1) Research/Publication on Climate Change and Forestry
2) Climate Change News
3) Climate Change Info & Events
4) AREAS OF RESEARCH
5) JOB OPENINGS
6) Websites of interest


 No. 3/2001

6 March 2001

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1) Research/Publication on Climate Change and Forestry

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1. "The Forgotten Obligations in the Kyoto Negotiations" by Sten Nilsson,Matthias Jonas and Michael Obersteiner, Forestry Project, IIASA, November 2000.

Have the policy makers involved in the Kyoto process forgotten the long-termobjective of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which is tostabilize the atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases? This articlesuggests that they have, reasons being (1) the Kyoto Protocol only includescertain countries in the process and (2) the countries involved in the Kyotoprocess are not able to verify their real emissions into the atmosphere dueto substantial uncertainties. The uncertainties involved in the assessmentof the emissions are larger than the currently discussed emissionreductions, so without Full Carbon Accounting and Uncertainty Assessments,no verification of the real emissions can take place, and the current KyotoProtocol is not able to comply with the overall objective of the UNFCCC.

The authors' view is that if the aim of the Kyoto Protocol is to beenvironmentally beneficial, the net emission reduction to be achieved underthe Kyoto Protocol must be detectable, i.e. measurable and verifiable by animpartial observer. For this purpose, the authors urge the policy makers to

-Introduce Full Carbon/Greenhouse Gas Accounting on the national scale,

-Introduce Uncertainty Assessments on the national scale, and

-Implement concrete Verification Mechanisms on the national scale.

2. "The Political and Economic Costs of a Fully Verifiable Kyoto Protocol"Interim Report (IR-00-062) by Michael Obersteiner, Matthias Jonas, and StenNilsson, Forestry Project, IIASA, Laxenburg, Austria, 8 November 2000This paper focuses on verification under the Kyoto Protocol. Verification is important for four reasons:

1. The political cost of no-verification is potentially very high.2. The Kyoto Protocol requires verifiability inter alia trade (Article 17).3. Non-verifiable emission reduction claims could lead to misconduct, endangering the entire market process.

4. Scientific proof of the true environmental benefits of the Protocol is at least delayed.

The current institutional set-up for verification faces the situation of norules and instruments to secure verifiable emission reduction claims and no sufficiently strong and independent body to policy uncertainties.

The paper tries to provide a set of tools to strategically deal with the problem of uncertainty and verification under the Kyoto Protocol by:

- providing an overview of the instruments to deal with verification;- computing costs scenarios for those instruments under various flexibility

scenarios; and

- providing a short discussion on practical steps and crucial decisions to be made that lead to a more verifiable Protocol.

For both papers,Download from: http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/FOR/newpubs.html

For further information, contact Michael OBERSTEINER at InternationalInstitute for Applied Systems Analysis, A-2361 Laxenburg, Austria, E-mail: oberstei@iiasa.ac.at Phone: +43 2236 807-0, Fax: +43 2236 71313

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2) Climate Change News

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- Final Volume Of IPCC Assessment Released From UNwire, 5.3.2001Top-level climate change experts and officials from 100 countries meeting inAccra, Ghana, today completed and released the third and final volume of thelatest UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change <http://www.ipcc.ch/>assessment on climate change, focusing on policies and technologies for mitigating climate change effects.

Today's report confirms there are many cost-effective solutions to risinggreenhouse gas emissions available, although it says that in many casesgovernments will need to address institutional and behavioural barriers before those solutions can realize their potential.

While changes in energy supplies will play a central role, the report alsosays hundreds of technologies and practices for end-use energy efficiency inbuildings, transportation and manufacturing account more than 50% of thepotential for global emissions reductions from 2010 to 2020. Some studiesalso show that half of this potential can be realized by way of options thatsave money, but governments will need to adopt more supportive policies for these options to be implemented (UNEP release, 5 Mar).

As for the costs to industrialized countries in achieving Kyoto Protocoltargets, the report concludes that without the benefit of an internationalemissions trading system, countries would incur costs of 0.2% to 2% of theirprojected gross domestic product in 2010. That amount would drop to 0.1% to 1% with a full emissions trading system (UNEP release).

- Climate Change talks to resume in Bonn in July

Mr. Jan Pronk, the Chairman of the climate change talks that were suspendedlast November in The Hague has announced that the negotiations will resumein Bonn from 16-27 July 2001. The meeting venue will be the Maritim Hotel.

