Order Code RL32721 CRS Report for Congress Received through the CRS Web Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Conflicting Situations, Conflicting Perspectives January 7, 2005 Larry Parker Specialist in Energy Policy Resources, Science, and Industry Division John Blodgett Deputy Assistant Director Resources, Science, and Industry Division Congressional Research Service ˜ The Library of Congress Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Conflicting Situations, Conflicting Perspectives Summary The World Resources Institute (WRI) has compiled greenhouse gas emissions and related data from a variety of sources into a database that is available publically for analysis. This report analyzes those data to examine two issues. The first issue is the separate treatment of developed and developing nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol. This distinction has been a pivotal issue affecting U.S. climate change policy. The second issue is the continuing difficulty of the current approach designed to address climate change through limiting greenhouse gas emissions to a specified percentage of baseline emissions (typically 1990). The data permit examination of alternative approaches, such as focusing on per capita emissions or the greenhouse gas emission intensity (measured as emissions per unit of economic activity). Key findings include: ! ! ! ! ! A few countries account for most greenhouse gas emissions: in 2000, the United States led by emitting 21% of the world total, followed by China with 15%; no other country reached 6%; the top nine emitters accounted for 60% of the 186 nations’ emissions. Land-use effects (e.g., deforestation) on emissions are negligible for most nations, but emissions rise sharply for certain developing nations, for example, Brazil and Indonesia. While oil- and gas-producing Gulf States have the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions, in general developed nations rank high in per capita emissions (Australia, the United States, and Canada rank 5, 6, and 7 respectively in the world), while developing nations tend to rank low (China, India, and Indonesia rank 96, 139, and 121). The greenhouse intensity of the economy — the metric by which the Bush Administration is proposing to address climate change — varies substantially among developed countries (the Ukraine emits 724 tons/million$GDP, while France emits 99 tons/million$GDP, with the United States at 195 tons/ million$GDP; developing nations show less variance unless land use is taken into account. The time frame adopted for defining the climate change issue and for taking actions to address greenhouse gas emissions has differential impacts on individual nations, as a result of individual resource endowments (e.g., coal versus natural gas and hydropower) and stage of economic development (e.g., conversion of forest land to agriculture occurring before or after the baseline). Differentiating responsibilities between developed and developing nations — as the UNFCCC does — fails to focus efforts on some of the largest emitters. Moreover, many countries have not achieved stabilization of their emissions despite the UNFCCC. Given the wide range of situations illustrated by the data, a flexible strategy that allows each country to play to its strengths may be appropriate if diverse countries like the United States and China are ever to reach agreement. This report will not be updated. Contents A Look at the Historic Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Current (2000) and Baseline (1990) Emissions Data . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Longer-Term Historical Data (1950-2000) . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Impact of Land Use . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 5 Implications of Focusing on Emissions Levels for International Actions . . . 6 Alternative Perspectives . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Per Capita Emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Greenhouse Gas Intensity of Economy . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Discussion . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 List of Tables Table 1. Relative Emissions of the Industrialized, Developing, and Top-20 Countries . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7 Appendix A. Relative Ranking of Twenty Top Emitters of Greenhouse Gases Based on Estimated 2000 Emissions . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 Appendix B. Emissions and Other Climate Change-Related Indicators for 20 Largest Emitters . