change information, the
United States has developed a policy of full and open access for all
countries to U.S. global change data. The Global Change Data and
Information System, being developed through the U.S.  Research
Program, provides the infrastructure for linking global change data
bases and information available within the various agencies of the
federal government.
An integral component of the System is the Global Change Research
Information Office, which opened in 1993 to provide the international
community easier access to the data. The mission of the Information
Office is to determine what global change information holdings and
disseminations are being used by various agencies and to develop the
means of conveying that information to end users; to facilitate
information access by developing an on- line capability to point to
and retrieve, or store and disseminate, global change research
information; to provide customer service to end users with varying
levels of technological competence; and to evaluate the effectiveness
of the system for disseminating global change information.
The Information Office has made good progress in its task by
identifying worldwide sources of data and information to satisfy
requests about global change topics. The Internet provides the
primary access to these tools, and most are available free of charge.
The Information Office provides easy-to-use, on-line data and
information services to access these data.  For example, the
Information Office has implemented a GOPHER menu system on the
Internet, which identifies available resources and allows the user to
connect to many on-line systems.
Text Box: International Global Change Research Programs
World Climate Research Program
Created in 1979 to confront the problem of global warming and to use
climate information to benefit national socioeconomic development,
assists countries in applying climate knowledge and provides
information on possible future climate variations and change. The
Program is affiliated with WMO, UNEP, UNESCO/IOC, FAO, UNDP, and ICSU
and is organized into four major subprograms:
--  World Climate Data and Monitoring: Increases the availability of
reliable data for the World Climate Research Program by maintaining
and enhancing national observational networks and facilitating data
processing and exchange.
--  World Climate Applications and Services:  Enhances the use of
climate information to reduce the vulnerability of societies to
extreme climate events by transferring application techniques and
associated training to the developing world.
--  World Climate Impact Assessment and Response Strategies: Studies
the socioeconomic and environmental impacts of climate variability
and change, and of potential options for response strategies.
--  World Climate Research: Improves understanding of the physical
basis of climate to determine the extent to which climate can be
predicted and the extent of human influence on climate through major
research on the global atmosphere, the oceans, the cryosphere, and
the continental land surfaces.
Global Climate Observing System
Builds on both existing and developing observational networks to
measure variations and changes in the world's climate more
comprehensively. This includes the Global Ocean Observing System and
the Global Terrestrial Observing System.
International Geosphere-Biosphere Program
The biological and chemical counterpart to the World Climate Research
Program, investigates the biogeochemical cycles vital to
understanding greenhouse gases and their exchanges among the
atmosphere, oceans, and land.
Human Dimensions (of Global Environmental Change) Program
Studies the effect of human use on land cover over the past three
hundred years, and the likely effects over the next fifty years, as
well as major human causes of land-use changes and the effects of
climate and biogeochemical change on land use and land cover.
Public Education  and Communications
The challenge of U.S. education and communications activities is to
determine how to best:
--Involve the public and institutional decision makers in planning
programs and examining policies and choices.
--Expand public awareness of global change: the prominent issues,
their scientific complexity, and needed research, including
predicting consequences and evaluating policy options for responding.
--Train future scientists and educators by promoting understanding
among educators and decision makers about the multidisciplinary
nature of global change issues and solutions.
The effective conduct of the U.S. Research Program depends on
effective dialogue among its various constituencies. The Research
Program has undertaken specific initiatives to meet this objective.
The private sector--including academia, industry consortia, and
environmental groups--currently conducts significant research in the
areas of environmental and natural resources. Some of this research
is taking place in conjunction with federal agency programs. The U.S.
Research Program encourages private-sector and government agency
interactions to minimize duplication, to focus on key problems and
issues, and to bring working-level researchers together.
Educational Outreach
Member agencies of the U.S. Research Program have longstanding
programs for developing educational materials for primary and
secondary school levels.  They have developed monographs, resource
guides, curricula, and other supporting teaching materials on global
change, which are distributed to science teachers nationally. The
Research Program recognizes the need to strengthen the human resource
base in science and technology and to provide the United States with
highly trained professionals. Thus, at the inception of the U.S.
Research Program, the agencies augmented this foundation to respond
to the cross-disciplinary aspects of global change.
The major emphasis of these educational programs has been to award
competitive graduate-level and postdoctoral fellowships for
developing the interdisciplinary problem-solving skills that are
necessary for addressing global change science, technology, and
policy issues. Both postdoctoral and graduate-level fellows are
encouraged to interact with the scientific staff of the various
federal research organizations. The postdoctoral fellows sponsored by
the Research Program conduct research at agency laboratories, which
may be outside their supporting organization, and as a part of
university research projects.
The GLOBE Program
The GLOBE program (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the
Environment) brings together school children, educators, and
scientists throughout the world to monitor the global environment.
The program's objectives are to enhance the world's awareness of
environmental problems, to increase scientific understanding of the
Earth, and to help all students reach higher standards in science and
mathematics education.
The GLOBE program consists of a worldwide network of K--12 students
making environmental observations at or near their schools, providing
data useful to environmental scientists, and sharing the resulting
global environmental images and knowledge with each other. Scientists
involved in the program's design and implementation will help
determine what types of measurements students are most capable of
making and where students can make the greatest contributions.
The data acquired by the students are expected to help both students
and environmental researchers in a wide range of fields better
understand Earth systems, including climate systems. The student data
will be quality-controlled during GLOBE processing prior to their use
in producing environmental images and publicly available data. The
GLOBE program will use an international information
network--initially, the Internet--direct satellite transmission, and
television to acquire, transmit, and distribute data and
environmental images.
The actual operation will begin on April 22, 1995, the twenty-fifth
anniversary of Earth Day. Over two hundred schools--fifty of which
will be in the United States--will participate in the start-up.  Over
the next few years, the program will expand to include thousands of
schools, both in the United States and abroad.
Over forty countries have already expressed interest in becoming
involved in the GLOBE program. Foreign governments and
nongovernmental sources both in the United States and abroad are
expected to fund over 90 percent of the long-term GLOBE expenditures.
Foreign governments will pay for their own country's participation to
the extent they are able, and a nonprofit organization will be the
focal point for U.S. private-sector contributions to GLOBE.
Project Earthlink
To complement the U.S. government agency programs, the Research
Program has launched an interagency initiative called Project
Earthlink. The mission of this initiative is to establish a long-term
educational effort on global environmental change by: increasing the
understanding of global change issues, based on IPCC and similar
scientific assessments; describing the effects of human actions on
the global environment; and fostering access to and use of scientific
data sets and information technologies for informed decision making
and policy formation. Six audiences will be targeted: community
leaders, informal educators, teachers, students, journalists, and the
general public.
Project Earthlink will develop materials targeted to specific
audiences, including resource guides for teachers and journalists, a
data set directory, a manual on using information technologies, and
classroom activities for students. Topics include natural
variability, the greenhouse effect, sea level rise, ozone depletion,
ecosystem response, health effects, and decision making under
scientific uncertainties.
This initiative is being carried out in coordination with other White
House initiatives, including the President's Council on Sustainable
Development and Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the
Environment. Project Earthlink is evidence of the continuing U.S.
commitment to develop and nurture a scientifically and
environmentally literate citizenry in the belief that improving the
human partnership with the natural Earth system is essential to our
future. The primary goal of this initiative is to enhance long-term
global change educational efforts that reach multiple audiences and
become part of every education and outreach program.
Earthlink and Formal Education
Through various innovative efforts, Project Earthlink will be
formally introduced to the U.S.  educational system.
--Originally funded by the National Science Foundation, the JASON
Project is an innovative science-education program that uses
state-of-the-art technology to transport students to research sites
around the world for "live" explorations. The April 1995 "expedition"
will focus on global change issues and will use the Global Change
Education Resource Guide in training workshops for the ten thousand
teachers associated with the twenty-five JASON downlink sites.
--The International Science and Engineering Fair will add global
change as a fifteenth category for science fair projects. Students in
every school district in the United States and around the world will
be encouraged to design experiments related to global change
--In August 1994, member teams from nearly every state came to
Washington, D.C., for the U.S. Global Change Education Conference.
The teams, which included educational policy leaders, classroom
teachers, informal educators, and global change research specialists,
began to develop statewide action plans to incorporate global change
information and research into school and community programs.
Earthlink and Informal Education
Informal educators have educational responsibilities in museums,
aquaria, nature centers, and extension and outreach programs.
--The National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
established four pilot regional workshops on global change in
1993--94. A national video conference on global change for informal
educators is scheduled for November 1994.
--Global change will also be one of the features of the Ocean Planet
Exhibit, which will open in April 1995 at the National Museum of
Natural History.  Collaboration with Project Earthlink includes
developing informational materials and training workshops.
--A Global Change Specialist Resource Directory will include a list
of research specialists in global change interested in education.
--The National Science Foundation's Science and Technology Week in
April 1995 will feature "Building a New World," a year-long
educational project that will culminate in the construction by
students of a forty-two-foot scale model of the globe showing
vegetation, precipitation, and soil types.
Earthlink and the General Public
To provide editors and broadcasters with accurate and timely
scientific information on global change, NOAA is supporting a Guide
on Global Environmental Change , along with a series of accompanying
workshops taking place in 1994. A national video conference in April
1995 for community leaders will focus on global change issues, with a
four-hour workshop that will bring local decision makers together to
discuss global change issues, regional impacts, and local actions.
The informal educators who participated in the training workshops
will serve as site facilitators for the eighty downlink sites
covering every state and major metropolitan area. These downlink
sites will also host a prime- time interactive town hall meeting with
the President.
The Earthlink Resource Guide
The Global Change Education Resource Guide is a multimedia collection
of materials for assisting educators in conducting activities and
programs on global change. Based on the IPCC assessments, it includes
fact sheets from the UNEP--WMO Information Unit on Climate Change,
available in several languages; graphic representations of research
data on full-color slides; definitive articles for nontechnical
audiences; classroom activities for multiple age levels; and a
bibliography of resources. Topics include natural variability, the
greenhouse effect, sea level rise, ozone depletion, ecosystem
response, and decision making under scientific uncertainty. The
Resource Guide will be provided to participants in the informal
educator training workshops, the video conference for teachers, the
JASON expedition, and the U.S. Global Change Education Conference.
Individual Agency Efforts
As an example of individual agency efforts, the U.S.  Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA) is educating individuals and organizations
about the benefits of energy-efficient computers, lighting, building
systems, and residential appliances, as well as best management
practices in natural gas pipelines, improving ruminant productivity,
and methane recovery and reduction from coalbeds and landfills.
Voluntary programs include Green Lights, Energy Star Computers,
Energy Star Buildings, AgSTAR, Natural Gas STAR, and coalbed and
landfill outreach.
In these and other programs, EPA is increasing public understanding
of the environmental and economic benefits of these programs by
distributing monthly newsletters, annual reports, fact sheets and
brochures, posters, videotapes, and technical guidance; by
participating in conferences, media briefings, seminars, and
implementation workshops; by placing public service advertisements;
and by incorporating the pollution-prevention message into popular
cable television productions for children, such as "Captain Planet."
In addition, participants in EPA's voluntary programs heighten
employee and customer awareness through newsletter articles,
brochures, videotapes, and building tours.
The U.S. Agency for International Development supports activities in
developing countries and countries with economies in transition that
address climate change and promote sustainable economic growth. An
integral component of many of these programs is assistance in
training, public awareness, and education, particularly with regard
to improving the collection, exchange, and dissemination of
information on energy and environmental issues, as described in
Chapter 7.
Chapter 7: International Activities
International cooperation is critical to the success of the Framework
Convention on Climate Change and the attainment of its goal. While
the efforts of each individual country to control its own greenhouse
gas emissions are important, they will be ineffective if all
countries do not work together.  To foster closer international
cooperation on climate change, the United States is engaged in a
variety of activities, both bilaterally and internationally. Some are
designed to encourage the private sector to bring innovative
technologies to developing countries and economies in transition,
while others provide government-to-government assistance.
In particular, much closer cooperation is needed between developed
countries, which have historically had the highest greenhouse gas
emissions, and developing countries, whose emissions are growing
rapidly, and who will require still more energy in the coming years
to fuel their growth. However, developing countries can benefit from
the experience of the United States and other OECD countries, which
have attained impressive--and ever-improving--levels of efficiency in
their energy use.
