Доклад: Climate change
Report on The State Department Climate Action: Introduction and Overview
No single country can resolve the problem of global climate change.
Recognizing this, the United States is engaged in many activities to
facilitate closer international cooperation. To this end, the U.S. government
has actively participated in international research and assessment efforts
(e.g., through the IPCC), in efforts to develop and implement a global
climate change strategy (through the FCCC Conference of the Parties and its
varied subsidiary bodies and through the Climate Technology Initiative), and
by providing financial and technical assistance to developing countries to
facilitate development of mitigation and sequestration strategies (e.g.,
through the Global Environment Facility (GEF)). Bilateral and multilateral
opportunities are currently being implemented, with some designed to
capitalize on the technological capabilities of the private sector, and
others to work on a government-to-government basis.
In the existing Convention framework, the United States has seconded
technical experts to the FCCC secretariat to help implement methodological,
technical, and technological activities. U.S. experts review national
communications of other Parties and are helping to advance the development of
methodologies for inventorying national emissions.
The United States has been active in promoting next steps under the
Convention. It has encouraged all countries to take appropriate analyses of
their own circumstances before taking action--and then act on these analyses.
It has suggested--and, where possible, has demonstrated--flexible and robust
institutional systems through which actions can be taken, such as programs to
implement emission-reduction activities jointly between Parties, and
emission-trading programs. The United States has also sought to use its best
diplomatic efforts to prod those in the international community reluctant to
act, seeking to provide assurances that the issue is critical and warrants
global attention. Through these efforts, the ongoing negotiations are
expected to successfully conclude in late 1997. The successful implementation
of the Convention and a new legal instrument will ensure that the potential
hazards of climate change will never be realized.
As a major donor to the GEF, the United States has contributed approximately
$190 million to help developing countries meet the incremental costs of
protecting the global environment. Although the United States is behind in
the voluntary payment schedule agreed upon during the GEF replenishment
adopted in 1994, plans have been made to pay off these arrears.
The principles of the U.S. development assistance strategy lie at the heart
of U.S. bilateral mitigation projects. These principles include the concepts
of conservation and cultural respect, as well as empowerment of local
citizenry. The U.S. government works primarily through the U.S. Agency for
International Development (USAID). In fact, mitigation of global climate
change is one of USAID's two global environmental priorities. Other agencies
working in the climate change field, including the Environmental Protection
Agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the
Departments of Agriculture and Energy, are also active internationally.
Projects fit into various general categories, such as increasing the
efficiency of power operation and use, adopting renewable-energy
technologies, reducing air pollution, improving agricultural and livestock
practices, and decreasing deforestation and improving land use.
Perhaps none of the U.S. programs is as well known as the U.S. Country
Studies Program. The program is currently assisting fifty-five developing
countries and countries with economies in transition to market economies with
climate change studies intended to build human and institutional capacity to
address climate change. Through its Support for National Action Plans, the
program is supporting the preparation of national climate action plans for
eighteen developing countries, which will lay the foundation for their
national communication, as required by the FCCC. More than twenty-five
additional countries have requested similar assistance from the Country
The United States is also committed to facilitating the commercial transfer
of energy-efficient and renewable-energy technologies that can help
developing countries achieve sustainable development. Under the auspices of
the Climate Technology Initiative, the U.S. has taken a lead role in a task
force on Energy Technology Networking and Capacity Building, the efforts of
which focus on increasing the availability of reliable climate change
technologies, developing options for improving access to data in developing
countries, and supporting experts in the field around the world. The United
States is also engaged in various other projects intended to help countries
with mitigation and adaptation issues. The International Activities chapter
focuses on the most important of these U.S. efforts.
Introduction and Overview
Since the historic gathering of representatives from 172 countries at the
Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in June 1992, issues of environmental
protection have remained high on national and international priorities.
Climate change is one of the most visible of these issues--and one in which
some of the most significant progress has been made since the 1992 session.
Perhaps the crowning achievement in Rio was the adoption of the United
Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (FCCC). This Convention
represented a shared commitment by nations around the world to reduce the
potential risks of a major global environmental problem. Its ultimate
objective is to:
Achieve ¼ stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the
atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic human
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 manner.
However, since the 1992 Earth Summit, the global community has found that
actions to mitigate climate change will need to be more aggressive than
anticipated. At the same time, the rationale for action has proven more
compelling. Few "Annex I" countries (the Climate Convention's term for
developed countries, including Organization for Economic Cooperation and
Development (OECD) member countries and countries with economies in
transition to market economies) have demonstrated an ability to meet the
laudable, albeit nonbinding, goal of the Convention--"to return emissions of
greenhouse gases to their 1990 levels by the end of the decade." While
voluntary programs have demonstrated that substantial reductions are
achievable at economic savings or low costs, the success of these programs
has been overshadowed by lower-than-expected energy prices as well as higher-
than-expected economic growth and electricity demand, among other factors.