The rules for counting emissions reductions from carbon "sinks" such asforests and farmland will be among the key issues that must be resolved at the resumed talks.

http://www.unfccc.int/media/pressrelcop6/cop6resumed.pdf

- G8 ministers renew commitment to fight global warming By Alessandra Rizzo, Associated Press, 3/4/2001 10:30 TRIESTE, Italy (AP) Environment ministers from the world's seven mostindustrialized countries plus Russia renewed their commitment Sunday tofight global warming and pledged to try to reach an agreement about reducing gas emissions that trap heat inside Earth's atmosphere.

''Trieste was not the place to reopen the negotiating table, but we sent outa strong political message and we found common ground for dialogue,'' saidWiller Bordon, the Italian environment minister and host of the so-called G-8 meeting.

Environmental groups' reaction to the outcome was mixed. Greenpeace said itwas as good as could be expected and World Wildlife Fund said it leaves theBush administration no choice but to accept a 1997 accord as written.The last round of talks on implementing the climate accord broke down after a two-week session in November in the Netherlands.

The key contentious issue was whether countries should be allowed to countthe carbon dioxide absorbed by forests and farmlands toward their emissionsreduction targets something the United States, the world's largest polluterhas demanded. But opponents including the European Union say that would award credit for essentially doing nothing.

''We commit ourselves ... to strive to reach an agreement on outstandingpolitical issues and to ensure in a cost-effective manner the environmentalintegrity of the Kyoto protocol,'' the final document by G-8 countries saidSunday. Negotiations will resume at a conference scheduled in July in Bonn. Christie Whitman, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency chief, saidSaturday that the United States supports the goal of Kyoto but was reviewing its strategy for achieving it.

http://www.boston.com/dailynews/063/world/G8_ministers_renew_commitment_:.shtml

- Greenhouse Gas Cuts Are Economically Feasible, Say UN Officials Issued in Bonn by UNFCCC, 28 February

Nairobi, 28 February 2001 - As diplomats and experts converge on Accra,Ghana to finalize a major assessment of the technology and policy optionsfor reducing greenhouse gas emissions, senior United Nations officials arecalling on governments to recognize the economic and competitive benefits of making an early transition to climate-friendly economies.

The Accra meeting will finalize the third and final solutions-orientedvolume of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Third AssessmentReport. The first two volumes of this report - which assess the causes andimpacts of climate change - have already been completed. Much of the economics and other climate change research literature of recentyears has addressed how the costs of climate change policies could beminimized through "no regrets" strategies. Such strategies make economic andenvironmental sense whether or not the world is moving towards rapid climatechange. The literature shows that a substantial range of technicallyfeasible and cost-effective policies and measures for reducing emissions are available today.

For example, raising energy efficiency not only reduces greenhouse gasemissions but can make industries and countries more competitive ininternational markets. Furthermore, while no-regrets policies are certainlyjustified, the precautionary principle and the level of net damage expectedfrom climate change justify adopting policies that go beyond no regrets.

Excerpt from UNEP News Release 01/29

For full text: http://www.unep.org/Documents/Default.asp?DocumentID=193&ArticleID=2781

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3) Climate Change Info & Events

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-"DESERTIFICATION, CLIMATE CHANGE, BIODIVERSITY AND FOREST: SYNERGIES FOR AN INTER-REGIONAL AGENDA BETWEEN NORTHERN AND SOUTHERN MEDITERRANEAN COUNTRIES"

The proceedings of this workshop are available both in ENGLISH and in FRENCHon the web site: http://www.desertification.it/doc/ENGLISH_VERSION_finale.htm http://www.desertification.it/doc/www-francese/Default.htm

For any further information, contact Maurizio Sciortino, ENEA C.R. Casaccia,Via Aguillarese 301,00060 S.M. di Galeria - Roma, tel +39 06 30484213, fax +39 06 30483591

- A new book available from Resources for the FutureClimate Change and Economics Policy: An RFF Anthology Michael A. Toman, Editor

An accessible and authoritative guide to the key issues involved in one ofthe most important policy debates of our time. Considers potential impactsof climate change, the benefits and costs of various policies to reducegreenhouse gas emissions, and prospects for international cooperation.http://www.rff.org/books/descriptions/climatechange_anthology.htm e-mail: clarke@rff.org  

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4) AREAS OF RESEARCH

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-MICROMETEOROLOGY AND FORESTRY SCIENCES IN PANARÁ, BRAZILInstitution: IAPAR/SIMEPAR (Agriculture Research Institute andSystem/Research and Prediction of Climate on Paraná State, Brazil)Team of researchers: 3 (PhD level) in Micrometeorology and Forestry Sciences.