Figure 7-1, which plots emissions against per-capita gross domestic
product (GDP), demonstrates this point. Most OECD countries are
toward the right of the graph, with relatively high per-capita GDPs
and relatively low CO2 emissions per unit of GDP. In contrast, most
economies in transition are in the upper left corner, with high
emissions and low per- capita GDP. Most developing countries are
clustered in the lower left corner, with low emissions and low
per-capita GDPs. The challenge for all signatories to the Climate
Convention is to work together to help both developing countries and
countries with economies in transition move toward higher efficiency
and lower emissions through technology transfer and cooperation.
The United States is committed to facilitating the commercial
transfer of energy-efficient and renewable-energy technologies that
can help developing countries achieve sustainable development. In
addition, the United States is engaged in a number of other projects
to help countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. This chapter
outlines some of the most significant U.S.  efforts in this area, in
the hope that our experience may spark further ideas for such
cooperation in the wider international community.
However, bilateral efforts are not enough; climate change is a global
threat that requires cooperation worldwide. The United States has
played a leading role in international efforts to address the climate
change issue, by its participation in climate convention
negotiations, as well as in other multilateral fora, where it has
used its influence to place the climate change issue squarely on the
agenda and to foster policies that can help to mitigate climate
Bilateral Technical and Financial Cooperation
The United States provides technical and financial assistance and
facilitates the transfer of energy- efficient technologies through
its Country Studies program, bilateral mitigation projects,
information sharing and trade facilitation, and bilateral assistance
for adaptation projects.
Country Studies
The Climate Convention requires all signatory countries to
communicate a national inventory of greenhouse gas emissions by
sources and removals by sinks and describe the steps they are taking
to implement the Convention, including adaptation and mitigation
measures. To help developing countries meet this commitment, and to
fulfill in part its own obligations under the Convention to provide
additional financial resources to help developing countries meet
their obligations, the United States initiated the Country Studies
program in 1992.
The studies are a first step for countries seeking to meet their
national reporting and other obligations under the Framework
Convention. In its first phase, this $25-million program is providing
technical and financial support to developing countries and countries
with economies in transition (the New Independent States and Eastern
Europe) to help them prepare studies to address climate change.  The
primary objectives of the program are:
--To enhance the abilities of countries and regions to inventory
their greenhouse gas emissions, assess their vulnerabilities to
climate change, and evaluate strategies for mitigating emissions and
adapting to the potential impacts of climate change.
--To enable countries to establish a process for developing and
implementing policies and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate
change, and for reexamining these policies and measures periodically.
--To develop information that can be used to further regional,
national, and international discussions of climate change issues.
Developing and transition countries are eligible to participate if
they: (1) have signed the Framework Convention on Climate Change, (2)
pledge to adopt the results of the study officially and to share them
widely in appropriate international fora, and (3) establish
appropriate institutional structures to direct the study and to
develop and implement further climate change policies.
Technical support is a major element of the Country Studies program.
In addition to funding studies directly, the program devotes
approximately 25 percent of its budgeted resources to training,
development of analytic tools, and other technical support for
participants from developing and transition countries. The U.S.
Global Change Research Program has provided technical support to
train over 150 analysts, engineers, and scientists from Africa, Asia,
Europe, and Latin America. The Country Studies program has developed
and distributed methodological handbooks, as well as reference
materials and models. These materials provide a common and
transparent technical framework for assessing climate change
vulnerability and adaptation measures and for evaluating mitigation
response options. In addition, the Country Studies program
distributed to participating countries IPCC/OECD guidance documents
and software in multiple languages on how to inventory their
greenhouse gas emissions.
Approximately thirty countries expressed interest in the Country
Studies program in its first year.  Following a programmatic and
technical review, twenty-six of those countries received financial
assistance to conduct studies: Algeria, Bulgaria, the Central
American region (Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala,
Honduras, Nicaragua, and Panama), Chile, Czech Republic, Egypt,
Ethiopia, The Gambia, Kazakhstan, Marshall Islands, Mexico,
Micronesia, Mongolia, Nigeria, Oman, Peru, Poland, Russian
Federation, Venezuela, and Zimbabwe. These ongoing studies are
implemented under cooperative agreements, and most countries are
completing technical tasks as scheduled.
In the program's second year, over forty-five additional countries
applied for financial support.  The United States expects to conclude
cooperative agreements in September 1994 with approximately thirty of
those countries (Figure 7-2).
Twelve U.S. government agencies have pooled their resources to
implement this program. A Country Studies Management Team, with
full-time personnel drawn from six different federal agencies,
conducts the day-to-day operations and oversees projects in
conjunction with individual U.S. agency project officers. The program
complements programs implemented by other donors (e.g., the United
Nations Development Program, the United Nations Environment Program,
the Global Environment Facility, and individual countries). The
United States coordinates financial and technical support activities
with other donors through several venues, including the CC:Info
project (formerly CLIMEX) of the INC Secretariat.
The potential effects of the Country Studies program are
far-reaching. Emission inventories and climate vulnerability studies
developed as a result of the program will point governments to
cost-effective projects to mitigate climate change. Countries will
develop the institutions and the technical expertise to capitalize
more fully on commercial technology transfer, as well as on bilateral
Text Box:  Activities Supported by the U.S. Country Studies Program
U.S. support for country studies provides an analytical basis upon
which countries can develop national plans and actions to address
climate change. The Country Studies program supports the following
--  Preparation of greenhouse gas inventories.
--  Assessment of vulnerability to the potential impacts of climate
change and evaluation of adaptive responses to cope with those
--  Analysis of mitigation options to reduce emissions and expand
--  Development of national plans.
--  Public education and outreach activities.
Bilateral Mitigation Projects
U.S. bilateral mitigation projects are based on the core principles
of the U.S. development assistance strategy. These principles support
economic growth and social development that:
--Protect the resources of the host  country.
--Respect and safeguard the country's economic, cultural, and natural
--Create many incomes and chains of enterprises.
--Are supported by a favorable policy and institutional framework.
--Build indigenous institutions that involve and empower the
The U.S. government is supporting a host of bilateral projects aimed
at mitigating climate change by reducing greenhouse gas emissions or
sequestering greenhouse gases. In this area, the federal government
works primarily through the U.S.  Agency for International
Development (USAID), but also through other U.S. government
departments and agencies involved in climate change issues--notably,
the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the U.S.  Environmental
Protection Agency (EPA), and the U.S.  Department of Agriculture
(USDA). Partnerships among various government agencies,
nongovernmental organizations, private industry, and international
organizations characterize many of these projects.
As the principal international development agency of the U.S.
government, USAID has identified climate change as one of two global
environmental priorities. The Agency is committed to assisting key
developing countries and countries with economies in transition to
reduce the rate of growth of net greenhouse gas emissions through
approaches that also contribute to economic growth and local
environmental protection. USAID will particularly emphasize
partnerships with countries that are or that will become significant
contributors to total greenhouse gas emissions, including Brazil,
India, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Mexico, Philippines, Poland, Russia,
Ukraine, and Central Africa (as a region).  The Agency will
collaborate with these countries to develop and implement plans that
reduce sources and enhance sinks of greenhouse gases.
Future USAID projects and programs to mitigate climate change will
advance three objectives:
--Promoting energy efficiency, renewable energy, and
low-carbon-emitting energy systems by: (1) promoting institutional
reform and private-sector approaches that improve the efficiency of
delivered energy services; (2) supporting the development of
environmentally sound technologies; and (3) leveraging multilateral
and private sources of capital to promote energy efficiency.
--Fostering sound forestry and natural resource management practices
that limit deforestation and other carbon-emitting, land-use changes.
--Improving the collection, exchange, and dissemination of
information on energy and environmental issues.
Text Box: The Role of Joint Implementation
The U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation, described in detail in
Chapter 4 of this report, offers the potential for expanding on the
international activities outlined in this chapter.  Although
bilateral--and even multilateral--aid funds are limited, the
initiative ultimately is expected to harness the technological and
financial resources of the U.S. private sector, with the aim of
reducing net greenhouse gas emissions as a complement to the
bilateral mitigation projects described in this chapter. These
efforts--particularly those that focus on mitigation and information
sharing and trade facilitation--lay the foundation for the initiative
by demonstrating beneficial projects and results, by creating a
favorable institutional climate, and by facilitating the exchange of
information necessary to bring parties together in joint
implementation projects. (###)
The U.S. bilateral mitigation projects described in this chapter
received funding in 1993--94. They include efforts in the following
general categories:
Energy Demand. Reduce end-user energy demand through conservation and
energy efficiency, resulting in lower fuel consumption and emissions.
Generation. Increase the efficiency of power generation, thereby
expanding effective generating capacity without additional fuel
Distribution. Reduce losses in transmission and distribution
processes, especially in rural networks, thus increasing effective
capacity without additional fuel consumption.
Renewables. Encourage the adoption of renewable- energy technologies
to replace fossil fuels or to increase capacity without increasing
fossil fuel consumption. Many renewable-energy technologies are
particularly appropriate for rural use.
Clean Coal. Use clean-coal technology, which can cut emissions by up
to 25 percent, to achieve significant immediate greenhouse gas
emissions in countries where coal is widely used.
Privatization. Support privatization, on the assumption that the
private sector generally makes more rational use of energy resources
than do government-owned or -subsidized monopolies. Open existing
power-grid systems to sales from private producers to provide a
market incentive for the development of nonconventional
renewable-energy resources.
Clean Air. Reduce air pollution, thereby decreasing greenhouse gases
as an ancillary benefit.
Methane. Reduce methane emissions through coalbed methane recovery
and other technologies. Methane recovery not only lowers emissions of
methane--a potent greenhouse gas--but also provides an additional
clean-burning fuel source with low greenhouse gas emissions.
Forestry. Enhance carbon sinks through forestry projects that reduce
deforestation, or support reforestation or afforestation of degraded
Many projects are not so easily categorized, however, for they cut
across two or more of these categories, as shown in Table 7-1.
Following are the descriptions of the projects, along with their time
frames, total U.S. funding levels over the indicated time frame,
responsible agency or agencies, and host country or region.
Energy Efficiency Project
EEP strives to combat climate change by introducing environmentally
sound, energy-efficient technologies and by promoting related policy
reforms, investment incentives, and energy management and planning.
Specifically, EEP (1) mitigates energy-related greenhouse gas
emissions, (2) addresses energy- sector policy and institutional
reform issues, (3) promotes private-sector involvement, (4) expands
U.S. technology transfer, and (5) promotes energy information
dissemination through outreach and training. EEP works cooperatively
with groups inside the United States and in developing and emerging
countries, such as universities, research centers, and
nongovernmental organizations.
EEP emphasizes the following three strategic elements: building
institutional partnerships, promoting technology cooperation between
U.S. and local firms, and leveraging major financing. To build local
capacity, which is critical to sustaining development efforts, all
EEP activities involving specific countries have an institutional
counterpart to assist in carrying out project objectives. On the
technology front, EEP promotes innovative, market-driven technology
cooperation between U.S. and developing-country organizations.  In
the financing arena, EEP leverages funding from the multilateral
development banks by providing initial design and start-up efforts
that will lead to projects being funded by these institutions.
--  USAID, $22.8 million from 1992 to 1998, Worldwide
Philippines Demand-Side Management
This parallel-financed USAID/Global Environment Facility project
seeks to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions by developing
demand-side (conservation and energy-efficiency) resources to meet a
portion of the power sector's needs in the Philippines. It comprises
a three-pronged strategy of (1) assessing the potential for
demand-side management (DSM), (2) providing technical assistance for
DSM regulatory frameworks, and (3) designing and implementing a pilot
industrial-sector DSM program to demonstrate targeted project
benefits and working models for follow-on development and
replication. To maximize the program's impact, USAID and the Asian
Development Bank (ADB) are planning a coordinated effort, whereby
USAID is providing grant-funded technical assistance and technical
services, and the ADB will provide specialized project finance for
Philippine DSM investments.