Recognizing that even the most draconian measures would likely be
insufficient to reverse the growth in greenhouse gases and return U.S.
emissions to their 1990 levels by the year 2000, new U.S. efforts are
focusing most intensively on the post-2000 period. Thus, while some new
voluntary actions have already been proposed (and are included in this
report), an effort to develop a comprehensive program to address rising U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions is being developed in the context of the ongoing
treaty negotiations and will be reported in the next U.S. communication.
In spite of difficulties in meeting a domestic goal to return emissions to
their 1990 levels, the U.S. commitment to addressing the climate change
problem remains a high priority. President Clinton, in remarks made in
November 1996, both underlined U.S. concerns and exhorted the nations of the
world to act:
“We must work to reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions. These gases
released by cars and power plants and burning forests affect our health and our
climate. They are literally warming our planet. If they continue unabated, the
consequences will be nothing short of devastating ¼. We must stand
together against the threat of global warming. A greenhouse may be a good place
to raise plants; it is no place to nurture our children. And we can avoid
dangerous global warming if we begin today and if we begin together.”
Difficulties in meeting the "aim" of the Climate Convention prompted the
international community, gathered at the first meeting of the Conference of
the Parties to the FCCC (held in Berlin, Germany, in March 1995), to agree on
a new approach to addressing the climate change problem. At their first
session, the Parties decided to negotiate a new legal instrument containing
appropriate next steps under the Convention. At the Second Conference of the
Parties (COP-2), the United States expressed its view that the new agreement
should include three main elements:
· a realistic and achievable binding target (instead of the hortatory
goals and nonbinding aims of the existing Convention),
· flexibility in implementation, and
· the participation of developing countries.
Each of these elements was included in a Ministerial Declaration agreed to at
COP-2, and the United States expects that a legal instrument containing these
elements will be one of the outcomes from the Third Conference of the
Parties, to be held in Kyoto, Japan, in December 1997.
As international negotiations continue on a new legal commitment, the United
States is assessing options for a domestic program. The results of this
analytical effort are being used to inform the U.S. negotiating positions,
and will subsequently be used to develop compliance strategies to meet any
commitments established under the new regime.
While the Parties involved in the negotiations are determining next steps for
collective action, all countries are still actively pursuing the programs
adopted earlier in the decade to control emissions. This document describes
the current U.S. program. It represents the second formal U.S. communication
under the FCCC, as required under Articles 4.2 and 12. As with the Climate
Action Report published by the United States in 1994, it is a "freeze frame"-
-a look at the current moment in time in the U.S. program. This report does
not predict additional future activities. Nor is it intended to be a
substitute for existing or future decision-making processes--whether
administrative or legislative--or for additional measures developed by or
with the private sector.
This document has been developed using the methodologies and format agreed to
at the first meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the FCCC, and
modified by the second meeting of the Conference of the Parties and by
sessions of the Convention's Subsidiary Body on Scientific and Technological
Advice and the Subsidiary Body on Implementation. The United States assumes
that this communication, like those of other countries--and like the
preceding U.S. communication--will be subject to a thorough review, and
discussed in the evaluation process for the Parties of the Convention. Even
though the measures listed in this report are not expected to reduce U.S.
emissions below 1990 levels by the year 2000, the United States believes that
many of the climate change actions being implemented have been successful at
reducing emissions, send valuable signals to the private sector, and may be
appropriate models for other countries. The U.S. experience should also
ensure that future efforts are more effective in reversing the rising trend
of emissions and returning U.S. emissions to more environmentally sustainable
The 1992 Convention effort was largely predicated on the scientific and
technical information produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate
Change (IPCC) in its 1990 report. The IPCC consists of more than two thousand
of the world's best scientists with expertise in the physical, social, and
economic sciences relevant to the climate issue. The United States stands
firmly behind the IPCC's conclusions. As the actions being taken by the
United States ultimately depend on the nation's understanding of the science,
it is important to at least briefly review this information here.
The Earth absorbs energy from the sun in the form of solar radiation. About
one-third is reflected, and the rest is absorbed by different components of
the climate system, including the atmosphere, the oceans, the land surface,
and the biota. The incoming energy is balanced over the long term by outgoing
radiation from the Earth-atmosphere system, with outgoing radiation taking
the form of long-wave, invisible infrared energy. The magnitude of this
outgoing radiation is affected in part by the temperature of the Earth-
Several human and natural activities can change the balance between the
energy absorbed by the Earth and that emitted in the form of long-wave
infrared radiation. On the natural side, these include changes in solar
radiation (the sun's energy varies by small amounts--approximately 0.1
percent over an eleven-year cycle--and variations over longer periods also
occur). They also include volcanic eruptions, injecting huge clouds of
sulfur-containing gases, which tend to cool the Earth's surface and
atmosphere over a few years. On the human-induced side, the balance can be
changed by emissions from land-use changes and industrial practices that add
or remove "heat-trapping" or "greenhouse" gases, thus changing atmospheric
absorption of radiation.
