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Overview of Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Control Policies in Various Countries
Jane A. Leggett (au)
As Congress considers legislation to address climate change, and follows negotiations toward a new international agreement to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, the question of the comparability of actions across countries frequently arises. Concerns are raised about what the appropriate sharing of efforts should be among countries, as well as the potential trade implications if countries undertake different levels of GHG reductions and, therefore, incur varying cost impacts on trade-sensitive sectors. This report summarizes the GHG control policies in effect or under consideration in the European Union (EU) and various other large countries, and offers a brief set of initial observations. It gives particular emphasis to how particular trade-sensitive sectors may be treated in the context of each national program. All countries examined have in place, or are developing, some enforceable policies that serve to reduce GHG emissions. Most are at some stage of making their programs more stringent. Thewealthiest countries have all taken on GHG limitation or reduction targets under the Kyoto Protocol. Some of the emerging economies have voluntarily stated GHG targets, though none have yet accepted legally binding obligations in an international agreement. The forms of targets, and their stringencies, vary widely across countries. All have policies that affect carbon dioxide emissions; most have some measures that cover the additional five gases covered under the Kyoto Protocol (methane, nitrous oxide, sulfur hexafluoride, perfluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons). Table and figures.
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