--  USAID, $4.5 million from 1994 to 1997, Philippines
Thailand Demand-Side Management Program
In the Thailand DSM program, the United States is working with the
International Institute for Energy Conservation and the Government of
Thailand to design and implement a national energy utility DSM
program and energy-conservation fund. The fund is intended to reduce
emissions of greenhouse gases and other pollutants, to lower energy
costs, and to reduce Thailand's dependence on foreign sources of
--  EPA, $120,000 from 1993 to 1994, Thailand
Energy-Demand Management
The Energy Demand Management project has focused on reducing energy
waste and improving the efficiency of energy use in Morocco by
introducing energy- demand management techniques into important
sectors of the Moroccan economy, including agro-industry,
construction materials, and hotels. In its six years of operation,
the project has provided such technical support as energy audits,
boiler tune-ups, and electric bill analyses to more than 200 Moroccan
firms. The annual monetary savings, which are in excess of $7.5
million, also translate into significant reductions in greenhouse gas
-- USAID, $8.6 million from 1988 to 1994, Morocco
Energy Efficiency and Market Reform Project
This project seeks (1) to improve efficiency and performance in
electric power, refineries, industries, and buildings; (2) to support
energy- sector privatization and market reform; and (3) to reduce
safety risks at nuclear power plants. Energy- efficiency and
demand-management efforts are under way in Russia, Belarus, Ukraine,
Armenia, Kazakhstan, and Kyrgyzstan in cooperation with the
multilateral development banks and through U.S.  private-sector
contracts. These efficiency improvements, using state-of-the-art U.S.
technologies, have resulted in annual energy savings of $4.5 million,
when calculated at world energy prices. This project is also engaged
in cooperative efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from
natural gas flaring in Russia, to rehabilitate gas- distribution
system designs in four major Russian cities, and to develop a
strategy for restructuring Russia's electric utility sector.
--  USAID, $272.5 million from 1992 to 1996, New Independent States
Integrated Transportation Planning
Increased energy demand to meet transportation needs also contributes
to projected increases in greenhouse gas emissions. Accordingly, the
ITP aims to design and implement integrated planning tools for
developing countries, in order to encourage the development of
transportation infrastructure that takes into account the social,
economic, and environmental impacts of rapid growth in automobile use
and allows comparison of alternative modes of transportation on an
equal basis.
--  EPA, $265,000 from 1993 to 1994, Worldwide
Program for the Acceleration of Commercial Energy Research
PACER promotes the commercialization of emerging energy technologies,
administers a revolving fund for research awards and grants, and
encourages Indo- U.S. joint ventures. Since its inception in 1987,
PACER has assisted more than twenty projects in developing and
validating energy technologies, including technologies for renewables
and energy conservation.
For example, PACER is providing matching funds totaling $2 million
for an Indo-U.S. joint venture in developing energy-efficient
technologies with industrial applications. PACER also has ongoing
projects in the development of an energy-efficient regenerative
burner; a 500-kilowatt biomass gasifier-based, power-generation
system; and continuous-fluidized-bed furnaces for heat treatment. In
addition, the Program for the Advancement of Commercial Technology,
which aims to accelerate technology innovation through U.S.-Indian
joint ventures, has helped projects develop energy technologies that
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
--  USAID, $20 million from 1987 to 1995, India
Energy Management Consultation and Training
The EMCAT project provides technical assistance to improve the
ability of Indian public enterprises and private businesses to manage
the generation, transmission, and use of energy throughout the power
sector. USAID has worked through EMCAT to leverage $1.5 billion in
multilateral and Indian financial resources to promote the
development of efficient power projects and improvements in energy
efficiency. The project is also improving the efficiency of energy
use by developing the capability to design, manufacture, and
implement energy-efficient technologies.
--  USAID, $20 million from 1991 to 1996, India
Power-Sector Support Program
This program aims to rehabilitate electricity- generating capacity,
increase efficiency, and stimulate energy conservation. It is
reducing greenhouse gas emissions through infrastructure investments
and technical and policy assistance.
The modernization of the Cairo West thermal power station's boilers
and turbine generators, as well as the modification of the boilers to
burn both natural gas and mazout oil, is expected to increase the
plant's capacity from 300 to 350 megawatts, while decreasing its
fuel-consumption rate from 275 to 260 grams per kilowatt-hour. These
actions should greatly reduce the power station's greenhouse gas
The Power Sector Research Program is also assisting the Egyptian
government in adopting environmentally sound practices and reducing
electricity subsidies that discourage conservation. In partnership
with the World Bank, the Egyptian government developed a national
Environmental Master Plan that identified Egypt's environmental
problems and outlined an action plan to address them. The New and
Renewable Energy Authority, recently established under the Power
Sector Support Program, will help carry out the government's action
plan and meet future demands for environmentally sound energy by
promoting new and renewable sources of energy. The program is also
helping to expand the operating data-collection capability of the
National Energy Control Center, which will enhance the reliability
and efficiency of the overall national power system.
--  USAID, $661 million from 1989 to 1996, Egypt
Energy Technology Innovation Project
The purpose of ETIP is to introduce innovative and environmentally
sound technologies and management techniques that promote efficient,
sustainable, and cost-effective production of electricity generation,
transmission, and distribution systems in developing countries. ETIP
focuses on increasing energy efficiency in industries and utilities.
It has supported such activities as clean-coal technology missions to
Indonesia and Thailand, and improved efficiency in power generation
from power plants in Armenia and the Philippines. In the New
Independent States, the project has provided technical support to
reduce the amount of natural gas and natural gas liquids flared to
the atmosphere, and has identified solutions to improve the safety
and efficiency of natural gas distribution systems and to reduce
methane leakage.
--  USAID, $20 million from 1990 to 1998, Worldwide
Energy Training Program
This program offers a unique opportunity for qualified energy and
environmental professionals from developing countries to receive
practical hands-on training, either in the United States or in the
host country. The resulting increase in local institutional capacity
to resolve energy-sector problems can improve energy efficiency and
mitigate the effects of climate change, while increasing the
potential for economic growth. U.S.-based courses are designed to
provide mid-level engineers, planners, and other specialists with the
skills needed to implement new technologies, policies, or procedures.
In-country courses are custom-designed to provide senior-level
policymakers and executives with the information they need to make
informed decisions on new energy and environmental technologies,
policies, and procedures. In-country workshops have also been custom
designed to give participants (at all levels) a chance to learn about
energy-efficient and renewable-energy systems first hand. A
study-tour program brings senior-level, energy-sector professionals
to the United States to observe new energy technologies, policies,
and procedures in action.
--  USAID, $29.5 million from 1987 to 1997, Worldwide
Energy-Efficient CFC-Free Refrigeration in China
EPA is cooperating with the Chinese National Environmental Protection
Agency and the National Council of Light Industry to spur the
production of energy-efficient, CFC-free refrigerator models in
China. So far, energy savings of more than 50 percent have been
achieved on a widely distributed model. EPA will work to transfer the
technology throughout China. Methods and results will be relevant to
other developing countries as well.
--  EPA, major multinational grant application under way, China
Renewable Energy for Rural Electrification
This project is a component of the larger Central American Rural
Electrification Support Program. It is designed to increase rural use
of renewable- energy technologies in order to help the people of
Central America address their energy needs in an economically and
environmentally sustainable manner.  The program disseminates
renewable-energy technologies; provides training in system design,
installation, operation and maintenance of renewable-energy
technologies; and conducts pilot activities in national park areas
and buffer zones in Guatemala, Honduras, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua.
--  USAID; $500,000 from 1993 to 1995; Guatemala, Honduras, Costa
Rica, and Nicaragua.
Nepal Private Hydropower for Rural Electrification
This four-year program seeks to help the private sector and the
Government of Nepal establish and sustain private investment in
small-to-medium hydropower projects and in innovative rural
electrification facilities based on hydropower. The program focuses
on two major activities: (1) technical assistance for development of
private power regulations, implementing procedures and institutional
capacity, as well as for qualified private hydropower projects; and
(2) private pilot initiatives in hydropower-based rural
electrification with a local consortium comprised of nongovernmental
--  USAID, $2.2 million from 1993 to 1996, Nepal
Windpower for Island and Nongovernmental Development
This three-year, parallel-financing USAID/GEF project will help
Indonesian nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) demonstrate, manage,
and transfer small-scale wind-energy systems in the eastern islands
of Indonesia. It is designed to secure the involvement and commitment
of NGOs in demonstrating an alternative approach to energy supply in
rural communities. The project is composed of two basic components:
(1) an assessment of wind resources and establishment of
demonstration projects, and (2) strengthening the technical and
institutional capacity of NGOs to design and implement wind-energy
--  USAID, $2.9 million from 1993 to 1995, Indonesia
Rural Electrification
This project aims to help selected Philippine rural electric
cooperatives achieve commercial viability by addressing the
institutional, policy, and technical weaknesses of the rural
electrification system. It targets energy efficiency by
rehabilitating distribution systems at the rural and national levels
and by taking steps to reduce technical and nontechnical energy
losses. Several of the participating cooperatives, which previously
experienced line losses of up to 50 percent, have already attained
the project's target of a "15 percent or under" system loss rate.
--  USAID, $40 million from 1988 to 1994, Philippines
Renewable Energy Applications and Training
REAT is designed to bring about investments in renewable-energy
systems that contribute significantly to the solution of development
problems, while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.  It promotes
investments in renewable-energy technologies as alternatives to
fossil fuel generation, conducts country-specific feasibility
analyses of alternative energy sources, and develops and disseminates
country investment portfolios and energy-sector case studies.
Financing for investment opportunities identified by the project is
organized in collaboration with the U.S. private sector and
multilateral development banks.
In Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the Caribbean, REAT has developed
and tested solar, wind, and small hydro systems to meet the energy
needs of rural populations and villages. REAT funding also helps
support VITASAT, a satellite system that has allowed an Indonesian
utility and a collaborating U.S.  company to monitor and optimize a
pilot project by which small, hybrid-generation power plants provide
electricity to remote island villages.
--  USAID, $25 million from 1985 to 1995, Worldwide
Biomass Energy Systems and Technology
BEST is designed to reduce the technical, financial, economic, and
institutional risks associated with biomass energy systems so that
public- and private- sector interests (both U.S. and indigenous) will
invest in commercially proven energy-conversion systems in target
countries. The BEST project has been dedicated to promoting the use
of certain biomass fuels (namely, crops and crop residues). For
example, biogas technologies can be used to increase the efficiency
of energy production, while such technologies as cogeneration can
turn biomass waste products into energy. Both approaches reduce
greenhouse gas production.
In India, BEST conducted a biomass fuel assessment in Tamil Nadu and
Maharashtra, focusing on three sugar mills; as a result, one private
mill is planning significant investments in cogeneration.  BEST also
supported a study of cogeneration from sawmill waste in Honduras, a
cost-shared feasibility study of biogas-fired electric power
generation at a swine-production and dairy installation in the
Philippines, and a two-year biomass energy project in Mexico.
--  USAID, $13.1 million from 1989 to 1996, Worldwide
PUSPIPTEK Energy Research Laboratory
This project has assisted the Government of Indonesia in developing
the PUSPIPTEK Energy Research Laboratory, which conducts research on
efficient energy technologies other than oil, gas, and nuclear power.
U.S. technical assistance was provided for developing the
organization, for short- term training of staff, and for the design
of research facilities. The project also procured analytical
chemistry laboratory equipment, a pilot rice husk fluidized bed
gasifier, efficient coal- combustion research facilities, and
workshop equipment to support the Laboratory. Research activities
include solar energy, biomass energy, energy audits for factories and
buildings, and coal characterizations and combustion research. Other
donors that provided assistance to the Laboratory include the World
Bank, for long-term training; Japan, for solar energy and coal
gasification; the Netherlands and Germany, for solar energy and
biomass gasification; and the EU, for energy audits.
--  USAID, $12.25 million from 1981 to 1993, Indonesia
Philippines Assistance Support Project, USAID/GEF Renewable Energy
This project is a multi-donor effort to help the Philippine
government develop economic infrastructure and stimulate investment.
Project activities include studies, operational support to the
Committee on Official Development, and funding of a private-sector,
pre-investment facility. The USAID/GEF renewable-energy component
will help the Philippines demonstrate and test innovative financing
approaches for renewable energy in economic development. This program
will finance projects to supplant some 15--18 megawatts of fossil
energy systems directly and will help with indirect assistance for
another estimated 20--25 megawatts, with corresponding reductions in
greenhouse gas emissions.
--  USAID, $3.75 million from 1990 to 1995, Philippines
Electrification for Sustainable Development, USAID/GEF Renewable
Energy Component
Part of a larger project, this component is designed to promote the
reduction of greenhouse gas emissions through the use of
renewable-energy systems in rural areas in Bolivia. This component
will demonstrate innovative mechanisms for sustainable financing and
integration of renewable-energy systems in Bolivia's electrification
process. It will include financing for solar, wind, small hydro, and
biomass energy projects in order to integrate renewable-energy
technologies within the broad electrification planning policy in
--  USAID, $2.5 million from 1991 to 1996, Bolivia
Greenhouse Gas Pollution-Reduction Project
This project in India represents a two-pronged strategy to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions from energy production. The first component
is a near- term strategy to increase the efficiency of coal use
through the introduction of coal-conversion efficiency measures in
existing power plants and state-of-the-art coal-conversion
technologies. The second component is part of a longer-term strategy
to reduce dependence on greenhouse gas-emitting fossil fuels by using
alternative bagasse (sugar cane waste) cogeneration technologies
(which produce no net greenhouse emissions) to exploit currently
unused biomass resources. Both components are designed to address the
major market, financial, and institutional obstacles to the
introduction of these technologies and thereby to demonstrate their
competitiveness with other sources.