Greenhouse gases of policy significance include carbon dioxide (CO2);
methane (CH4); nitrous oxide (N2O); the
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and their substitutes, including hydrofluorocarbons
(HFCs); the long-lived fully fluorinated hydrocarbons, such as perfluorocarbons
(PFCs); and ozone (O3). Although most of these gases occur naturally
(the exceptions are the CFCs, their substitutes, and the long-lived PFCs), the
concentrations of all of these gases are changing as a result of human
For example, the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide has risen about
30 percent since the 1700s--an increase responsible for more than half of the
enhancement of the trapping of the infrared radiation due to human
activities. In addition to their steady rise, many of these greenhouse gases
have long atmospheric residence times (several decades to centuries), which
means that atmospheric levels of these gases will return to preindustrial
levels only if emissions are sharply reduced, and even then only after a long
time. Internationally accepted science indicates that increasing
concentrations of greenhouse gases will raise atmospheric and oceanic
temperatures and could alter associated weather and circulation patterns.
In a report synthesizing its second assessment and focusing on the relevance
of its scientific analyses to the ultimate objective of the Convention, the
· Human activities--including the burning of fossil fuels, land use,
and agriculture--are changing the atmospheric composition. Taken together,
they are projected to lead to changes in global and regional climate and
climate-related parameters, such as temperature, precipitation, and soil
· Some human communities--particularly those with limited access to
mitigating technologies--are becoming more vulnerable to natural hazards and
can be expected to suffer significantly from the impacts of climate-related
changes, such as high-temperature events, floods, and droughts, potentially
resulting in fires, pest outbreaks, ecosystem loss, and an overall reduction
in the level of primary productivity.
The IPCC also concluded that, given the current trends in emissions, global
concentrations of greenhouse gases are likely to grow significantly through
the next century and beyond, and the adverse impacts from these changes will
become greater. The remainder of this report seeks to elucidate the programs,
policies, and measures being taken in the United States to begin moving away
from this trend of increasing emissions, and to help move the world away from
the trend of globally increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases.
Principal Conclusions of the IPCC's Second Assessment Report
While the basic facts about the science of climate have been understood and broadly accepted for years, new information is steadily emerging--and influencing the policy process. In 1995, the IPCC released its Second Assessment Report, which not only validated most of the IPCC's earlier findings, but because of the considerable new work that had been undertaken during the five years since its previous full-scale assessment, broke new ground. The report is divided into three sections: physical sciences related to climate impacts; adaptation and mitigation responses; and cross-cutting issues, including economics and social sciences.
The Climate Science
· Human activities are changing the atmospheric concentrations and distributions of greenhouse gases and aerosols.
· Global average temperatures have increased about 0.3-0.6°C (about 0.5-1.0°F) over the last century.
· The ability of climate models to simulate observed trends has improved--although there is still considerable regional uncertainty with regard to changes.
· The balance of evidence suggests there is a discernible human influence on global climate.
· Aerosol sulfates (a component of acid rain) offset some of the warming by greenhouse gases.
· The IPCC mid-range scenario projects an increase of 2.0°C (3.7°F) by 2100 (with a range of 1.0-3.5°C (about 1.8-6.3°F).
· The average global warming projected in the IPCC mid-range scenario is greater than any seen in the last ten thousand years.
· Sea level is projected to rise (due to thermal expansion of the oceans, and melting of glaciers and ice sheets) by about 50 centimeters (20 inches) by 2100, with a range of 15-95 centimeters (about 6-38 inches).
· Even after a stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations, temperatures would continue to increase for several decades, and sea level would continue to rise for centuries.
Vulnerability, Likely Impacts, and Possible Responses
· Climate change is likely to have wide-ranging and mostly adverse effects on human health. Direct and indirect effects can be expected to lead to increased mortality.
· Coastal infrastructure is likely to be extremely vulnerable. A 50-centimeter (20-inch) rise in sea level would place approximately 120 million people at risk.
· Natural and managed ecosystems are also at risk: forests, agricultural areas, and aquatic and marine life are all susceptible.
· However, adaptation and mitigation options are numerous. Significant reductions in net greenhouse gas emissions are technically possible and can be economically feasible, using an extensive array of technologies and policy measures that accelerate technology development, diffusion, and transfer.
· Early mitigation may increase flexibility in moving toward a stabilization of atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. Economic risks of rapid abatement must be balanced against risks of delay.
· Significant "no regrets" opportunities are available in most countries. Next steps must recognize equity considerations.
· Costs of stabilization of emissions at 1990 levels in OECD countries could range considerably (from a gain of $60 billion to a loss of about $240 billion) over the next several decades.
In responding to the threat of global climate change, U.S. policymakers must
consider the special circumstances created by a unique blend of challenges
and opportunities. The National Circumstances chapter of this report attempts
to explain the particular situation in the United States--including its
climate, natural resources, population trends, economy, energy mix, and
political system--as a backdrop for understanding the U.S. perspective on
global climate change.
