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Strategies for addressing climate change: Policy perspectives from around the world

Mark D. Levine, Jayant A. Sathaye, Paul P. Craig and Stephen C. Peck

Energy, 1992, vol. 17, issue 12, 1121-1136

Abstract: The greenhouse effect is intrinsically global. Accordingly, effective responses require global coordination. While limited policies have been adopted, notably for phasing out chlorofluorocarbons, there is no clear consensus as to what to do about other greenhouse gases. In this paper, we survey attitudes and policy responses among the nations of the world. Public opinion surveys are consistent in showing that considerable sensitivity to environmental issues exists virtually everywhere. On the other hand, there is acute awareness that other issues, especially economic development, can conflict with global climate-change mitigation goals. In such a state of uncertainty there is a strong argument to be made for implementing policies which are good ideas independent of greenhouse-gas considerations. There is also good reason to expand research. What is feasible depends strongly on present and changing attitudes of the citizens of the world, and of their governments. It is thus critical to follow closely the evolution of attitudes. The kind of work summarized in this paper needs to be updated on a continuing basis, and the results made available routinely to the global policy community. We conclude our review with several recommendations for research designed specifically to reduce uncertainty about costs and institutional issues relating to responses to global climate change.

Date: 1992
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