--  USAID, $19 million from 1994 to 1998, India
Krakow Power Plant Retrofit and Clean Fossil Fuels and
Energy-Efficiency Projects
This initiative involves two complementary projects:  (1) the
$9.8-million Krakow Power Plant Retrofit Project, which has installed
a high-efficiency scrubber on a power plant in Krakow, Poland; and
(2) the $20-million Krakow Clean Fossil Fuels Energy Efficiency
Project, which is designed to stem the low-level emissions of small
boilers and home furnaces in and around the city of Krakow. Emission
reductions are gained through the use of clean-coal technology and
efficiency improvements in the district heating system and heat end
use. The project supports the testing, introduction, and
commercialization of new cost-effective fuels and technologies, and
the implementation of the policy and regulatory changes needed to
stimulate the commercial market.
Pilot plant demonstrations in Phase I have shown a significant
reduction in pollution, with a concomitant 20 percent increase in
operating efficiency, thereby significantly reducing carbon
emissions. Phase II, a 50--50 cost-sharing program with U.S. and
Polish industry, will promote the commercialization of cost-effective
fuels and technologies through eight joint ventures. This will boost
the efficiency of boiler houses and other sources of pollution in
Poland, thereby reducing CO2 emissions by about 15 percent.
--  USAID and DOE, $29.8 million from 1991 to 1994, Poland
Private-Sector Energy Development Project
PSED promotes the private ownership, financing, and operation of
electric-power facilities in selected developing countries. Because
private power developers operate more efficiently than government-
owned and subsidized utilities, their operations consume less fuel to
satisfy current demand levels, thus reducing greenhouse gas
PSED originally concentrated on familiarizing U.S.  companies and
foreign governments with the benefits and opportunities of
private-power-sector development. PSED activities now include
facilitating participation by private-power developers in the
development and implementation of environmentally acceptable,
economically sound, power-generation technology.
Private-sector participation also helps the power sector use its
resources more effectively, capitalize on the technical and
managerial expertise of private energy companies, and gain access to
new sources of capital. This participation helps alleviate the power
shortages that restrict economic growth, as well as provides
much-needed capital infusion and relief of the capital burden placed
on governments, freeing up funds for environmental or health
Furthermore, opening existing power-grid systems to sales from
private producers is often the most effective incentive for the
development of nonconventional renewable-energy resources. About 70
percent of the projects approved under the PSED Feasibility Study
Fund use alternative or renewable fuels.
--  USAID, $6 million from 1991 to 1994, Worldwide
Regional Energy Efficiency
The Regional Energy Efficiency project provides technical assistance,
training, and equipment to accomplish three strategic objectives in
the Central and Eastern European region: (1) improve energy
efficiency and pricing; (2) support energy-sector restructuring,
privatization, and modernization; and (3) improve nuclear safety.
Through this project, U.S. government agencies and private
organizations, in coordination with the World Bank and other donors,
are working to improve the climate for private investment in the
modernization and increased efficiency of energy systems, as well as
to establish local private energy-service and equipment-supply
Specific program components include: (1) a grant to the International
Energy Agency to carry out regional and country-by-country energy
policy reviews in Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia,
Romania, and the Baltic countries to improve energy efficiency; (2)
regional technical assistance to promote policy and institutional
reform within the energy industry, develop rational and
environmentally sound energy-investment programs, and enhance the
business climate for energy industries and infrastructure in Central
and Eastern Europe; (3) an Electric Utility Partnership program that
links U.S. electric utilities and industries with counterparts in
Central and Eastern Europe to facilitate economic and technical
reform of national utility systems, introduce modern management
concepts, and expose Central and Eastern European industrial leaders
to U.S. energy and environmental technologies and practices with a
view to future technology transfer; and (4) a Technology Cooperation
program that takes advantage of specific DOE capabilities with
respect to renewable energy, energy efficiency, clean-coal
technology, and nuclear safety.
--  USAID and DOE, $96 million from 1991 to 1996, Central and Eastern
Improved Public-Sector Environmental Services
This project provides technical assistance and training and
technology-transfer opportunities to improve environmental quality in
Eastern Europe and strengthen Eastern European governments' capacity
to provide public-sector environmental services.  Although targeted
primarily at industrial and municipal pollution reduction and
regulation, and at environmental risk assessment, the project has
also reduced greenhouse gas emissions and has encouraged
energy-efficiency improvements.
Through the application of "low-cost or no-cost" process changes,
environmental audits, recycling, waste minimization, and efficient
use of raw materials and natural resources, the project is promoting
pollution prevention and is installing equipment at specific
industrial facilities.  Environmental Management Training Centers are
being established in Bulgaria and Poland, and a "twinning" program
fosters long-term relationships between government ministries and
EPA's regional offices in the United States for information exchange
and technical assistance.
--  USAID and EPA, $68.8 million from 1991 to 1996, Central and
Eastern Europe
Environmental Policy and Technology, Russian Air Management Program
Part of an overall environmental policy project, RAMP is designed to
demonstrate how improved institutions, policies, and practices in
air-quality management can help solve air pollution problems in
Russian cities. RAMP also aims to identify activities that will
reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It has begun by assisting Russian
officials in a short-term study of Volgograd's air- quality problems
and in identifying low- and no-cost emission-reduction measures.
Using experience gained in Volgograd, RAMP will then help Russians
define and implement appropriate changes to national, regional, and
local approaches to air-quality management. Through training,
technology transfer, and policy development, RAMP will assist
Russians in drafting air-quality legislation and regulations,
establishing standards, and setting emission limits and permit
--  USAID and EPA, $35 million from 1992 to 1996, Russia
Coalbed Methane Projects in China, Czech Republic, Poland, Russia,
and Ukraine
Several ongoing projects reduce emissions of methane from coal mines
by identifying and assessing profitable opportunities for coal mines
to expand methane recovery in conjunction with coal mining.  The
efforts include assessments of coalbed methane resources, specific
project opportunities, and the applicability of different U.S.
technologies for methane recovery under local mining conditions;
assistance to the United Nations Development Program's coalbed
methane demonstration project in China; and establishment of Coalbed
Methane Centers to disseminate information about investment
opportunities to recover coalbed methane.
--  EPA, USAID; $2 million from 1990 to 1996; Czech Republic, Poland,
Russia, Ukraine; China (EPA only)
Polish Coalbed Methane Project
Three U.S. agencies are cooperating with the Polish Ministry of
Environmental Protection in a $1-million project to demonstrate a new
technology for recovering methane emissions from coal-mining
operations. The U.S. Trade and Development Agency will fund a
feasibility study for the project, in which three Polish coal mines
will participate. The recovered methane will be enriched and used for
domestic consumption and export. It will also serve as the fuel
source for an expanded brine disposal plant.
--  DOE, TDA and EPA, $300,000 from 1993 to 1995, Poland
GAZPROM Working Group
This working group aims to identify and assess project opportunities
to reduce methane emissions from Russia's natural gas system through
the application of U.S. technologies. Approximately twenty U.S.
companies are participating in this effort, together with EPA, DOE,
and GAZPROM (the Russian natural gas company). Working group members
have identified a number of potentially profitable projects that
could improve the efficiency of Russia's natural gas system and
reduce methane emissions. They are now working on obtaining support
for demonstration projects and joint-venture development.
--  EPA and DOE, $100,000 in 1994, Russia
Ruminant Livestock Methane-Reduction Projects
EPA has conducted prefeasibility studies in several key
countries--including India, China, Bangladesh, Brazil, and
Tanzania--to identify cost-effective opportunities for reducing
methane emissions from large ruminant livestock. The studies focus on
ways to improve the diets of animals, thereby reducing methane
emissions per unit of meat or milk produced.  The information
developed is used for the design of pilot extension projects to help
small-scale producers learn how to implement various improved
nutritional management practices, such as molasses- urea supplements,
ammoniation of straw, and improved grazing/forage management
techniques. Studies are also planned for Ukraine and Nepal.
--  EPA; $100,000 in 1994; Bangladesh, Brazil, China, India, and
RUSSAFOR (Russia-USA Forestry and Climate Change Project)
This pilot project designed is to demonstrate the viability of
attracting private investment from the United States and Europe to
sequester carbon through tree planting and improved forest
management. A cooperative venture among U.S. and Russian governmental
and nongovernmental organizations, RUSSAFOR expects to attract one to
three U.S.  private electric utilities to invest in forest
plantations in Russia. The project should provide useful experience
for the U.S. Initiative on Joint Implementation and the Climate
Convention's Joint Implementation component.
--  EPA, $250,000 in 1993, Russia
Forest Service Project in Brazil and Russia
The purpose of this project is to develop research capabilities to
measure the release of greenhouse gases from biomass burning in
tropical and boreal forests and savanna ecosystems. In Brazil, the
project includes training in fire detection and suppression, while in
Russia work has progressed to providing technical assistance and
funds for forest planning and policy development, fire and pest
management, protection of preserves, and forest regeneration.
--  USDA and USAID, $1.5 million in 1994, Brazil and Russia
Forestry Planning and Development
This project aims to achieve local energy self- sufficiency and to
reduce deforestation in Pakistan by increasing national abilities to
design and implement forest and fuelwood development strategies. It
also demonstrates the feasibility of producing tree crops on private
farm and range lands.
--  USAID, $30 million from 1983 to 1993, Pakistan
Community-based Natural Resources Management
This project aims to improve forest resource management in Senegal
through direct participation by rural communities and the private
sector in land- use planning and conservation. Building on a 1991
reforestation project in which 43,000 participants planted trees on
1,300 hectares (3,212 acres) of land, the project includes continued
tree-planting and forest-regeneration activities to instill in the
population a sense of stewardship for natural resources. It aims to
work with community groups and farmers to plant three million trees,
and to protect and manage natural forest regeneration on 200,000
hectares (424,200 acres) of land. A related policy and
institution-strengthening component will work through Senegal's
national environmental plan process to ensure that these gains are
--  USAID, $25 million from 1993 to 1999, Senegal
Environment/Global Climate Change
This project is designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Latin
America by promoting policy reforms and encouraging environmentally
sound technologies and practices for the sustainable, efficient use
of forest and energy resources, especially in Brazil and Mexico.
Because the primary source of greenhouse gases in the region stems
from the destruction of tropical forests, this project focuses
heavily on the sustainable use of forest resources.
In Brazil, the project is providing training, management assistance,
and basic infrastructure needs to regional nongovernmental
organizations (NGOs). This assistance aims to increase NGO capacity
to influence policy by working with government research agencies and
carrying out demonstration field projects. To give added value to the
existing forests, the project is supporting research and pilot
demonstration activities for new nontimber forest products and for
improving the cultivation of traditional products, such as Brazil
nuts and rubber. The activities also include environmental education,
impact assessments, and components to improve timber management and
management of protected areas.
Working with NGO partners, the project has used $2 million to
purchase and conserve critical forested areas in Belize and Paraguay.
In Mexico, the project is helping the government analyze its policies
and legal and institutional structures that encourage destruction of
tropical and temperate forests. It is also working to consolidate and
manage eight protected areas and their buffer zones, covering more
than ten million acres in southern Mexico. The Mexican activities
also include some energy assistance through training in demand-side
management and in energy-efficient and renewable- energy
technologies. An additional major renewable- energy component is
described in the next section.
--  USAID, $30.1 million from 1990 to 1996, Latin America (primarily
Brazil and Mexico)
Environment/Global Climate Change, Mexico Renewable Energy Component
In collaboration with DOE's Sandia Laboratories, this project is
supporting the expansion of the Government of Mexico's
nonconventional rural electrification program and other
renewable-energy activities. It will focus on socially productive
uses of renewable energy, including water pumping for potable water
supply, livestock watering, and small-scale irrigation. The principal
renewable- energy technologies will be photovoltaics, wind-
power--driven electric turbines, and hybrid systems combining these
two technologies. Installation of off-grid renewable-energy systems
will avoid the greenhouse gas emissions of the equivalent fossil-
fuel--generated electricity, while providing for sustainable
development in Mexico.
