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What is the threat and can it be fixed? * The Supreme Court Speaks, cont. Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp. (05-848, April 2, 2007) Unanimous decision (9-0 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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  • What is the threat and can it be fixed?


Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Established by the World Meteorological
    Organization and the United Nations Environment
    Program in 1988
  • The role of the IPCC is to assess on a
    comprehensive, objective, open and transparent
    basis the scientific, technical and
    socio-economic information relevant to
    understanding the scientific basis of risk of
    human-induced climate change, its potential
    impacts and options for adaptation and
  • Bases assessments on peer reviewed and published
    scientific/technical literature

IPCC Structure
  • Working Group I assesses the scientific
    aspects of the climate system and climate change
  • Working Group II assesses the vulnerability of
    socio-economic and natural systems to climate
    change, negative and positive consequences of
    climate change, and options for adapting to it
  • Working Group III assesses options for
    limiting greenhouse gas emissions and otherwise
    mitigating climate change
  • Task Force on National Greenhouse Gas Inventories
    responsible for the IPCC National Greenhouse
    Gas Inventories Programme

IPCC Assessment Reports
  • First (1990) Second (1995) Third (2001)
  • Fourth Assessment Report (2007)
  • WGI The Physical Science Basis
  • Summary for Policymakers available
  • 600 authors from 40 countries reviewed by over
    620 experts and representatives from 113
  • WGII Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability
  • Summary for Policymakers available
  • WGIII Mitigation of Climate Change
  • The Synthesis Report

The Physical Science Basis
  • Global atmospheric concentrations of CO2,
    methane, and nitrous oxide have increased
    markedly as a result of human activities since
    1750 and now far exceeds pre-industrial values
    determined from ice cores
  • CO2 ? fossil fuel and land use change
  • Methane and nitrous oxide? agriculture
  • Changes expressed in terms of radiative forcing
  • Measure of influence of human and natural factors
    that alter the balance of energy in the

Changes in Greenhouse Gas From Ice Core and
Modern Data
Observations of Temperature Change
  • Eleven of the past twelve years rank among the
    twelve warmest since 1850
  • The average atmospheric water content has
    increased since at least the 1980s
  • The average ocean temperature has increased to
    depths of at least 3,000m
  • Ocean absorbs at least 80 of heat
  • Leads to seawater expansion
  • Mountain glaciers and snow cover have declined in
    both hemispheres

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Rate of Sea Level Rise (mm/yr)
Source of sea level rise 1961 - 2003 1993 - 2003
Thermal Expansion 0.42 0. 12 1.6 0.5
Glaciers and ice caps 0.50 0.18 0.77 0.22
Greenland ice sheet 0.05 0.12 0.21 0.07
Antarctic ice sheet 0.14 0.41 0.21 0.35
Sum of contributions 1.1 0.5 2.8 0.7
Observed total sea level rise 1.8 0.5a 3.1 0.7a
Difference 0.7 0.7 0.3 1.0
Long Term Changes in Climate
Phenomenon and direction of trend Likelihood that trend occurred in late 20th century (post 1960) Likelihood of a human contribution to observed trend Likelihood of future trends based on projections for 21st century using SRES
Warmer and fewer cold days and nights over most land area Very likely (gt90) Likely (gt66) Virtually certain (gt99)
Warmer and more frequent hot days and nights over most land areas Very likely Likely (nights) Virtually certain
Frequency of warm spells and heat waves increases over most land areas Likely More likely than not (gt50) Very Likely
Long Term Changes in Climate (2)
Phenomenon and direction of trend Likelihood that trend occurred in late 20th century (post 1960) Likelihood of a human contribution to observed trend Likelihood of future trends based on projections for 21st century using SRES
Frequency of heavy precipitation events increases over most areas Likely More likely than not Very likely
Area affected by droughts increases Likely in many regions since 1970s More likely than not Likely
Intense tropical cyclone activity increases Likely in some regions since 1970s More likely than not Likely
Increased incidence of extreme high sea level Likely More likely than not Likely

Causes of Climate Change
  • Most of the observed increase in globally
    averaged temperature since the mid-20th century
    is very likely due to the observed increase in
    anthropogenic greenhouse gas concentrations
  • Volcanic and anthropogenic aerosols have offset
    some warming
  • Extremely unlikely that change can be explained
    without external factors
  • Very likely not due to natural causes alone

Future Predictions
  • Projected warming of .2ºC per decade over the
    next two decades under range of emissions
  • Projected warming of .1ºC if greenhouse gases and
    aerosols are kept constant at year 2000 levels
  • Warming and sea level rise will continue for
    centuries even if greenhouse gas concentrations
    are stabilized

