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Climate change and Emission Trading - Essay Example

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The Green House Gases (GHG) Effect is one of the better understood features of the atmosphere; the science having been established in the 1800's by the likes of Arrhenius, Fourier & Tyndall. Arrhenius (1896) estimated that a doubling of CO2 would cause 4.9-6.1o C increase in continental surface air temperature depending upon latitude and season, which is at the upper end of current predictions (1.4oC-5.8oC) under the third AR)…
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Climate change and Emission Trading
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Download file to see previous pages In October 2006, Nicholas Stern, head of the United Kingdom's government economics services presented his report on the economics of climate change to the British Government [Stern, 2007]. The stern Report estimates that "if we don't act, the overall costs and risks of climate change will be equivalent to loosing at least 5% of global gross domestic product (GDP) each year, now and forever. If a wider range of risks and impacts is taken into account, the estimates of damage could rise to 20% of GDP or more. "In contrast, the cost of action-reducing GHG emissions to avoid the worst impacts of climate change-can be limited to around 1% of global GDP each year". These conclusions are in sharp contrast to the implicit assumptions in public statements on climate change. The stern report finds that climate change is not just a nuisance, but can significantly reduce economic growth. And that mitigating climate change is not all that expensive. The stern report concludes, "The benefits of strong, early action considerably outweigh the costs". The impacts of climate change are, not evenly distributed. The poorest countries and people will, suffer earlier and most. And if when the damages it will be too late to reverse the process. Thus we have to look ahead. This is because the countries which have less resources to counter their impact of climate change and also because developing countries are often heavily dependent on agriculture-the most climate sensitive of economic sectors. The stern report finds that while "emission have been, and continue to be driven by economic growth; yet stabilization of GHG concentration in the atmosphere is feasible and consistent with continued growth". The report recognizes that achieving large emission reductions will have a cost. The estimated annual cost of stabilization at 500-550 PPM CO2 will be around 1% of GDP by 2050- a level that is significant but manageable.
Climate change mitigation normally involves reducing GHG emissions. Mitigation can also involve removing CO2 from the atmosphere, usually through a forestation and reforestation; such activities are called CO2 sinks. Improved efficiency in the use of fossil fuels and increased use of renewable energy sources are among the most promising option for reducing CO2 emissions.
The lowest cost mitigation options generally involve energy efficiency improvement. Energy saving opportunities is often higher in developing countries and is especially large for buildings and in transport (Enqvist, Naucler & Rosander, 2007). Climate change first gained significance in 1988. Not long afterwards, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) was adopted by various governments in May 1992, and came into force, in 1994, (UNFCCC, 1994). Today the UNFCCC is one of the widely supported international environmental agreements ratified by 188 states and the European community. The ultimate aim of the UNFCCC is to achieve stabilization of GHG concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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