--  USAID and DOE, $4.4 million from 1990 to 1996, Mexico
Projects That Indirectly Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
Many projects with other focuses achieve reductions in greenhouse gas
emissions as an ancillary benefit.  For example, the Mexico City Air
Quality Initiative, a three-year, $9.1-million joint DOE--M%xicanos
Petr}leos project to reduce air pollution in Mexico, has reduced
greenhouse gas emissions through the implementation of
energy-efficiency initiatives. The Energy Conservation and Efficiency
project in Egypt, which is a subproject of Science & Technology for
Development, promotes the use of energy-efficient industrial and
commercial technologies in both the public and the private sectors in
Egypt. By using portable gas analyzers to tune fifty-four boilers in
eighteen companies, the project has reduced fuel use by about 10
percent and greenhouse gas emissions by 15--30 percent.
Text Box: USAID Bilateral Forest Conservation Programs
USAID has an extensive portfolio of forest- management and
-protection projects that help conserve existing carbon sinks. Global
loss of biomass from tropical deforestation produced an estimated 4.1
gigatons of CO2 annually between 1981 and 1990 (UN/FAO 1993).
Conserving tropical forests avoids net release of CO2 when carbon
sequestered in biomass and soil is oxidized during agricultural
burning and decomposition processes associated with deforestation.
The same policies and institutional capacity that countries require
to sustainably manage their natural resources will also equip them to
assess their vulnerability and adapt to climate change.
In fiscal 1993, USAID forestry conservation assistance totaled $86
million. These projects are designed to protect forests' biodiversity
and improve the societal well-being by maintaining sustainable forest
industries, nontimber forest products, fertile agricultural lands,
and intact watersheds.
While the Latin America and Caribbean region contains over half the
world's remaining forests, it also has the world's highest rate of
deforestation-- by far the major source of greenhouse gas emissions
in the region. In 1994, USAID plans to commit over $21 million to
forest-protection and sustainable-use projects in the region. Major
bilateral projects are ongoing in Belize, Bolivia, Costa Rica,
Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, Nicaragua, and
Panama. Other programs, such as the Parks in Peril Program with The
Nature Conservancy, operate throughout the region.
In Asia, USAID is funding forest-conservation programs in Indonesia,
Nepal, the South Pacific islands, and the Philippines. For example,
in the Philippines, the $125-million Natural Resources Management
Program initially focused on national forest policy reforms and
setting up an endowment-- through a debt-swap--to fund the
conservation activities of local nongovernmental organizations.
After the passage of major policy reforms, attention has turned to
implementation and investment in community-based forest management.
The program expects to place at least 500,000 hectares (1,255,500
acres) of open-access forests under sustainable management by local
and indigenous cultural communities, cooperatives, or private
corporations in producer relationships with communities.
In several African countries, USAID has worked with other donors to
analyze forestry and natural resource management and economic
policies through the National Environmental Action Plan process. In
1993, USAID committed $19.1 million to forest- conservation projects
in the Congo, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, and Uganda.
These programs, and many smaller activities worldwide, are supported
by such global programs as the Forest Resources Management Project.
This $25- million collaboration among USAID, the U.S. Forest Service,
and the Peace Corps seeks to ensure a sustainable forest and natural
resource base in developing countries and countries with economies in
transition. It promotes the contribution of trees to sustainable
development; strengthens the capacity of institutions that manage
forestry and natural resources in developing countries; and provides
technical assistance, training, private-enterprise development, and
facilitation of donor collaboration. Similar programs include the
Conservation of Biological Diversity Project; the Forestry, Fuelwood,
and Resource Development Project; the Environmental Planning and
Management Project; and the Environment and Natural Resources Policy
and Training Project.
USAID is currently reviewing its forestry activities in light of its
commitment to mitigating climate change. New Forestry/Climate Change
programs are being planned for the Russian Federation and central
Africa. USAID is also developing methods to better monitor and
evaluate the impact of its forestry assistance on enhancing carbon
sinks, in order to maximize the impact of its programs in terms of
climate change mitigation.  (###)
Information Sharing and Trade Facilitation
A critical element of technology transfer is making information about
available technologies easily accessible to foreign government
agencies and private-sector firms, and helping them secure financing
for beneficial technologies. The benefits of effective
information-sharing and trade- facilitation programs in promoting the
transfer of technologies that can mitigate greenhouse gas emissions
are far greater than their relatively modest funding levels might
Often the only obstacle to successful technology transfer is lack of
information. Project planners in developing countries may not have
ready access to information about the latest energy-efficient or
renewable-energy technologies. Similarly, U.S.  companies, especially
smaller firms engaged in developing renewable-energy technologies,
may lack information about international market opportunities for
these technologies. Furthermore, traditional project financing has
been geared toward large- scale, new-generation projects, rather than
toward smaller-scale renewable or demand-side projects.
Accordingly, the United States has established an array of
information clearinghouses aimed at stimulating the flow of
information about technologies and opportunities to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions, and trade-facilitation programs aimed at promoting the
most beneficial of U.S. exports:  technologies to reduce emissions of
the greenhouse gases that threaten our shared climate.
Committee on Renewable Energy, Commerce, and Trade
CORECT is an interagency project that facilitates the use of U.S.
renewable-energy products and services worldwide by bringing together
potential foreign customers and decision makers, funding sources, and
U.S. industry.
--  14 U.S. agencies, $2 million in 1994, Worldwide
America's 21st Century Program
As the initial implementation of CORECT's regional strategy for the
Western Hemisphere, "A21" aims at building a strong business and
industrial capacity through renewable-energy products and services.
It seeks to identify and evaluate project opportunities and technical
assistance needs to develop a framework to conduct sustainable
projects, to provide limited cost-sharing of project expenses, and to
aggregate projects into portfolios for financing by multilateral
development banks.
--  14 U.S. agencies, $3.25 million in 1994, Western Hemisphere
Text Box: Central African Regional Program for the Environment
As the world's second-largest area of tropical forests, the Congo
Basin is a major carbon sink and repository of biological diversity.
Because deforestation and unsustainable land-use practices are
rapidly destroying the natural resources in the region, USAID is
recommending a new ten-year project, called the Central African
Regional Program for the Environment (CARPE). The proposed project
will identify and establish some of the conditions and practices
required for the conservation and sustainable use of the natural
resources in the region, in a manner that addresses local, national,
regional and global concerns, including climate change.
CARPE will stress African participation in program design and
implementation, and will work through regional institutions, national
governments, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs). It will draw
from project implementation experience gained through USAID-funded
initiatives in the Korup Forest of Cameroon, the northern forest of
the Congo, and the Dzanga-Sangha area of the Central African
Republic, as well as extensive analytic and implementation work
carried out by others in the region.
Activities of the proposed project will seek to:
--Improve the understanding of the ecology and biodiversity of the
Congo Basin biosphere, the threats to the ecosystem, and the
potential impacts of degradation of the environment, in order to
guide development strategies in the region.
--Document and test field approaches to slow deforestation in the
--Assist in the development of a cadre of trained and committed
environmentally conscious development specialists within the
governmental and nongovernmental sectors of countries of the region.
--Support networks of researchers, NGOs, practitioners, and others
working to conserve the natural resources of the Congo Basin.
--Develop partnerships among NGOs, researchers, governments, and the
international community that permit discussion of overlapping
interests in the sustainability of the region's natural resources.
--Evaluate and, if feasible, establish a Congo Basin Foundation to
manage an endowment for the sustained support of conservation efforts
of African NGOs and researchers in the region.  (###)
Committee on Energy Efficiency and Trade
COEECT is an interagency program that facilitates the export of U.S.
energy-efficient technologies worldwide by bringing together
potential foreign customers and decision makers, funding sources, and
U.S. industry.
--  14 U.S. agencies; $700,000 in 1994; Worldwide
Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Development Centers
This project has established centers in Bulgaria, the Czech Republic,
Poland, Russia, and Ukraine to facilitate the transfer of U.S.
renewable-energy and energy-efficient technologies. The centers
arrange contacts with regional energy decision makers and provide
marketing assistance for U.S. business representatives, while serving
as local centers of expertise and information for the host country.
These nonprofit, independent local organizations promote economic
policy reform and transfer of energy-efficient technologies through
their advocacy work, demonstration projects, sectoral studies,
seminars, and business partnership events.
For example, the center in Prague, named "SEVEn," has conducted
seminars in integrated resource planning, has established a data base
of energy- efficient products, and has launched a local association
for energy managers. To stimulate business networking for
energy-efficiency services, "SEVEn" sponsors an annual "Business
Week" event to encourage business partnerships and the transfer of
energy-efficient technologies, products, and services.
--  DOE, USAID; $500,000 in 1994; Eastern Europe and New Independent
International Fund for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency
IFREE is a nonprofit corporation founded in 1992 to increase the
deployment of renewable and energy- efficient technologies in
developing countries and countries in transition. IFREE helps private
companies obtain financing for potential alternative-energy projects
by sharing the costs of prefeasibility and/or feasibility studies,
performing market assessments, and supporting market-development
--  EPA, DOE, USAID; $3.55 million in 1994; Worldwide
Coal and Technology Export Initiative
This initiative helps foreign countries that use coal widely to
reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, while continuing to meet their
energy needs, by developing efficient, economic, and environmentally
acceptable coal projects using U.S.  clean-coal technologies. By
producing comparable amounts of power using less fuel, these
technologies can reduce CO2 emissions by 20--25 percent, while
cutting acid-rain emissions that can degrade forest carbon sinks.
--  DOE, TDA, SBA; $1.7 million in 1994; Asia, Eastern Europe, New
Independent States
Bilateral Assistance for Adaptation
Aware of the vulnerability of many developing countries to rising sea
levels, drought, increased frequency and severity of storms,
flooding, and other effects of climate change, the United States is
also engaged in efforts to help countries adapt to these effects.
Some of these adaptation programs address current problems, such as
flooding in Bangladesh, coral reef degradation, and desertification
in the Sahel. Although not currently attributable to climate change,
these problems are likely to become more severe with climate change.
USAID is working to better integrate vulnerability and adaptation
issues into its current and planned assistance to developing
countries. The United States is also engaged in a number of research
projects aimed at developing drought- or heat- resistant crops to
alleviate the potential effects of climate change on agriculture. In
addition, the U.S. Country Studies program offers specific assistance
to countries seeking to assess and minimize their vulnerability to
climate change.
National Environmental Action Plan Support
Since 1987, USAID has pursued a program of support for African
countries in the design and preparation of National Environmental
Action Plans. At present, USAID Missions in Africa are supporting
interventions related to plans in seven countries.  The Multi-Donor
Secretariat, housed at the World Bank and funded by USAID, has been
directly involved with the design or implementation of almost all of
these programs, many of which include managing dry- land resources
and other planning that will be the basis for successful adaptation
strategies in Africa.
--  USAID, $311.85 million from 1992 to 1996, Africa
Coastal Resources Management
This project supports the sustainable use and protection of coastal
systems through integrated approaches to local, national, and
regional planning. Initial efforts focused on pilot projects in
Ecuador, Sri Lanka, and Thailand, and the lessons gleaned from these
projects are being widely disseminated.
The project's strength lies in a two-track approach:  strengthening
government agencies while empowering local communities. The project's
extension and training have allowed the development of public--
private-sector partnerships, with broad participation by communities
in planning and decision making. This enhanced capacity for planning
will be crucial if coastal communities are to prepare for adaptation
to sea level rise or other potential impacts of climate change.
--  USAID; $13.8 million from 1985 to 1995; Ecuador, Sri Lanka,
Environment and Coastal Resources
This project is promoting partnerships among public, private, and
community organizations to conserve and manage coastal resources in
the eight island-nations of the Organization of Eastern Caribbean
States (Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Dominica,
Grenada, Montserrat, St. Kitts-Nevis, St.  Lucia, and St. Vincent and
the Grenadines). Through its environmental monitoring, public
awareness and training, and local site management components, the
project is helping to build the regional capacity for environmental
management that will help these countries plan for adaptation to
potential impacts of climate change.
--  USAID, $13 million from 1991 to 1998, Eastern Caribbean
Sahel Regional Institutions
This project provides support to the countries of the Inter-state
Committee for Drought Control in the Sahel (CILSS). It is assisting
CILSS and its member states with donor coordination and
implementation of their joint work plan in food security and natural
resource management. Although targeted to current land-use changes in
the region, these activities will help countries prepare for similar
impacts that may result from global climate change.
--  USAID, $25 million from 1987 to 1997, Sahel Region
Famine Early-Warning Systems
These projects aim to ensure food security in famine-prone African
countries by developing a famine early-warning system within USAID,
improving early-warning capacity in host countries, and increasing
cooperation among international donors.  Institutional capacities
being developed, including surveillance and reporting methods, would
be important adaptive mechanisms under a changed climate, especially
one with lower and less reliable rainfall. The current project will
reinforce existing African early-warning programs for food and
nutrition problems and famine, and will develop or expand warning
systems in semi-arid and drought- prone countries outside the Sahel.