The United States is unusual in that it encompasses a wide variety of climate
conditions within its borders, from subtropical to tundra. This diversity
complicates the discussion of impacts of global climate change within the
United States because those impacts would vary widely. This diversity also
adds to U.S. emission levels, as heating and cooling demands drive up
emissions. Recent record levels of precipitation--both in snowfall and rain--
consistent with what could be expected under a changed climate, have raised
the awareness of climate impacts at the local and regional levels, and may
make it somewhat easier to predict the effects of increased precipitation.
The United States also is uncommonly rich in land resources, both in extent
and diversity. U.S. land area totals about 931 million hectares (2.3 billion
acres), including grassland pasture and range, forest, and cropland. Forested
land has been increasing, while grasslands and croplands are slowly declining
and being converted to other uses. The decline in wetlands has slowed
significantly as a result of the "no net loss" policy being implemented.
With just over 265 million people, the United States is the third most
populous country in the world, although population density varies widely
throughout the country, and is generally very low. Although population
increase is moderate from a global perspective, it is high relative to the
average for all industrialized countries. Moreover, the number of households
is growing rapidly. These and other factors drive U.S. emissions to higher
per capita rates than those in most other countries with higher population
densities, smaller land areas, or more concentrated distribution of resources
to population centers.
The U.S. market economy is based on property rights and a reliance on the
efficiency of the market as a means of allocating resources. The government
plays a key role in addressing market failures and promoting social welfare,
including through the imposition of regulations on pollutants and the
protection of property rights, but is cautious in its interventions. Thus,
the infrastructure exists to limit emissions of greenhouse gases--although
the strong political and economic preference is to undertake such controls
through flexible and cost-effective programs, including voluntary programs
and market instruments, where appropriate.
U.S. economic growth averaged 3 percent annually from 1960 to 1993, and
employment nearly tripled as the overall labor force participation rate rose
to 66 percent. The service sector--which includes communications, utilities,
finance, insurance, and real estate--has grown rapidly, and now accounts for
more than 36 percent of the economy. The increasing role of trade in the U.S.
economy heightens concerns about the competitiveness effects of climate
During the 1980s, the U.S. budget deficit grew rapidly, as did the ratio of
debt to gross domestic product, and a political consensus emerged on the goal
of a balanced budget. The result is a tighter federal budget with many
The United States is the world's largest energy producer and consumer.
Abundant resources of all fossil fuels have contributed to low prices and
specialization in relatively energy-intensive activities. Energy consumption
has nearly doubled since 1960, and would have grown far more, because of
growth in the economy, population, and transportation needs, had it not been
for impressive reductions in U.S. energy intensity. Industrial energy
intensity has declined most markedly, due to structural shifts and efficiency
improvements. In the residential and commercial sectors, efficiency
improvements largely offset the growth in the number and size of both
residential and commercial buildings. Likewise, in the transportation sector,
efficiency moderated the rise in total fuel consumption from 1973 to 1995 to
only 26 percent, despite dramatic increases in both the number of vehicles
and the distances they are driven. Fossil fuel prices below levels assumed in
the 1993 Climate Change Action Plan, however, have contributed to the
unexpectedly large growth in U.S. emissions.
While unique national circumstances point to the reasons for the current
levels (and increases) in U.S. emissions, they also suggest the potential for
emission reductions. Successful government and private-sector programs are
beginning to exploit some of the inefficiencies in the manufacturing sector.
The development of new, climate-friendly technologies is a rapidly growing
industry, with significant long-term potential for domestic and international
Greenhouse Gas Inventory
Inventorying the national emissions of greenhouse gases is a task shared by
several departments within the executive branch of the federal government,
including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Energy and
the Department of Agriculture. The Greenhouse Gas Inventory chapter
summarizes the most current information on U.S. greenhouse gas emission
trends--and represents the 1997 submission from the United States in
fulfillment of its annual inventory reporting obligation. The estimates
presented in this chapter were compiled using methods consistent with those
recommended by the IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventories;
therefore, the U.S. emissions inventory should be comparable to those
submitted by others under the FCCC.
Table 1-1 summarizes the recent trends in U.S. greenhouse gas emissions from
1990 to 1995. The three most important anthropogenic greenhouse gases are
carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), and nitrous oxide (N
2O). Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are also inventoried. Consistent with the
requirements in the Climate Convention only to address emissions of gases not
controlled by the Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the Ozone Layer,
chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) emissions are not inventoried, nor are mitigation
measures for these compounds described.
Overall, U.S. greenhouse gas emissions have increased annually by just over
one percent. The trend of U.S. emissions--which decreased from 1990 to 1991,
and then increased again in 1992--is a consequence of changes in total energy
consumption resulting from the U.S. economic slowdown in the beginning of
this decade and its subsequent recovery.
Carbon dioxide accounts for the largest share of U.S. greenhouse
gases--approximately 85 percent--although the carbon sinks in forested lands
offset CO2 emissions by about 8 percent. During 1990-95, greenhouse
gas emissions continued to rise in the United States, with CO2
increasing approximately 6 percent, methane approximately 4 percent, N2
O nearly 10 percent, and HFCs approximately 7 percent. Fossil fuel combustion
accounts for 99 percent of total U.S. CO2 emissions. (Chapter 3 of
this report explains the use of MMTCE in converting emissions of greenhouse
gases to carbon equivalents.)