Emissions Scenarios
  • A1 very rapid economic growth convergence
  • Divided into 3 groups based on primary energy
  • A1F1 fossil intensive
  • A1T non-fossil
  • A1B balance across all sources
  • A2 heterogeneous world self reliance
  • B1 rapid economic growth convergence service
    and information economy
  • B2 focus on local solutions to problems

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-Relative change in percent for the period
2090-2099 relative to 1980-1999 -White area
less than 66 of the models agree -Stippled area
more than 90 of the models agree
Public Health Concerns
  • Addressed by WGII in summary for policymakers
  • Disappearing land masses
  • New Zealand promised to take in global warming
  • More natural disasters
  • Insurance claims rising
  • Invasive species on the rise
  • Pine beetles not killed by winter
  • Higher mosquito line (vector-borne diseases)
  • Illness from emissions and heat
  • Reduction in crop yields
  • Water shortages

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Criticisms of IPCC Findings
  • Emphasis on warming may take emphasis off
    immediate public health concerns
  • Political appointees, not scientists
  • The Great Global Warming Swindle
  • 95 of CO2 emissions are not man made
  • Global warming is a product of higher CO2
  • Warming is a natural process
  • Summer of 1930 was one of the hottest on record
  • Earth will adapt to changes
  • Stress positives of global warming (crop yields)
  • Economic costs for solutions are too high

Duty to Future Generations
  • We may reach a tipping point soon and the risks
    do not outweigh the benefits
  • Greatest harm will probably be to nations with
    the smallest impact on warming
  • There are other reasons to switch to renewable
    energy sources and emphasize conservation
  • Decrease dependence on oil-rich nations
  • Ensure resources exist for future generations
  • Improve health of citizens by reducing emissions

  • Are we doing everything we could be doing?

Legislative Response
  • The Clean Air Act of 1990
  • EPA sets levels of emissions allowable on a
    nationwide basis
  • States in charge of implementing many of the
    specific provisions
  • State Implementation Plans (SIPs) Each state
    must have a SIP that explains how it will
    implement CAA
  • EPA must approve each states SIP
  • States must follow federal minimum levels, but
    can implement stricter controls on emissions
  • National Permit Program
  • Permits issued by states (or by EPA if state is
  • Include information about what pollutants are
    being released, how much is being released, and
    steps taken to monitor and reduce pollution

Legislative Response, cont.
  • Efficacy of the Clean Air Act
  • Example CFC Ban
  • In 1978 in response to the discovery of a hole in
    the ozone layer, the government banned CFCs as
    propellants in aerosol products
  • Clean Air Act of 1990 set a schedule for other
    ozone-depleting chemicals to be phased out
  • Significant decrease in the rate of ozone
    depletion as a result

Administrative Approaches
  • The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • Mission The mission of the Environmental
    Protection Agency is to protect human health and
    the environment.

Administrative Approaches, cont.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, cont.
  • Responsibilities
  • Develop and Enforce Regulations Implement
    Congressional mandates
  • Financial Assistance Grants to state
    environmental programs
  • Environmental Research
  • Environmental Education and Information

Administrative Approaches, cont.
  • The Environmental Protection Agency, cont.
  • Organization Executive Agency headed by a
    Presidential appointee
  • Judicial Review Chevron Standard
  • Did Congress speak clearly about the matter? If
    so, Congress intent controls
  • If Congress did not speak clearly, courts defer
    heavily to agencys interpretation so long as it
    is reasonable
  • Issue Can Executive Agencies operate truly
    independently of the political process to protect
    the environment and public health?
  • Example The 2005 Climate Change Memo

Administrative Approaches, cont.
  • Emissions Trading (cap and trade)
  • Currently, all emissions trading is done in a
    private market (i.e., Chicago Climate Exchange)
    and the U.S. does not have a carbon emissions
    trading system in place
  • Free Market Environmentalism Caps are set
    politically, but companies make individual
    choices about how to reduce pollution
  • Is there room for government regulation of
    emissions trading?
  • Acid Rain Program of the Clean Air Act
  • Expected to reduce SO2 emissions 50 by 2010
  • Government oversight and enforcement are costly,

Administrative Approaches, cont.
  • Emissions Trading, cont.
  • Schemes of Enforcement
  • Regulators measure facilities and fine or
    sanction those that fail to comply
  • Expensive
  • Places a heavy burden on agency
  • Risk of corruption of inspectors
  • Licensed third party verifies that facilities are
    licensed and have not exceeded emissions
  • Transparent process that can be audited
  • Far less expensive
  • Places burden on the private sector

Administrative Approaches, cont.
  • Emissions Trading, cont.
  • Problems With Government Regulation
  • Too many credits might be given by government,
    rendering market ineffective
  • Tight controls are necessary to establish such a
  • Emissions credits are like money and may take
    away funding from development of sustainable