It will also explore ways to link and apply early-warning technology
and experience to food security and other agricultural development
--  USAID, $9.2 million from 1990 to 1992 and $40 million from 1993
to 1999, Africa
Sahel Water Data and Management III and IV
This project aims at improving water-resource management in the
Sahel, which had below-normal rainfall in the 1980s and early 1990s.
It is supporting the regional Agrometeorological/Hydrological program
by providing computer hardware and software, technical assistance,
and training. With this assistance, this program will be able to
collect, analyze, and disseminate climatic, hydrologic, and
meteorologic information to forecast crop production.
The regionwide water-resource monitoring, data- gathering, and
dissemination capabilities built up by this long-term project
constitute an important underpinning for observing and coping with
future climate change and attendant weather variability.  Current
areas of concentration are: (1) institutional capacity leading to
Sahelianization; (2) new products and applications in famine early
warning, agricultural production, and natural resource management;
and (3) pilot activities, especially using geographic information
system applications.
--  USAID, $21.23 million from 1987 to 1994 and $12.82 million from
1994 to 1997, Sahel Region
Collaborative Research Support Program--Beans and Cowpeas
This program aims to develop an ongoing, multidisciplinary,
multi-institutional research and training effort to increase bean and
cowpea production and use in East and West Africa, Latin America, and
the Caribbean, where these crops are a staple. The project has
identified and provided to the West African region
short-growing-season varieties of cowpeas that reduce the risk of
crop failure.
--  USAID, $32.75 million from 1980 to 1991
Disaster Preparation and Mitigation in Niger
This project is intended to minimize the negative impact of natural
disasters on economic development through (1) policy and legal reform
and institutional development, and (2) an Emergency Fund and
companion project-assistance component, which will strengthen
Nigerian abilities to assess, mitigate, and successfully respond to
disasters. The Emergency Fund will allow for disaster early warning,
preparedness, mitigation, and effective relief.
--  USAID, $18 million from 1992 to 1996, Niger
Irrigation Support for Asia and the Near East
Initially aimed at providing irrigation assistance to boost food
production and farm income, this project now includes flood
management and other broad water-resource issues. In particular, this
project is developing nonstructural means of limiting flood damage to
life, crops, and structures through its technical support for the
World Bank- funded Bangladesh Flood Action Plan. These means of
coping with recent flooding of the low-lying Gangetic floodplain and
delta represent responses and capabilities that may be needed on a
continuing and more widespread basis in Bangladesh and other
low-lying deltaic plains as sea levels rise.
--  USAID, $20.1 million from 1987 to 1992, Regional--Asia and the
Near East
Senegalese Southern Zone Water Management
Lower than normal rainfall in the 1980s resulted in extended tidal
flooding of low-lying deltaic rice farms, as the coastal
wetlands--which normally were saturated with rain water and thus kept
the sea at bay--absorbed the sea water. This scenario could become
widespread in West Africa with sea level rise and, in semi-arid
areas, with less rainfall.
Aiming to increase cereal production in southern Senegal by improving
farmer recovery of land and use of water for agricultural production,
this project includes environmental monitoring and construction of
water-retention structures and tidal barrages in cooperation with
village water-management committees. Activities such as these are
what may be required on a more general basis to protect coastal
deltas in the face of drier climates and sea level rise.
--  USAID, $18 million from 1988 to 1996, Senegal
Program for Applied Development Research in the Sahel
This project is designed to help countries in the region improve
their analysis, formulation, coordination, and research in
agricultural production, food security, and natural resource
management. The project will be implemented by the Sahel Institute, a
regional organization dedicated to collecting, analyzing, and
disseminating scientific and technical information in the Sahel.
--  USAID, $8.5 million from 1993 to 1998, Sahel Region
Multilateral Technical and Financial Cooperation
Multilateral fora are critical to international action on global
climate change policy matters, and the United States plays a major
leadership role and carries heavy technical and financial
responsibilities in them. The United States takes this role very
seriously, and often goes beyond what is required to provide
additional support for special projects that we believe can have
significant payoffs. This section describes the U.S.  role in, and
contributions to, some of the chief financial and policymaking bodies
relevant to the climate change issue, such as the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee, the Global Environment Facility, the
multilateral development banks, and other fora.
Framework Convention on Climate Change
The Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee (INC) for a Framework
Convention on Climate Change successfully negotiated and concluded
the present Convention, under the terms of which this document is
Besides actively participating in the INC, the United States has
provided substantial financial resources to the INC and to its
special voluntary fund, which supports the travel of delegates from
developing countries to the negotiations.
The United States has shown its commitment to move forward with the
rapid implementation of the Climate Convention by promptly ratifying
it on October 15, 1992 (the fourth country to do so), and by
developing its own Climate Change Action Plan to reduce greenhouse
gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. In addition, the
United States has put forward the U.S. Initiative on Joint
Implementation to assist in the development of an international joint
implementation program under the terms of the Convention. The United
States is also playing a major role in developing alternatives within
the Convention framework to address the climate change threat in the
next millennium.
Other Relevant Conventions and Agreements
The United States is also a party to several other international
agreements that control greenhouse gases:
--  The 1985 Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer
and its 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone
--  The Geneva Convention on Long-Range Transboundary Air Pollution
and its NOX Protocol.
--  The U.S.--Canada Air Quality Agreement.
--  The Commission on Sustainable Development.
Global Environment Facility
The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was established in 1991 as a
three-year pilot program to help developing countries meet the global
challenges of climate change and ozone depletion, the loss of
biodiversity, and the pollution of international waters. The pilot
GEF was administered under a tripartite agreement among the World
Bank, the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), and the United
Nations Environment Program (UNEP). The United States participated in
the process of restructuring and replenishing the GEF, through which
governments, after reviewing the results of the pilot phase, decided
that the mandate of the GEF should be preserved, but decided that its
management structure needed fundamental redesign to make it more
transparent, accountable, and participatory.
The restructured GEF will retain the services of the World Bank,
UNDP, and UNEP, but a Secretariat that is functionally independent
from the three agencies will manage the operations of the Facility,
and a council composed of thirty-two countries will determine policy
guidance. Membership in the GEF will be universal, and all member
countries will convene periodically to review its progress. The GEF
will provide for full public disclosure of all nonconfidential
information, and will ensure that local communities and
nongovernmental organizations are involved in all phases of project
development and implementation.
The United States believes that the GEF should serve as the financial
mechanism for the climate change and biodiversity conventions. To
support this vital endeavor, the United States has pledged $430
million (out of a $2 billion total) to the GEF's replenishment. U.S.
bilateral programs will continue to strengthen collaboration with the
restructured GEF as a complement to U.S. contributions to the core
USAID Parallel-Financed GEF Activities
The U.S. government supported the first three-year Pilot Phase of the
GEF with over $150 million in parallel-financed GEF projects managed
by the U.S.  Agency for International Development (USAID) and with
cofinancing of other GEF activities. Parallel- financed projects were
developed by USAID, rather than by the GEF, but adhere to GEF
guidelines. Six of the parallel-financed GEF projects are in the GEF
climate change focal area.
USAID is assisting the Government of India in developing a
pace-setting $19 million GEF Greenhouse Gas Pollution-Reduction
Project to promote efficient coal combustion and to increase the use
of renewable biomass in the power sector. In the Philippines, the
parallel GEF Demand-Side Management Project will provide technical
assistance and financing to help establish and sustain commercial
energy-conservation investments and service mechanisms in the
industrial sector. USAID is also working cooperatively with four
Latin American and Asian countries in developing renewable-energy
projects that catalyze the cooperation of governmental and
nongovernmental organizations. These projects are described in
further detail earlier in this chapter.
Core-Funded Projects
In addition to these parallel projects, USAID has worked with the GEF
in developing several GEF core- funded climate change projects. These
include preinvestment assistance for the Costa Rica Grid- Integrated
Windpower and Mexico Electric Power End- Use Efficiency Projects.
Analytical Support
USAID also provided instrumental start-up funding to the Program for
Measuring Incremental Costs for the Environment, which is designed to
provide operational guidance on how to resolve a number of
methodological issues on incremental costs fundamental to the GEF and
to the climate and biodiversity conventions, to which the GEF is
linked. The results of this project will provide the technical
underpinning for the development of financing policies and
project-selection criteria for the next phase of the GEF.
Multilateral Development Banks
The United States believes that the multilateral development banks
represent a powerful tool for implementing environmental policy
goals. Thus, the United States is committed to providing leadership
in developing the international consensus required to achieve these
policy goals. In the area of climate change, the United States has
had considerable success in promoting an environmental agenda.
The United States continues to urge the multilateral development
banks to increase their lending, their staff positions in, and their
emphasis on the areas of renewable energy and energy efficiency. The
United States also encourages the banks to consider the impacts of
their lending on global climate through the use of enhanced
environmental impact assessments.
African Development Bank
The African Development Bank focuses on capacity development in
borrowing countries to build up the institutional, statutory, and
regulatory framework necessary for the implementation of an
integrated least-cost planning approach that encompasses energy
supply and efficiency, and the environment. The African Development
Bank is also working on the development of renewable- and
alternative-energy sources.
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is allocating more resources to focus on
energy efficiency and conservation, nonconventional energy resource
development, and intensified environmental initiatives. The Asian
Development Bank's policies concentrate on moderating energy demand,
improving efficiency in resource allocation, and strengthening
institutions for national energy-conservation activities, with
greater focus on policy analysis.
European Bank for Reconstruction and Development
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development's energy
operations aim primarily at improving energy efficiency, both in
supply, by reducing conversion and distribution losses, and in
demand. To address these aims, the Bank promotes pricing reform,
improved standards for insulation, and the introduction of more
energy-efficient technologies. Bank assistance will be based on
least-cost energy plans or, preferably, an integrated resource
planning strategy. The Bank plans to hire an energy-efficiency expert
to work solely on expanding Bank efforts in this area.
Inter-American Development Bank
As part of its recently concluded capital- replenishment agreement,
the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) undertakes to promote the
conservation and efficient use of energy in its projects. The IDB
will continue to assist borrowing countries in adopting
energy-development strategies that are environmentally sustainable
by: (1) elaborating on integrated least-cost energy- development
plans and, where such plans do not exist, supporting their
development; (2) promoting the efficient use of energy in all
economic sectors; and (3) developing and carrying out regional
energy- integration programs.
World Bank
World Bank policy states that energy lending will be based on
integrated least-cost energy plans, with emphasis on energy
efficiency, demand-side management, and the exploitation of
renewable-energy sources. The World Bank is also playing a major role
in the GEF, where it is responsible for the majority of GEF
investment operations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development
The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) has
played a crucial role in helping to ensure consistency in national
communications under the Framework Convention on Climate Change. Its
efforts have included the joint development, with the
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), of consistent
guidelines for developing greenhouse gas inventories, and the
evaluation of options for the preparation and review of national
National Inventories
Since 1990, OECD has coordinated the development of guidelines for
reporting greenhouse gas inventories for IPCC's Working Group I. The
United States has supported this project since its inception. The
three-volume "Draft IPCC Guidelines for National Inventories" was
released in December 1993. The Intergovernmental Negotiating
Committee (INC) adopted the guidelines, with minor revisions, as the
methods to be used to report greenhouse gas inventories (UN/INC
1994). The guidelines include simple default methods and assumptions
covering the major sources and sinks of greenhouse gases, and also
discuss optional, more detailed methods. The guidelines are expected
to be finalized in September 1994. OECD is continuing to work with
experts from around the world to improve the methodologies and to
address gases and sources other than those now included.
National Communications
With strong U.S. support, OECD has governed a series of expert
workshops for Annex I Party representatives to develop guidelines for
the preparation and review of national communications.  The OECD
project has substantially enhanced the ability of countries to
prepare national communications by producing guidelines for Annex I
Parties, which INC subsequently adopted at its Ninth Session in
February 1994, with only a few minor changes. The submissions by
Parties of comparable national communications under the Framework
Convention is being greatly facilitated through this fair,
technically sound, and constructive process.
International Energy Agency
The IEA is an autonomous body established in 1974 within the OECD
framework to cooperate in energy matters. To support its members in
their commitments to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, the IEA
is engaged in a growing number of activities related to climate
change. These range from a study on transport, energy, and
environment for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change to an
assessment of the comparability of national climate policies for use
by the INC. Environmental considerations carry over into the work
programs of virtually every sector of the IEA. The United States has
funded several initiatives under the auspices of IEA and other
energy-related fora.