Although methane emissions are lower than CO2 emissions, methane's
footprint is large: in a 100-year time span it is considered to be twenty-one
times more effective than CO2 at trapping heat in the atmosphere and
is responsible for about 10 percent of the warming caused by U.S. emissions. In
addition, in the last two centuries alone, methane concentrations in the
atmosphere have more than doubled. Emissions of methane are largely generated
by landfills, agriculture, oil and natural gas systems, and coal mining, with
landfills comprising the single largest source of the gas. In 1995, methane
emissions from U.S. landfills were 63.5 MMTCE, equaling approximately 36
percent of total U.S. methane emissions. Agriculture supplied about 30 percent
of U.S. methane emissions in that same year.
Nitrous oxide is also emitted in much smaller amounts than carbon dioxide in
the United States and is responsible for approximately 2.4 percent of the
U.S. share of the greenhouse effect. However, like methane, it is a more
powerful heat trap--310 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping
heat in the atmosphere over a 100-year period. The main anthropogenic
activities producing nitrous oxide are agriculture, fossil fuel combustion,
and the production of adipic and nitric acids. Figures from 1995 show the
agricultural sector emitting 46 percent of the total (18.4 MMTCE), with
fossil fuel combustion generating 31 percent.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are among the compounds introduced to replace
ozone-depleting substances, which are being phased out as a result of the
Vienna Convention and its Montreal Protocol on Substances That Deplete the
Ozone Layer, and the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. Because HFCs have
significant potential to alter the Earth's radiative balance, they are
included in this inventory. Many of the compounds of this nature are
extremely stable and remain in the atmosphere for extended periods of time,
which results in a significant atmospheric accumulation over time. U.S.
emissions of these gases have risen nearly 60 percent as they are phased in
as substitutes for gases that are no longer allowed under the Montreal
Protocol--a rate of growth that is not anticipated to continue. Currently,
HFCs account for less than 2 percent of U.S. radiative forcing.
Mitigating Climate Change
In October 1993, in response to the threat of global climate change,
President Clinton and Vice President Gore announced the Climate Change Action
Plan (CCAP). The Plan was designed to reduce U.S. emissions of greenhouse
gases, while guiding the U.S. economy toward environmentally sound economic
growth into the next century. This report updates the programs in the CCAP
(including an appendix providing one-page descriptions of each program),
describes several additional initiatives developed to further reduce emission
growth rates, and estimates future emissions based on the current set of
practices and programs.
CCAP programs represent an effort to stimulate actions that are both
profitable for individual private-sector participants as well as beneficial
to the environment. Currently, more than forty programs are in effect,
combining efforts of the government at the federal, state, and local levels
with those of the private sector. The CCAP has five goals: preserving the
environment, enhancing sustainable growth environmentally and economically,
building partnerships, involving the public, and encouraging international
Carbon dioxide emissions constitute the bulk of U.S. greenhouse gas
emissions. CCAP recognizes that investing in energy efficiency is the most
cost-effective way to reduce these emissions. The largest proportion of CCAP
programs contains measures that reduce carbon dioxide emissions while
simultaneously enhancing domestic productivity and competitiveness. Other
programs seek to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by investing in renewable-
energy and other low-carbon, energy-supply technologies, which will also
provide longer-term benefits, such as increased efficiency and related cost-
savings and pollution prevention. A smaller number of programs are targeted
at methane, nitrous oxide, and other greenhouse gases (Table 1-2).
A review and update of the CCAP was initiated in 1995, involving a federal
government interagency review process and a public hearing and comment
period. Revisions to the CCAP (and to the calculation of the effects of its
measures) were initiated in light of comments received during this process
and are reflected in this document. In addition, as called for under FCCC
reporting guidelines, the projections of the effects of measures taken are
extended to the year 2020, with the understanding that uncertainties become
greater in more distant years.
One of the principal products of the review was an assessment of the
effectiveness of the CCAP programs, which were rated to be successful at
reducing emissions. Currently, more than 5,000 organizations are
participating in programs around the United States. The pollution-prevention
benefits of these innovative programs are beginning to multiply rapidly in
response to the groundwork laid and the partnerships made. In all, the
programs are expected to achieve a large portion of the reductions projected
in the CCAP. In fact, it is estimated that these programs will result in
energy cost savings of $10 billion annually in 2000.
However, the review has also made clear the significantly reduced impact to
be expected from the programs as a result of the nearly 40 percent reduction
of CCAP funding by Congress from the amount requested by the President,
higher-than-expected electricity demand, and lower-than-expected energy
prices. In addition, before the programs' implementation, CCAP program
managers could not always anticipate the impacts of projected climate change
emission reductions. Information available from the first tranche of activity
was considered in developing the current projections.