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Conflicting Situations, Conflicting Perspectives Climate change is a global issue; however, greenhouse gas emissions data on a global basis are incomplete. Some developing countries have no institutions for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions and have never reported such emissions to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).1 In a similar vein, data on individual greenhouse gases, sources, and land-use patterns vary greatly in quality. Despite shortcomings in the data, the emerging picture of emissions has implications for considering alternative policies for controlling emissions. First, the picture outlines the estimated contributions of individual countries. Second, evaluating those emissions in terms of socio-economic characteristics (e.g., population and economic activity) provides insights on the potentially divergent interests of differing groups of nations — especially concerning developed nations versus developing ones.2 The World Resources Institute (WRI) has compiled greenhouse gas emissions and related data from a variety of sources into a database that is available for analysis.3 Data are available for 19504 through 2000 for 186 nations (with a separate entry combining the members of the European Union).5 The database includes national ranks on total emissions, per capita emissions, and greenhouse gas (or carbon) intensity,6 among other indicators. 1 For the most recent developments on submissions to the UNFCCC by non-Annex 1 countries, see [http://unfccc.int/national_reports/non-annex_i_natcom/items/2818.php]. 2 The UNFCCC divides nations into two groups, nations listed in Annex I (which under the Kyoto Protocol would have specified reduction targets), encompassing “developed” nations including Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union; and non-Annex I nations (which do not have specified reduction targets), including the rest of the world. 3 Called the Climate Analysis Indicators Tool (CAIT), the database uses a variety of data sources to provide information on greenhouse gas emissions, sinks, and other relevant indicators. Full documentation, along with caveats, is provided on the WRI website at [http://cait.wri.org/]. 4 CAIT provides emissions data back to 1850, but land use data is only available from 1950. 5 Both the individual countries of the European Union and the EU as an entity are signatories of the Kyoto Protocol. Within the EU, the differing situations of each constituent nation have resulted in differing emissions targets and policies for each country. As this analysis is focusing on the implications of individual nations’ situations, we have not examined the EU as a separate entity. If one does, the 25-nation EU would be the thirdlargest emitter of greenhouse gases, after the United States and China. 6 Carbon intensity is the ratio of a country’s emissions to its gross domestic product (GDP); (continued...) CRS-2 This report uses the data compiled by WRI to examine a pivotal and longrunning issue surrounding U.S. climate change policy: the appropriate roles of developed and developing countries in addressing climate change. The UNFCCC states as its first principle in Article 3: The Parties should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities. Accordingly, the developed country Parties should take the lead in combating climate change and the adverse effects thereof.7 The United States has struggled with the “common but differentiated responsibilities” of developing countries and with the pledge for the developed countries to “take the lead in combating climate change....” The resulting debate concerns what actions to address greenhouse emissions should be “common” responsibilities (i.e., undertaken by all nations) and what actions should be “differentiated” (i.e., undertaken only by developed ones). Under the UNFCCC and the subsequent Kyoto Protocol, common actions include the responsibility to monitor and report emissions; differentiated actions include the commitment to reduce emissions to a 1990 baseline for designated developed nations, listed on Annex I to the UNFCCC (and hence known as Annex I nations). Thus the UNFCCC, the Kyoto Protocol, and much of the current debate about actions to control greenhouse gas emissions focus on individual nations’ amounts of emissions. As a result, primary attention falls on current greenhouse gas emissions, past greenhouse gas emissions, and projected greenhouse gas emissions. In this context, addressing global climate change has in effect meant reducing greenhouse gas emissions — for Annex I countries. (A complicating factor is that land use activities can affect net emissions, and the Kyoto Protocol provides methods for taking land use effects into account.) For the UNFCCC, the differentiated control action was for Annex I countries to take voluntary actions to ensure that their greenhouse gas emissions in 2000 did not exceed 1990 levels.8 For the Kyoto Protocol, the differentiated control action was for Annex I countries to control emissions to individually specified percentages of baseline emissions for the period 2008-2012.9 Under both the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, non-Annex I nations would be exempt from these specified control requirements — although they could voluntarily join in. This split in responsibilities has played a key role in the United States’ refusal to agree to the Kyoto Protocol. 