But What Do They Say?
The Supreme Court Speaks
  • Massachusetts v. EPA (05-1120, April 2, 2007)
  • Closely divided decision (5-4)
  • Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases from
    cars are pollutants under the Clean Air Act and
    thus the EPA has the authority to regulate them
  • Court found that emissions from cars make a
    significant contribution to greenhouse gas
    emissions and therefore to global warming
  • Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers responded
    favorably, advocating for national emissions
    standards rather than state-by-state standards
  • While the case is historic, it may be years
    before action is actually taken by the EPA to
    regulate carbon dioxide emissions

The Supreme Court Speaks, cont.
  • Environmental Defense v. Duke Energy Corp.
    (05-848, April 2, 2007)
  • Unanimous decision (9-0)
  • Utilities must comply with New Source Review
    provision of Clean Air Act when overhauling
  • Held that it was improper for power plants to
    conduct renovations without installing required
    controls to reduce sulfur dioxide and nitrogen
    oxide emissions
  • Overhauled plants can operate for more hours per
    year, even if hourly emissions do not increase,
    so annual test is required because annual
    emissions can increase, which significantly
    increases harm to public health
  • Decision signals a rejection of the decades-old
    practice of grandfathering old utility

Other Possible Legal Tools
  • The Police Power
  • The Commerce Power
  • Tax and Spend Power
  • States as Laboratories
  • Treaty Power

  • Global warming is an urgent problem in need of
    urgent solutions. Do we have the tools on hand
    necessary to address it in a timely manner?
  • Efficacy of legal solutions Is it all bark and
    no bite?
  • What can be done within our current framework to
    deal with global warming?

  • What is the rest of the world doing?

Kyoto Protocol
  • Negotiated December 1997
  • Entered into Force February 2005
  • 169 Parties Countries and other entities
  • United States is signatory but has not ratified
    and will not under current administration

Kyoto Protocol, cont.
  • The objective is the stabilization of greenhouse
    gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level
    that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic
    interference with the climate system.
  • Anthroprogenic - effects, processes, objects, or
    materials that are derived from human activities,
    as opposed to those occurring in natural
    environments without human influences.

Kyoto Protocol, cont.
  • Goal is to reduce emissions of six greenhouse
    emissions carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous
    oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, HFCs and PFCs
  • Overall reduction of 5.2 from 1990 levels
  • Reduction goals vary by country EU 8, US 7,
    Japan 6, Russia 0

Criticisms of Kyoto
  • Doesnt go far enough to curb emissions
  • Global socialism initiative to transfer wealth to
    developing nations.
  • Industrial economy will move to third world
    countries with no restrictions on emissions
  • Will not actually curb global emissions

Emissions Trading
  • Also known as cap and trade
  • An administrative approach used to control
    pollution by providing economic incentives for
    achieving reductions in the emissions of

Emissions Trading, cont.
  • How does it work?
  • Caps
  • Credits/allowances
  • Trade

Emissions Trading Systems
  • Kyoto Standards
  • European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Chicago Climate Exchange
  • Acid Rain Program
  • Japan and Canada - 2008

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme
  • Major component of EU climate policy
  • Began January 2005
  • Phase 1
  • 2005-2007
  • All EU member states
  • Covers 45 carbon emissions and

European Union Emissions Trading Scheme, cont.
  • Phase 2
  • 2008-2012
  • Will expand to cover all greenhouse emissions,
    not just carbon
  • Several non-EU countries expected to join

How the EU Scheme Works
  • National Allocation Plan
  • Each country has caps on emissions
  • Facilities within countries have maximum
    allowances for a given period
  • To comply, must reduce below allowances or trade
    with other facilities or countries that have
    excess allowances

Success of the EU Scheme?
  • To early to tell
  • Critics believe caps are too lenient
  • Progressively tightening caps are foreseen for
    each new period, forcing overall reductions in
  • Inclusion of sinks needed?
  • Planting trees to reduce carbon

Future of Emissions Trading
  • G85 Climate Change Dialogue
  • Washington Declaration Feb 2007
  • Group hopes to have global system of emission
    caps and carbon emissions trading system
    involving industrialized and developing nations
  • Preliminary plans to implement in 2009
  • Designed to replace Kyoto

  • Al Gore said choosing between economy and the
    environment is a false choice.
  • Is it really?
  • From BothAnd Project website

Lets Start at the Beginning
  • What is cost/benefit analysis?
  • Method used to make decisions
  • Decide what the ultimate goal is and then figure
    out the social welfare implications of enacting
    such a policy
  • If standard of living increases from a given
    policy, then it should be enacted
  • Our ultimate goal is to curb the effects of
    global warming