A second product of the review was the identification of several measures
that have since been added to the CCAP portfolio. The most significant of
these is the Environmental Stewardship Initiative, which greatly expands
activities already included in the CCAP, and focuses on reducing the
emissions of extremely potent greenhouse gases from three industrial
applications--semiconductor production, electrical transmission and
distribution systems, and magnesium casting. The expanded initiative is
anticipated to reduce emissions by an additional 6.5 MMTCE by 2000, and 10.0
MMTCE by 2010. Other programs include improving energy efficiency in the
construction of and supply of energy to commercial and industrial buildings,
expanding residential markets for energy-efficient lighting products, and
providing information on renewable energy to reduce barriers to the adoption
of clean technologies.
The analysis of individual actions is integrated with revised forecasts of
economic growth, energy prices, program funding, and regulatory developments
to provide an updated comprehensive perspective on current and projected
greenhouse gas emission levels. This analysis involved an updating of the
baseline calculation in light of new economic assumptions regarding energy
prices, economic growth, and technology improvements, among other factors. In
1993, the first U.S. submission projected year 2000 baseline emissions to be
106 MMTCE above their 1990 levels; with current program funding, emissions
are now projected to exceed 1990 levels by 188 MMTCE. Two principal factors
· The analysis used to develop CCAP significantly underestimated the
reductions that would be needed by programs to return emissions to 1990
levels by the year 2000. This was due to several factors, including lower-
than-expected fuel prices, strong economic growth, regulatory limitations
within and outside of CCAP, and improved information on emissions of some
potent greenhouse gases.
· In addition, diminished levels of funding by Congress have affected
both CCAP programs and other federal programs that reduce emissions, limiting
While neither the measures initiated in 1993 nor the additional actions
developed since then and included in this report will be adequate to meet the
emissions goal enunciated by the President, they have significantly reduced
emissions below growth rates that otherwise would have occurred. Based on
current funding levels, the revised action plan is expected to reduce
emissions by 76 MMTCE in the year 2000--or 70 percent of the reductions
projected in the CCAP. Annual energy cost savings to businesses and consumers
from CCAP actions are anticipated to be $10 billion (1995 dollars) by the
year 2000. Even greater reductions are estimated from these measures in the
post-2000 period: reductions of 169 MMTCE are projected for 2010, and 230
MMTCE for 2020. Annual energy savings are projected to grow to $50 billion
(1995 dollars) in the year 2010.
A separate component of this chapter addresses the U.S. Initiative on Joint
Implementation. Projects undertaken through this initiative allow private-
sector partners to offset emissions from domestic activities through
reductions achieved in other countries. The Climate Convention established a
pilot program for joint implementation at the first meeting of the Conference
of the Parties. Guidelines for reporting under the pilot program were
established by the Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technological Advice at
its fifth session in February 1997. This report uses those guidelines to
report on project activity.
Recent Trends in U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions: 1990-1995
(MMTs of Carbon Equivalent)
Gases and Sources
Emissions--Direct and Indirect Effects
|1990 ||1991 ||1992 ||1993 ||1994 ||1995 |
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
|1,228 ||1,213 ||1,235 ||1,268 ||1,291 ||1,305 |
|Fossil Fuel Combustion ||1,336 ||1,320 ||1,340 ||1,370 ||1,391 ||1,403 |
|Industrial Processes and Other ||17 ||16 ||17 ||18 ||19 ||19 |
|Total ||1,353 ||1,336 ||1,357 ||1,388 ||1,410 ||1,422 |
|Forests (sink)* ||(125) ||(123) ||(122) ||(120) ||(119) ||(117) |
|170 ||172 ||173 ||171 ||176 ||177 |
|Landfills ||56 ||58 ||58 ||60 ||62 ||64 |
|Agriculture ||50 ||51 ||52 ||52 ||54 ||55 |
|Coal Mining ||24 ||23 ||22 ||20 ||21 ||20 |
|Oil and Natural Gas Systems ||33 ||33 ||34 ||33 ||33 ||33 |
|Other ||6 ||7 ||7 ||6 ||6 ||6 |
Nitrous Oxide (N2O)
|36 ||37 ||37 ||38 ||39 ||40 |
|Agriculture ||17 ||17 ||17 ||18 ||18 ||18 |
|Fossil Fuel Consumption ||11 ||11 ||12 ||12 ||12 ||12 |
|Industrial Processes ||8 ||8 ||8 ||8 ||9 ||9 |
|HFCs ||12 ||12 ||13 ||14 ||17 ||21 |
|PFCs ||5 ||5 ||5 ||5 ||7 ||8 |
|7 ||7 ||8 ||8 ||8 ||8 |
|U.S. Emissions ||1,583 ||1,570 ||1,592 ||1,624 ||1,657 ||1,676 |
|Net U.S. Emissions ||1,458 ||1,447 ||1,470 ||1,504 ||1,538 ||1,559 |
Note: The totals presented in the summary tables in this chapter may not equal the sum of the individual source categories due to rounding.