6 (...continued) GDP is measured in units of “purchasing power parity” (PPP). 7 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Article 3.1. 8 The United States and many other countries failed to meet this voluntary goal. It was this general failure that gave impetus to the Kyoto Protocol to mandate reductions. 9 Generally the baseline was 1990; the individual Annex I commitments were negotiated, with the U. S. commitment — if the United States had agreed to the Kyoto Protocol — being a 7% reduction. CRS-3 The justification for the differential treatment of the developed, Annex I nations compared to the developing nations is the presumption that the economic growth being pursued by the developing nations depends importantly on expanded use of fossil fuels, which are the main source of carbon dioxide, the dominant greenhouse gas. The effective logic of the differing treatment of the two groups is, then, that the developed, Annex I countries can afford to control emissions because they have achieved a relatively high standard of living, while the developing nations have the right and opportunity to expand energy use as necessary for their economic development. This generates crucial and interrelated tensions: ! First, this approach means that Annex I nations pay an economic price for addressing global climate change; ! Second, non-Annex I nations retain the opportunity to develop their economies using least-cost energy regardless of greenhouse gas emissions; this in turn means that from the perspective of the Annex I nations, developing nations — which may be competing in certain economic sectors — appear to be getting a free ride; ! And third, despite investments in controls and resulting tensions between competing economies, actual global emissions will continue to rise if the increase in emissions from non-Annex I nations exceeds the decrease in emissions achieved by Annex I ones. The intensity of these tensions that arise from focusing on emissions levels is clear when one examines emissions data. To frame this discussion, CRS focuses on the 20 largest emitters of greenhouse gases in 2000.10 The largest 20 were chosen because they represent about three-quarters of the estimated greenhouse gas emissions in the year 2000 (latest available data from CAIT). The data are presented in two tables appended to this report.11 A Look at the Historic Data Current (2000) and Baseline (1990) Emissions Data. A compelling fact to emerge from the database is that a few countries account for most of the emissions. Appendixes A and B present data concerning the top 20 greenhouse gas-emitting nations in 2000. They accounted for approximately 75% of global emissions. The United States led in emitting greenhouse gases (1,892 million metric tons of carbon equivalent, MMTCE),12 at 21% of the total, followed by China (1,356 MMTCE), at about 15%. No other country reached 6% of total emissions; overall, only nine 10 For a more general discussion of the top 25 emitters, see Kevin Baumert and Jonathan Pershing, Climate Data: Insights and Observations (Pew Center on Climate Change, December 2004). 11 Emissions forecasts were not included because individual country forecasts for all top 20 countries are not available. 12 The UNFCCC provides a methodology for calculating the greenhouse gas contributions of nations and converting them to equivalent units — Million Metric Tons of Carbon Equivalents (MMTCE). CRS-4 countries emit 2% or more. These top nine emitters accounted for 60% of global emissions and the next 11 top emitters accounted for another 15% of emissions. Thus one implication of these data is that greenhouse gas control in the short term depends mainly on the actions of a relatively few nations; if the top 20 emitters (or even the top 10) all acted effectively, the actions of the remaining 160-plus nations would be of little import, at least for years. A second compelling fact about those top emitters is that they represent very differing types or situations. The top 20 nations include: ! Developed (Annex I) nations whose emissions grew between 1990 and 2000: the United States, Japan, Canada, Italy, Australia, and Spain (ranked 1, 5, 8, 10, 16, and 19, respectively). These nations accounted for 30.8% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2000. ! Developed (Annex I) nations whose emissions declined between 1990 and 2000, largely as a result of the collapse of the Eastern European and USSR socialist economies during the decade: Russian Federation, Germany,13 Ukraine, and Poland (ranked 3, 6, 12, and 20, respectively).14 These nations accounted for 11.3% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2000. ! Developed (Annex I) nations with free-market economies whose emissions declined between 1990 and 2000, largely because of a combination of slow economic growth and the displacement of highemitting fuels (coal) with alternatives: the United Kingdom and France (ranked 9 and 14, respectively). These nations accounted for 3.5% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2000. ! Developing (non-Annex