Brief description of work:

1) We are submitting a project involving risks of fire on natural and exotic forests and we are waiting for monetary support;

2) We are interested in studying evapotranspiration and water contents indifferent groups of soils, for activities in agriculture and forestry on Paraná State.

For further information, please contact Dr. Leocadio Grodzki at leocadio@simepar.br .

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5) JOB OPENINGS

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- NREL, Senior Project Leader position

The U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) has a Senior ProjectLeader position available to lead implementation of climate change programswith developing countries and the donor community. This Senior ProjectLeader will be responsible for leading implementation of clean energyinvestment and technology transfer projects with developing countries andwill direct efforts to integrate these activities with related bilateral andmultilateral donor programs.

This work will support NREL's leadership ofprograms for implementation of technology transfer under the UNFCCC incollaboration with the U.S. Government, the Climate Technology Initiative,and the donor and business community. This project leader will also assistwith implementation of other NREL climate change and air pollution programs.

Candidates must have a master's degree and at least 6 years' of relevantwork experience, including experience working with developing countries onenergy and/or climate change projects and with the bilateral andmultilateral donor community on the implementation of energy and developmentprograms. Experience with development and financing of clean energybusiness investment projects is also desired. Interested applicants should send resumes to nrel_employment@nrel.gov

Further information on this position can be found athttp://www.nrel.gov/hr/employment/jobs_files/785.html . Further informationon NREL's work on climate change and clean energy technology transfer withdeveloping countries can be found at http://www.nrel.gov/tcapp <Posting from Climate-L list>

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6) Websites of interest

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- Forest Energy Forum No 7 is on-line

Forest Energy Forum is a biannual newsletter compiled FAO's Wood andNon-Wood Products Utilization Branch (Forest Products Division, ForestryDepartment). The aim is to provide readers with information on the issuessurrounding the entire range of fuels that can be derived from forestbiomass. A forum for dialogue and a quick, direct source of information onall aspects of wood energy, including its use to combat greenhouse gasemissions. FEF No. 7's special feature is on "Wood energy information inAfrica" while "FORESTS BRANCH OFF ... into carbon sequestration" contains climate-change related information.

http://www.fao.org/DOCREP/003/X9192E/X9192E00.HTM

- The March issue of Linkages Journal is now available in PDF format at:http://www.iisd.ca/journal/link0603e.pdf

This issue includes:

- media reports and news, including the announcement made by COP-6 PresidentJan Pronk on 28 February of the date and location of the resumed Sixth Conference of the Parties to the Climate Change Convention;

- briefings on key meetings held in February 2001, including theIntergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Working Group II meeting, UNEP Governing Council, and UN Forum on Forests organizational session

- details of new journal articles and online reports;

- a comprehensive list of upcoming meetings for the year 2001

Note that a high quality printable version is now online athttp://www.iisd.ca/linkages/journal/ <Posting from Climate-L list>

- The Forestry Advisers Network (CFAN) of the Canadian International

Development Agency (CIDA). CFAN is an informal network of professionals concerned about the future ofthe forests and the people who depend on them. Also available in FRANÇAISE & ESPAÑOLhttp://www.rcfa-cfan.org

-IIASA (International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis) website has a lot of Kyoto related Carbon research listed.

http://www.iiasa.ac.at/Research/FOR/carb_kyoto.html?sb=10

- Early Warning Signs Map - is a poster-sized map of the world, whichillustrates global climate change. It includes global warming Fingerprints(places with direct manifestations of widespread and long-term trend towardwarmer global temperatures) and global warming Harbingers (events thatforeshadow the types of impacts likely to become more frequent andwidespread with continued warming). In addition to viewing the entire globalmap, you can click on individual continents to explore the current localindicators of global warming. The map was produced by the Union of Concerned Scientists with six other environmental groups.

The web site also includes a link to a Curriculum Guide to use with theglobal map. The guide consists of four different activities that can bedownloaded using Adobe acrobat. The site also contains a link to thefindings from the first U.S. National Assessment of the Potential Consequences of Climate Variability and Change.

All of these can be accessed at: http://www.climatehotmap.org.

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Thank you for your inputs for this issue: Michael Obersteiner, Leocadio Grodzki, Tina Etherington

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The objective of CLIM-FO-L is to be a forum for sharing current informationand experiences about climate change and forestry amongst experts andnon-experts. CLIM-FO-L will send periodically to subscribers synopsis ofcontributions, indicating how to obtain more detailed information on thetopic. CLIM-FO-L is a service provided by the FAO Forest Products Division (FOP).

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last updated:  Thursday, March 25, 2004