* These estimates for the conterminous United States for 1990-91 and 1993-95 are interpolated from forest inventories in 1987 and 1992 and from projections through 2040. The calculation method reflects long-term averages, rather than specific events in any given year.
Summary of Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions
(Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalent)
Residential & Commercial Sector Actions
|1||Rebuild America||2.0||1.6||3.0||6.3 ||7.1|
|1 & 2||Expanded Green Lights and Energy Star Buildings||3.6||3.4||8.5||16.3 ||30.2|
|3||State Revolving Fund for Public Buildings||1.1||Terminated |
|4||Cost-Shared Demonstrations of Emerging Technologies|
Operation and Maintenance Training for Commercial Building Facility
Managers and Operators
Energy Star® Products
|7||Residential Appliance Standards||6.8||0.2||1.8||3.7 ||3.8|
|8 and 11||Energy Partnerships for Affordable Housing|
|9||Cool Communities||4.4||0.6||1.9||4.3 ||7.7|
|10||Update State Building Codes|
|New||Construction of EnergyEfficient Commercial and Industrial Buildings||Not included||0.1||0.4 ||1.1||2.6|
|New||Superwindow Collaborative||Not included||0.0||0.1 ||0.4||1.3|
|New||Expand Markets for NextGeneration Lighting Products||Not included||0.2||0.4 ||0.7||0.9|
|New||Fuel Cells Initiative||Not included||0.0||0.0 ||0.1||0.4|
Industrial Sector Actions
|12||Motor Challenge||8.8||1.8||3.9||5.8 ||7.5|
|13||Industrial Golden Carrot Programs||2.9||Merged||into||Motor||Challenge (#12) |
|14||Accelerate the Adoption of EnergyEfficient Process Technologies||Terminated|
|15||Industrial Assessment Centers||0.5||CCAP||Component ||Terminated |
|16||Waste Minimization**||4.2||2.1||3.6||5.0 ||8.4|
|17||Improve Efficiency of Fertilizer Nitrogen Use***||2.7||0.8||0.8||0.9 ||1.1|
|18||Reduce the Use of Pesticides||Terminated|
Transportation Sector Actions
|19||Cash Value of Parking|
|20||Innovative Transportation Strategies||6.6||4.6||8.4||10.9 ||17.0|
|22||Fuel Economy Labels for Tires||1.5||0.7||3.2||4.8 ||5.3|
Energy Supply Actions
|23||Increase Natural Gas Share of Energy Use Through Federal Regulatory Reform||2.2||Terminated|
|24||Promote Seasonal Gas Use for Control of Nitrogen Oxides||2.8||0.5||0.0||0.0 ||0.0|
|25||HighEfficiency Gas Technologies||0.6||Terminated|
|26||RenewableEnergy Commercialization||0.8||0.3||2.9||5.6 ||16.4|
|27||Expand Utility Integrated Resource Planning||1.4||Terminated|
|28||Profitable Hydroelectric Efficiency Upgrades||2.0||0.0||0.0||0.0 ||0.0|
|29||EnergyEfficient Distribution Transformer Standards|
|30||Energy Star Distribution Transformers||0.8||0.5||0.8||1.4 ||2.8|
|31||Transmission Pricing Reform||0.8||Terminated|
|New||Green Power Network||Not Included||0.0||Not quantified |
Land-Use Change & Forestry Actions+
|43||Reduce Depletion of Nonindustrial||4.0||Terminated|
|44||Accelerate Tree Planting in||0.5||0.4||1.3 ||2.2||3.1 |
|Nonindustrial Private Forests|
|16||Waste Minimization**||4.2||2.0||2.0 ||2.0||2.0 |
|9||Expand Cool Communities||0.5||Not quantified|
|32||Expand Natural Gas STAR||3.0||3.4||3.8 ||4.2||4.3 |
|33||Increase Stringency of Landfill Rule||4.2||6.3||7.7 ||9.1||5.9 |
|34||Landfill Methane Outreach Program||1.1||1.9||2.2 ||2.9||4.3 |
|35||Coalbed Methane Outreach Program||2.2||2.6||2.9 ||3.2||4.0 |
|36||RD&D for Coal Mine Methane||1.5||Terminated|
|37||RD&D for Landfill Methane||1.0||Terminated|
|38||AgSTAR Program||1.5||0.3||0.8 ||1.8||3.2 |
|39||Ruminant Livestock Efficiency Program||1.8||1.0||1.6 ||2.2||2.5 |
Actions to Address Other Greenhouse Gases
|17||Improve Efficiency of Fertilizer Nitrogen Use***||4.5||5.3||5.3 ||5.3||5.3 |
|40||Significant New Alternatives Program||5.0||6.4||19.6 ||23.1||29.8 |
|41||HFC23 Partnerships||5.0||5.0||5.0 ||5.0||5.0 |
|42||Voluntary Aluminum Industrial Partnership||1.8||2.2||2.4 ||2.4||2.4 |
|New||Environmental Stewardship Initiative||Not included||6.5||8.1 ||10.0||12.0 |
|Climate Wise||Not estimated||1.8||2.7 ||3.7||4.5 |
|Climate Challenge+++||Not estimated||7.6||5.0 ||1.6||1.5 |
|State and Local Outreach Programs||Not estimated||1.9||3.0 ||4.2||6.3 |
|Total GHG Emission Reductions||108.6||76.0||128.3||169.3 ||229.5 |
|From CCAP Programs|
Notes: Several of the Climate Change Action Plan (CCAP) programs are part of larger federal efforts. These programs include Actions 2, 4, 6, 7, 15, 16, 27, 32, and 33. Only the CCAP portions of these programs are included in this table. Also, numbers may not add precisely due to interactive effects and rounding.