The Information Initiative on Greenhouse Gas Technologies
Known as GREENTIE, this initiative aims to identify energy
technologies that mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and have the
potential for international deployment, that increase the awareness
of potential decision makers and users by disseminating information
on those technologies to specific target areas and groups, and that
engage the relevant industries in international technology
deployment.  The United States contributed $130,000 to GREENTIE in
Center for the Analysis and Dissemination of Demonstrated Energy
CADDET was established under an IEA agreement to disseminate
information on demonstrated energy- efficiency and renewable-energy
technologies among CADDET member countries. CADDET has recently
offered associate membership to East European and developing
countries. U.S. funding for CADDET was $500,000 in 1994.
Greenhouse Gas R&D Program
Sponsored by fourteen countries, this IEA program is currently
conducting full fuel-cycle analyses of conventional and advanced
power-generation systems, sponsoring conferences, and evaluating
novel strategies to reduce CO2 emissions. U.S. funding for this
program was $200,000 in 1994.
Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation
APEC is a ministerial-level agreement to promote the economic and
social well-being of the Asia-Pacific region through economic
cooperation. The United States has the lead in the energy-efficiency
area, which focuses on workshops and seminars on energy- efficiency
technologies and practices, and develops programs for mitigating
greenhouse gas emissions using energy technology. The United States
contributed $200,000 to APEC in 1994.
Other Fora
The United States actively participates in the work of numerous other
international organizations and agreements related to climate change.
The U.S. role in the IPCC, which assesses the available scientific
literature on climate change, is detailed in Chapter 6 of this
report, along with U.S. contributions to the World Meteorological
Organization and UNEP.  Other organizations with climate change
activities include the International Atomic Energy Agency, and the
U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization.
Nongovernmental Efforts
This chapter has described the many activities that the United States
is engaged in to assist other countries in our common effort to
combat global warming. This description is incomplete, however,
without mentioning the many activities that nongovernmental
organizations are engaged in overseas, especially in the areas of
renewable energy, energy efficiency, and adaptation. Their
contribution--in terms of both the projects they sponsor and their
expertise and ideas--is invaluable.
Chapter 8: The Future
This document outlines the steps the United States is taking,
domestically and internationally, to address climate change. These
include The Climate Change Action Plan (described in Chapter 4) to
mitigate the effects of climate change by reducing U.S. emissions and
enhancing sinks of greenhouse gases. The measures in the Action
Plan--with assumptions current when it was developed, regarding
economic growth, oil prices, and program implementation--would
fulfill the President's commitment to return greenhouse gas emissions
to their 1990 levels by the year 2000.
This chapter addresses two additional issues: (1) the uncertain
effectiveness of current actions to meet the domestic commitment in
the face of changing circumstances, and (2) the long-term actions
that must be taken to address global warming--as greenhouse gas
emissions will continue to rise well beyond the turn of the
Meeting Year 2000 Commitments
Since The Climate Change Action Plan was published in October 1993,
the United States has been actively implementing its programs and
measures to meet the domestic commitment established by the
President.  Individual agencies within the federal government are
developing performance indicators and progress milestones for the
programs under their management.
Significant progress has been made in meeting these milestones--with
some being exceeded within the first six months of calendar year
1994. Highlights of the current effort include both the expansion of
existing programs and the launching of new efforts:
--  To date, more than seven hundred utilities have pledged their
intent to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in their service
territories as participants in the Climate Challenge.
--  Climate Wise, which provides recognition for an organization's
cumulative greenhouse gas reductions, has recruited several large
U.S. corporations as pledge participants, representing approximately
2 percent of U.S. industrial energy use.
--  Now in its third year, the Green Lights program is still growing
rapidly and has recruited over fifteen hundred new participants and
4.5 billion square feet of building floor space (more than 5 percent
of all U.S. industrial space).
--  Since its start-up in June 1994, the Energy Star Showcase
Buildings program has exceeded its initial recruitment goal by
signing on twenty-five members.
--  Both the Coalbed Methane Program and AgSTAR (the partnership with
livestock producers to reduce and recover methane emissions) were
launched in April 1994.
--  Provisions for parking cash-out have been proposed.
--  Mobility partners have funded and distributed case studies, and
guidance documents under review are scheduled for completion by the
end of 1994.
--  Review of the transportation efficiency strategy Congestion
Mitigation and Air Quality Management is under way, and reviewers
have begun to visit program participants in the field.
--  Since the creation of the Waste Wise program in December 1993,
over 280 companies have made significant commitments to reduce solid
waste and increase recycling.
However, in spite of these efforts, it is impossible to predict
precisely the future effect of the U.S.  program. Uncertainties in
meeting commitments to future levels of greenhouse gas emissions and
sequestration arise from several sources:
--  The actual relationships between energy use, energy prices, and
economic activity levels may differ from those embodied in the
forecasts used to predict future emissions.
--  Future conditions may diverge from the projections made regarding
economic growth rates, world oil prices, and the costs and
performance of technologies used on the supply and demand sides of
the energy market.
--  Short-term fluctuations in the weather in 2000 relative to 1990
could disguise underlying trends in energy consumption.
--  The actual impact of actions identified in the plan may differ
from their projected effects--some actions not currently scored at
all (e.g., the Climate Challenge and Climate Wise programs, and state
and local outreach programs) may yield significant reductions, while
some actions may yield lower-than-expected returns because they are
not fully funded or are not fully effective for other reasons.
--  Future legislative and administrative actions that address
environmental, energy, agricultural, and forest concerns could
significantly increase or decrease net greenhouse gas emissions.
--  Changes in the scientific understanding of the relative global
warming potentials of different gases could change the estimates of
the effectiveness of the Plan in terms of carbon- equivalent
--  Improvements in the understanding and management of agricultural
and forest soil carbon as they relate to the domestic carbon sink
could change the net emissions baseline and the effectiveness of
Changes in Modeling Assumptions
Examining changes in projections regarding economic growth rates and
future oil prices in the baseline for carbon emissions demonstrates,
for example, the effect of uncertainty regarding future conditions.
Economic growth rates determine the future gross domestic product
(GDP), which reflects the level of various economic activities (e.g.,
commercial activity, industrial production, resource use, personal
consumption, and travel). All of these economic activities influence
the emissions of greenhouse gases. In general, a higher GDP has been
associated with higher net emissions of greenhouse gases. A
sensitivity case developed during preparation of the U.S. Climate
Change Action Plan with GDP growth rates 0.5 percent per year lower
than the assumptions ultimately used in the Plan's baseline reduces
projected U.S. carbon emissions in 2000 by 29 million metric tons
(MMTs) below the levels projected in the Plan.
Projections about the world oil price over time are based on
assumptions about the availability of world petroleum supplies and
world oil demand. For instance, larger-than-expected petroleum
production could translate into lower world oil prices in the future,
which, in turn, could raise consumption significantly. A sensitivity
case in which real oil prices remain constant from 1992 through
2000-- instead of increasing by an average of 3.0 percent annually,
as in the base case--increases carbon emissions in 2000 by 16 MMTs
above the level projected in the Plan.
Another uncertainty in the projection of the effects of emissions
relates to the global warming potential (GWP), a metric that allows
comparisons between measures taken for different gases. The GWPs used
in developing the Action Plan were those of the 1992 IPCC Assessment
Report. However, more recent data on GWPs suggest that the values for
methane and other greenhouse gases are somewhat higher than those
proposed in the 1992 report (IPCCa). Were these new values to be used
in projecting emission reductions under the Action Plan, the U.S.
program would reduce emissions below the 1990 target in the year
Responses to Changing Circumstances
One of the key provisions of the Action Plan is a process for
monitoring, evaluating, and adjusting the U.S. greenhouse gas
mitigation effort to identify and remedy potential shortfalls in
emission reductions.
There are several mechanisms for monitoring emissions and
sequestration trends. The U.S.  Department of Energy, the Energy
Information Administration, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency,
and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission continuously gather and
analyze data on energy production and consumption and greenhouse gas
emissions. The U.S. Department of Agriculture gathers data on forest
inventories and agricultural production. The Clean Air Act Amendments
of 1990 require that electric utilities undertake continuous
monitoring of CO2 emissions. Companies participating in the Energy
Policy Act's Section 1605(b) voluntary reporting program will supply
timely information regarding their efforts to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions. This will include utilities that voluntarily undertake the
Climate Challenge, and industrial firms that--also
voluntarily--report under the Climate Wise program. Finally,
companies participating in the U.S. Initiative on Joint
Implementation will provide information on the progress of overseas
projects that are expected to yield measurable emission reductions.
The greenhouse gas projections reported in this document were
developed for the President's Climate Change Action Plan and were
based on information provided by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE),
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal agencies
in 1993. Complete documentation of the assumptions used for the
projections is provided in The Climate Change Action Plan: Technical
Supplement (U.S. DOE 1994), a supporting document to this report.
According to these 1993 estimates, the U.S. program would achieve the
reductions necessary to return emissions to 1990 levels by the year
Interagency Program Tracking System
U.S. agencies are finalizing a program tracking system to record
progress in meeting established milestones. The tracking system will
ensure consistent and coordinated reporting on the implementation of
the measures in The Climate Change Action Plan. This system will be
used to produce periodic reports on the accomplishments of the
interagency programs. In addition, the information from the tracking
system, along with updated national greenhouse gas inventories and
biennial evaluations of future emission trends, will provide the
information required to assess the Action Plan's success.
The previously discussed sources of uncertainty about the ability of
The Climate Change Action Plan to meet its commitments fall into two
general categories: (1) the effectiveness of the measures in the plan
in reducing emissions, and (2) estimates of the level of emissions in
projections for the year 2000. With respect to the latter category,
there are indications that these projections are subject to
considerable change. For example, the latest information collected by
DOE (for publication in 1995) is expected to suggest a higher
baseline level of CO2 emissions from energy consumption than
predicted in the projections used in developing the U.S. program of
In addition to its Annual Energy Outlook, DOE's Energy Information
Administration periodically publishes a Short-Term Energy Outlook,
which provides forecasts of energy used over the next six to eight
quarters. The August 1994 Short-Term Energy Outlook provides new
short-term estimates of energy consumption through the year 1995
(U.S. DOE/EIA 1994a). When converted to carbon emissions, these
estimates indicate that emissions are above the level used in
developing the October 1993 Climate Change Action Plan. U.S. energy
consumption in 1994 converts to 1,408 MMTCEs, which is 25 MMTs
greater than the Action Plan's projected maximum emissions of 1,383
MMTs, which was to be reached in 1997.
The discrepancy between the Short-Term Energy Outlook forecast for
1995 and the baseline used in developing The Climate Change Action
Plan is particularly striking in two areas: the projected level of
industrial energy use and share of coal in total electricity
generation are significantly higher in the Short-Term Energy Outlook.
The explanation for this is that fluctuations around the trend line
are expected to occur between now and the year 2000. For example, the
Annual Energy Outlook for 1995 could indicate lower trends for
greenhouse gas emissions due to higher oil prices or slower U.S.
economic growth. In addition, the Energy Outlook forecasts are very
short term--that is, they end in 1995. Thus, they cannot be used to
make comparisons with year 2000 projections. Furthermore, Short-Term
Energy Outlook forecasts do not account for structural changes,
including impacts from the Action Plan and EPAct. Nevertheless, the
new data suggest the biennial review, discussed below, may reveal a
need to modify the Action Plan should these phenomena persist.
The United States will review progress under the Action Plan on a
biennial basis to report on current trends, to adapt existing
programs to evolving circumstances, and to pursue additional policy
initiatives, if necessary. The Action Plan is not a one-time policy
development exercise, but rather begins a process of continual
improvement in energy, environmental, and economic policy. In
developing future steps, the United States will continue to seek out
opportunities for emission reduction that provide for economic growth
and job creation.
An interagency task force, chaired by the White House Office on
Environmental Policy, will evaluate the progress made under the
Action Plan and will recommend revisions as necessary. Updates to
this Climate Action Report will be prepared by this task force in
coordination with the U.S. Department of State; these updates will
occur every two years, or when called for by the Conference of
Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Post-2000 Actions
The initiatives in the 1993 Climate Change Action Plan to mitigate
climate change will have long-term effects well beyond the year 2000.
However, assuming reasonable economic growth, the current set of
measures--even with the diffusion of existing technologies, and new
technology development--is unlikely to be sufficient in the longer
term to meet the ultimate objective of the Convention (Figure 8- 1).