Costs of Status Quo
  • Many weather-related catastrophes are thought to
    be by products of global warming.
  • In the 1990s, damage from weather related
    disasters was around 340 billion (300 more than
    in 1980s)
  • In 2000, the fires across America cost the
    country 1.7 billion
  • Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma had record
    losses of 57.6 billion
  • http//
  • North America . . . can expect more hurricanes,
    floods, droughts, heat waves and wildfires . . .
    . In the short term, crop yields may increase by
    5 to 20 from a longer growing season, but will
    plummet if temperatures rise by 7.2 Fahrenheit.
  • Panel Global Warming a Threat to Earth By
    Arthur Max. April 6, 2007
  • http//
  • Air pollution will cost Ontarios health-care
    system and economy more than 1 billion and
    result in approximately 1,900 deaths this year,
    reports the Ontario Medical Association.
  • Science and Environment Health Network article
    June 27, 2000 http//

Costs of Status Quo, cont.
  • Two pictures of Beijing
  • On the right is a sunny/clear day
  • On the left is just after 2 days of rain

Costs of Status Quo, cont.
  • Unfortunately, the greatest unknown is the price
    of inaction.
  • http//
    /newsid/3225/story.htm. Article from 2005
  • We can predict what might happen if we do not
    consider the effects of global warming, but we do
    not know what will happen.
  • We do not know for sure if these weather related
    disasters will occur
  • We do not know for sure what the temperature
    increases will be

Benefits of Status Quo
  • No administrative costs of changing the system
  • Companies (i.e. auto industries and power plants)
    will not have to decide how to reduce emissions,
    nor will they have to pay to do so

What Some Are Already Doing to Help
  • Without government intervention, some are taking
    action on their own
  • BP says that it has cut 20 of its emissions
    since 1990 this cost them 20 million but it
    also has saved them 650 million
  • DuPont admitted to cutting its emissions by 67
    since 1990 this has saved the company 2
  • http//

We Need to Reduce Emissions
  • Policy makers must balance between the costs and
    benefits of reducing emissions
  • Benefits lower estimated value of the public
    health ramifications from effects of gas
  • Costs increased production cost and reduced
    economic activity
  • Are All Market-Based Environmental Regulations
    Equal? By Ian W. Parry. Fall 2002 issue of
    Issues in
  • Science and Technology. http//
  • To reduce emissions, law makers must decide among
    different methods (permits, regulation)

How Can We Do This?
  • Follow Kyoto
  • Cost of complying is anywhere between .1 of GDP
    and 4 of GDP.
  • Low number comes from purchasing rights from
    other countries
  • High number comes from reducing US emissions via
    government regulation
  • The Cost of Reducing Carbon Emissions An
  • Examination of Administration Forecasts. By
  • VanDoren. March 11, 1999

How Can We Do This? cont.
  • Tradable permits vs. government regulation
  • In 1995 the US started the Tradable Pollution
    Permit (TPP) market.
  • Purpose reduce emissions of SO2 from power
    plants by 50.
  • US saved between 225 million and 375 million by
    using TPP instead of government regulation.
  • Introduction to Environmental Economics. By
    Nick Hanley, Jason Shogren, Ben White. Published

Permits May Be the Best Solution
  • Identifiable cost savings with permits
  • Value of international emissions trading depends
    who the trading participants are.
  • The players in this market determine supply and
    demand and this is the basis to the economic
    outcome of tradable permit programs
  • The Value of Emissions Trading. By Mort
    Webster, Sergey Paltsev and John Reilly. Report
    No. 132. February
  • 2006
  • Auctioned permits v. grandfathered permits
  • Auctioned permits benefits of grandfathered
    permits and benefits of tax reductions
  • US might be better off to the tune of 20 billion
    to 45 billion per year by using auctioned
  • Are All Market-Based Environmental Regulations
    Equal? By Ian W. Parry. Fall 2002 issue of
    Issues in
  • Science and Technology. http//

Opportunity Costs of Emissions Trading
  • Auto industry spends money on emission trading
    indirectly as well
  • Spent 30 million in 2006 on lobbying alone.
  • Cost of emission trading is not limited to just
    the act of trading. Also have to factor in other
    costs too (e.g. lobbying, advertising, etc.)
  • Auto Industry Warming to Emissions Limits. By
    Joe Crea and Osita Iroegbu. Legal Times March 21,
  • http//

Can We Really Choose?
  • Al Gore said choosing between economy and the
    environment is a false choice.
  • Being that we can not accurately predict how
    global warming will impact the Earth, its hard to
    respond to Mr. Gores statement.
  • But if we have to choose, and we decide to take
    action, permits may be the best solution.