* There is uncertainty in any attempt to project future emission levels and program impacts, and this uncertainty becomes greater with longer forecast periods. The results of this evaluation of CCAP represent a best estimate. They are also based on the assumption that programs will continue to be funded at current funding levels.
** Includes Waste Wise, NICE3, and USDA's Expansion of Recycling Technology. Energy savings and sequestration are scored separately.
*** Energy savings and N2O savings are scored separately.
+ Additional forestry initiatives by electric utilities are included in Climate Challenge, a Foundation Program.
++ Foundation action partners provide additional reductions in almost all sectors and gases. These values only represent incremental savings not accounted for in other actions or baseline activities.
+++ For the Climate Challenge program, there is considerable uncertainty at this time in quantifying impacts beyond the year 2000, largely because partners' Climate Challenge plans do not currently extend beyond 2000.Given that participation levels are growing and that most utilities appear to be meeting or expanding upon their commitments to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is reasonable to expect that the Climate Challenge program will deliver more significant reductions.
Research and Systematic Observation
The U.S. government has dedicated significant resources to research on global
climate change. U.S. research efforts (some of which include the private
sector) are divided into several general categories, including prediction of
climate change, impacts and adaptation, mitigation and new technologies, and
socioeconomic analysis and assessment. In addition, U.S. scientists actively
coordinate with research and capacity-building efforts in other countries.
The principal vehicle for undertaking climate change research at the federal
level is the United States Global Change Research Program. The multiagency
program was funded in fiscal year 1997 at approximately $1.8 billion. A
significant portion of the Research Program's activities is targeted at
improving capabilities to predict climate change, including the human-induced
contribution to climate change, and its implications for society and the
environment. The United States also is committed to continuing programs in
research and observation, with the aim of developing the information base
required to improve predictions of climate change and its repercussions, as
well as the ability to reduce emissions while sustaining food production,
ecosystems, and economic development.
Extensive efforts also are being made to understand the consequences of
climate change, regional impacts, and the potential for adaptation. Another
area being explored by researchers is the development of technologies that
would enable the United States to supply energy, food, water, ecosystem
services, and a healthy environment to U.S. citizens, while simultaneously
reducing greenhouse gas emissions. These efforts have been divided into
short- and longer-term projects involving the private sector, as well as
Perhaps most notable in the international component of the research effort is
U.S. participation in IPCC work. U.S. scientists participated in the
preparation and review of nearly all of the more than 100 chapters of the
over 2,000-page report. Researchers also participated in the collection and
analysis of the underlying data through programs as varied as the World
Climate Research Program, the Human Dimensions of Global Environmental Change
Program, the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme and an impressive
array of bilateral scientific and technical work.
Overall, the conclusions to be drawn from this report can be summarized in
· Climate change is a clearly defined problem and is well recognized
at the highest levels in the U.S. government. Senior officials (from the
President to heads of cabinet agencies and departments) have taken a strong
stand in favor of seeking to reduce emissions.
· The combined effort to address climate change (described in this
report, and including the Research Program, the total costs of U.S.
mitigation actions, and the international effort) are in excess of $2
billion--a significant step by any standard.
· Notwithstanding this effort, emissions continue to grow. More
aggressive actions must be taken to combat the threat of climate change.
The United States is developing a long-term, post-2000 strategy to address
the climate change problem. This effort, which has both a multilateral,
international focus and a domestic focus, is expected to be made public in
the next few months. It will be based on an extensive analytic effort to
assess the effects of an array of additional policy choices, including
setting legally binding, internationally agreed caps on emissions. It will
consider the advantages of market-based instruments for both domestic and
international emissions trading, as well as joint implementation for credit
with developing countries. It will consider approaches to be taken for gases
for which monitoring and measurement are relatively simple (e.g., for carbon
dioxide emissions from stationary energy sources), as well as those gases for
which emissions are more difficult to measure (such as nitrous oxides from
Currently underway, the effort is intensive and time-consuming. It involves
more than twenty agencies within the federal government, as well as several
offices in the Executive Office of the President. Congress will be consulted
in the development of policies and will most likely need to enact legislation
to implement any agreed program. A significant stakeholder outreach program
will be undertaken over the next several months to engage the best thinking
on alternative approaches, and following adoption of a program to ensure
maximum compliance with the course of action chosen.
Ö Global Warming International Center