The United States recognizes the need to develop additional measures
to combat the longer-term trend of rising emissions. Policies must
address the development of new technologies of energy supply and use
and must promote long-term market transition away from activities,
fuels, and technologies that generate large emissions of greenhouse
gases.  Policies must also address enhancing forest carbon sinks.
Technology Research and Development Strategy
The policies contained in the U.S. Action Plan are aimed at
information transfer and the creation of an effective market for
investment in existing or nearly commercially available technologies
that cost-beneficially reduce greenhouse gas emissions.  The core of
a long-term strategy must ensure that a constant stream of such
improved technology is available and that market conditions favoring
its adoption are not impeded. While the current U.S.  Action Plan is
likely to stimulate an acceleration in technology development, this
impact is not readily quantifiable. However, such gains will lay the
foundation for the development of technologies that can contribute to
significant reductions in greenhouse gas emissions and protection of
carbon sinks in both the United States and abroad. A long- term
accelerated technology strategy is under development and is expected
to underpin progress in continued greenhouse gas emission reductions
in the next century.
Research and development of technologies that could contribute to
cost-beneficial greenhouse gas emission reductions will be a critical
part of the long-term effort. Research priorities to reduce energy
demand include advanced building systems, transportation equipment
systems, and manufacturing technologies to reduce energy and material
requirements. Research priorities for lower-carbon, energy-supply
technologies could include sustainable biomass energy systems,
advanced natural gas turbines, fuel-cell technologies, more efficient
clean-coal technologies, cogeneration systems, improved efficiency of
energy-distribution and - storage systems, renewable-energy
technologies, hydrogen fuel systems, and continued research into
nuclear safety and waste disposal options that could maintain
commercial nuclear power.
The United States is also committed to a continuing evaluation of the
budgetary, technological, and economic policies that affect future
greenhouse gas emission trends. Mitigation of greenhouse gas
emissions--and protecting and increasing existing carbon sinks--are
becoming fundamental considerations in developing and implementing
U.S.  economic, energy, environmental, and international policies.
The Transportation Sector
As much of the anticipated growth in greenhouse gas emissions will
come from the transportation sector, additional measures will be
required to address expected increases in transportation needs. Thus,
the U.S. government has established a process to develop measures to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions from personal motor vehicles,
including light cars and trucks. The process involves key government
agencies, working with the automobile and fuel industries, labor,
state and local governments, and the environmental community, who
will participate through a formal advisory committee. The advisory
committee will examine a full range of cost- effective options,
including vehicle use, vehicle technology, alternative fuels, and
other options to reduce total greenhouse gas emissions attributable
to personal motor vehicle use, while meeting or exceeding applicable
vehicle safety and clean air requirements. The committee will make
recommendations in mid-1995 on policies that would, if adopted, lead
to consensus on cost-effective returns to 1990 levels of greenhouse
gas emissions from personal motor vehicles by the years 2005, 2015,
and 2025, with no upturn thereafter.
In another initiative directed at the transportation sector, the
United States established an historic partnership between the federal
government and U.S.  automobile manufacturers in 1993. The goal of
this partnership is to produce a new generation of world- competitive
automobiles that would achieve three times the fuel efficiency of
conventional cars of today and, thus, a significant decrease in CO2
emissions. Such cars would continue to meet all safety and
conventional pollution emission standards, and would retain the
performance characteristics and affordability of today's cars.  The
partnership is committed to the development of one or more production
prototypes within a decade.
A Long-Run Strategy
In addition, the United States has established a long-run strategy
working group to examine all policies that could affect greenhouse
gas emission levels beyond the year 2000. Jointly chaired by the
White House Offices on Environmental Policy and Science and
Technology Policy, and the National Economic and National Security
Councils, this group is expected to prepare its initial
recommendations by the end of 1994. The working group is addressing:
--  The conceptual framework, establishing a context for considering
future actions.
--  The international approach, establishing a context for global
--  A range of budget, technology, R&D, regulatory, and economic
policies that could affect greenhouse gas emission levels.
To develop these approaches, the group has formed a number of
subgroups that will examine alternatives in: (1) biomass and
renewables; (2) ultra-efficient residential and commercial systems;
(3) carbon sequestration--focusing mostly on forest offsets, but also
examining options for marine sequestration and soil/biomass
sequestration; (4) pricing--looking at options for changing
activities that lead to high greenhouse gas emissions through market
incentives; (5) nonenergy policies--focusing on non-CO2, nonenergy
options for greenhouse gas reductions; (6) nonpersonal
transportation--especially looking at commercial transport; (7)
natural gas--looking at ways to enhance natural gas consumption,
which is a less carbon-intensive fuel than either oil or coal; (8)
technology diffusion--looking at ways to stimulate the introduction
of new greenhouse gas- reducing technologies in all countries; and
(9) joint implementation--continuing to develop the U.S.  Initiative
on Joint Implementation to promote cost- effective actions to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions. Results from each of these subgroups will
be analyzed to evaluate the costs and the effectiveness of each of
the most attractive policies and measures in reducing emissions.
These may then become part of the initial recommendations of the
working group at the end of this year.
International Regime
In addition to the domestic process outlined for developing next
steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, the United States has been,
and will continue to be, an active participant in international
negotiations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate
Change. Entry into force of the Convention in March 1994 triggered
the requirement to prepare this document, according to provisions in
the Convention, which call for reports to project the results of
emissions by sources and removals by sinks, with the aim of returning
greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels.
In international discussions in February 1994 to prepare for the
first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Climate
Convention (scheduled for Berlin, March 28--April 7, 1995), the
United States and many other countries agreed that, while adequate as
a first step, the actions called for by the Convention are not
adequate to address the threat of global climate change, particularly
in the post-2000 period. Accordingly, the Parties are considering
developing appropriate next steps under the Convention.
In August 1994, at the Tenth Session of the Intergovernmental
Negotiating Committee, the United States further elaborated its views
on next steps.  The top U.S. priority for the next stage is the
negotiation of a new "aim" that would provide specific guidance for
international commitments beyond the year 2000. Setting this aim
would anchor the post-2000 regime, focus efforts, and help galvanize
national and international action. Common actions would be developed
in support of the new aim, which might take the form of a menu of
options, agreed measures, or processes designed to help reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to meet the agreed aim.
In promoting this view internationally, the United States has
indicated that the regime should have the following characteristics:
--  Comprehensive: Covering all greenhouse gases in all sectors, as
well as sources and sinks of greenhouse gas emissions.
--  Flexible: Allowing countries to tailor national efforts to fit
national circumstances and to adopt the most cost-effective
--  Cooperative: Encouraging joint action to empower all countries to
respond to the threat of climate change, particularly through
capacity building and technology diffusion.
--  Sustainable: Facilitating the use of renewable and the efficient
use of nonrenewable resources.
--  Innovative: Facilitating the development and dissemination of
efficient new technologies to deal with the long-term threat of
climate change.
--  Beneficial: Promoting an aim and actions whose costs are
justified in light of the range of potential consequences of climate
--  Equitable: Engaging all countries in the global effort while
recognizing differences in national circumstances and capabilities.
--  Pragmatic: Recognizing emission trends and likely economic growth
in developed and developing countries.
Strengthening Links Between Science and Policy
The United States is committed to continue its strong emphasis on
improving the scientific basis for future national and international
policy decisions regarding climate change. In view of the policy
needs outlined above, several research foci will be emphasized,
including characterizing a broader suite of greenhouse gases (e.g.,
tropospheric ozone and its precursors); better quantifying the role
of clouds and oceans for the improved prediction of the timing and
magnitude and regional patterns of greenhouse warming; describing
and, where possible, quantifying the impacts of climate change on
natural and managed ecosystems and human health; and integrating the
assessments of the science, economics, and social factors to support
informed decision making. Further, the United States will facilitate
the use of this information by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change and will continue its assistance with the coordination of this
important assessment activity.
Establishing a New "Aim"
The United States has urged internationally that the objective should
be to establish a new aim to guide efforts at adopting policies and
corresponding measures to mitigate climate change in the immediate
post-2000 period. During this period, progress toward the
Convention's ultimate objective of stabilizing atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases at a level that would prevent
dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system must be
made. Moreover, it is critical to establish milestones to gauge
progress and focus efforts; the Convention's current aim for the year
2000 serves as the first milestone.
The Convention established a nonbinding "aim" for the pre-2000
period, but each Annex I Party may individually determine the path it
will take to meet the aim. Since adopting the Convention, Annex I
Parties have been working to develop specific policies and measures
to meet the current aim.  However, it may be time to begin
considering common actions--some of which may be taken more easily
collectively than individually.
Developing Common Actions and Technology Initiatives
Common actions could draw on the experience of all countries' efforts
in meeting the current aim (or fulfilling other environmental
objectives) to determine whether they offer possibilities that others
might use to their advantage. In this way, countries could
agree--within or outside the Convention--to a set of measures that
will help each of them reduce emissions. It may be possible to
develop a menu of agreed-upon options from which countries could
choose in seeking to meet their commitments. Such a menu could help
define the scope and degree of international efforts, while
preserving national flexibility. This would ensure greenhouse gas
reductions and enable countries to go a substantial distance toward
meeting a new aim.
The United States has also suggested the possibility of broad-based
and specific technology initiatives, including incentives or
disincentives to promote technologies that reduce greenhouse gas
emissions and to reduce barriers to their deployment. Based on future
emission scenarios, it is clear that all nations will need to use new
technologies to achieve their economic development and greenhouse gas
emission-reduction goals. Thus, technology development and diffusion
are promising candidates for international cooperation.
Finally, the United States has also recommended developing
international norms to guide and encourage manufacturers in adopting
lower-emitting technologies. Such norms could encourage competition
to increase the efficiency of various products without imposing
standards through regulations and potentially locking countries into
yesterday's technology.
Endorsing Joint  Implementation
The United States strongly endorses the concept of joint
implementation and, in particular, its application to future global
greenhouse gas emission reductions. Under the U.S. Initiative on
Joint Implementation (USIJI) and similar programs in other countries,
international understanding of the potential for joint implementation
should emerge.  Convention Parties, on the basis of this
information--and the confidence it generates--will be able to develop
appropriate criteria for a mature program. A rapid, credible design
of the Convention's joint implementation regime will assist Parties
in developing the next steps under the Convention for expanded,
innovative, and cost- effective agreements for reducing greenhouse
gas emissions.
The dimensions of an international joint implementation
program--including the development of methodologies for monitoring
progress, reporting on projects, and verifying emissions reduced or
sequestered--have not yet been defined. The United States intends to
remain active in developing the international operational modalities
for joint implementation, both through the example of the USIJI, and
through full participation in the Climate Convention, the Parties to
which will have the ultimate responsibility for adopting the
international joint implementation regime and criteria.
Enlisting Public- and Private-Sector Expertise
Large numbers of public- and private-sector experts have helped to
shape U.S. policy on climate change.  To date, however, their role
has largely been confined to observing the discussions, to making
occasional, collective interventions, and to lobbying in the
To expand the dialogue with the public sector about the potential for
technologies and to discuss possible internationally agreed-upon
common actions, the United States has urged that public- and
private-sector experts be brought more centrally into this work.
Technical advisory panels in other international fora (such as the
Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer) have
proven highly effective at identifying specific options and
alternatives and at gauging the opportunities for implementing them.
Tapping public-and private-sector expertise in pursuit of solutions
could help forge new partnerships between and among experts from
developed and developing countries. These new partnerships could
hasten our efforts to promote technology development and diffusion.
Strengthening the Convention Process
As the United States attempts to build an international consensus to
establish a new aim and common actions to help meet it, efforts are
also continuing to strengthen the Convention process.  Progress in
this area is vital in building confidence that Parties are fulfilling
their commitments, in ensuring the integrity of national plans, in
demonstrating the cost-effectiveness of emission reductions through
joint implementation, in assisting Parties in better understanding
the plans of others, and leading to better plan design. A stronger
process, enabling us to monitor progress and to verify the results of
actions taken will ensure that efforts under the Convention will be
taken seriously both within governments and by the public.
Finally the United States recognizes that emissions will grow rapidly
in many countries and that there is a need for broad international
effort to examine opportunities for all countries to contribute to
the effort to combat climate change. In this regard the United States
will seek to encourage rapidly advancing developing countries in
particular to assume a leadership role in future climate change
While the steps in the U.S. policy described here may not be easy to
adopt or to implement, it is only this kind of process that will
ultimately ensure that the potential threat of dangerous climate
change impacts is not realized. The United States will continue to be
an active participant in the international negotiating process--both
under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee and
the Conference of the Parties--as critical next steps are developed,
refined, and agreed upon.
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