I) nations, all of whose emissions rose during the decade: China, India, Brazil, South Korea, Mexico, Indonesia, Iran, and South Africa (ranked 2, 4, 7, 11, 13, 15, 17, and 18, respectively). These nations accounted for 29.9% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2000. For the year 2000, then, 12 of the 20 countries are Annex I countries, including 7 of the top 10 emitters. Overall, the Annex I countries account for about two-thirds of the top-20 group’s greenhouse emissions, compared with one-third for the developing, non-Annex I countries. Highlighting the tension between Annex I and non-Annex I perspectives, the number-one emitters of each group are the top two emitters overall: At the top is the leading developed, free-market economy, the United States; in the number-two position is the leading developing, non-Annex I 13 Germany falls into this category as a result of its incorporation of East Germany. The premerger West Germany was of course not a centrally planned economy. 14 The only change in the top 20 between 1990 and 2000 was the dropping out of Kazakhstan, whose coal-based industries collapsed; it was replaced by Iran. CRS-5 country, China. Combined, these two countries account for over one-third of total global emissions. Longer-Term Historical Data (1950-2000). The impact of emissions on climate change is believed to be cumulative over decades and even centuries. Thus a longer-term examination of data provides an important perspective, and implicitly is one reason for the differing treatments of the Annex I and non-Annex I nations. Available data (see Tables 2 and 3) give emissions estimates of energy-related greenhouse gas emissions back to 1950.15 The period 1950-2000 represents the reindustrialization of developed countries after World War II and the emergence of some major third-world countries. This longer-term view of emissions underscores the contribution of the Annex I nations: ! Annex I countries’ share of energy-related emission over the halfcentury is estimated at about four-fifths of the top-20 total. The energy and materials needed to power industrialization after World War II put Russia ahead of China as the second-largest emitter over the time period. ! The relative rankings of several developing countries, including Brazil, South Korea, Indonesia, and Iran, drop substantially using a longer historical baseline for emissions: from the 2000 rank to the 1950-2000 cumulative rank, from 7th to 18th, 11th to 19th, 15th to 28th, 17th to 24th, respectively. Greenhouse gas emissions, particularly energy-related emissions, are closely tied to industrialization. As “developed” is considered by many to be synonymous with “industrialized,” it is not surprising that those countries entering the 1950-2000 period with an industrial base (even a war-damaged one) would have higher cumulative emissions than those countries that only began to industrialize during this period. Impact of Land Use. Changes in land use can significantly affect net levels of emissions. In general, deforestation increases emissions and afforestation decreases them. However, data on land-use changes and their conversion into equivalent units of greenhouse gas emissions are even more uncertain than the emissions data. Therefore, this discussion (see Appendices A and B) is at best illustrative. Unlike the cumulative energy-related emissions data, including land use in the calculations turns the focus of the discussion on developing countries. ! 15 Land-use practices in certain developing countries, notably Brazil and Indonesia, are having the effect of substantially upping their As noted earlier, CAIT has data back to 1850; however, the earlier the data, the more uncertain the quality; and land-use data are only available back to 1950. CRS-6 relative emissions ranks: Their cumulative net emissions from 1950 to 2000 rise from 18th to 5th, and 28th to 4th, respectively, when land use is taken into account. ! For Annex I nations and many non-Annex I nations, including land use has little effect on their relative emissions rankings: among the top 20 emitters in 2000, the impact of accounting for land use on emissions is negligible for Western European and North American nations, Russia, China, and India. The United States’ relative rank does not change when land use is taken into account, although its net emissions drop by an estimated 100 MMTCE (about 5%). What the land-use data reflect are the relatively stable land-use patterns of countries where most land-clearing and agricultural development occurred before 1950. The Western developed nations and China and India, for example, have longestablished agricultural practices; in contrast, Brazil and Indonesia have over the past few decades been clearing large regions of forest and jungle for timber and/or conversion to agriculture, releasing greenhouse gases (or removing sinks). In terms of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, including land use in the equation for controlling emissions disadvantages certain countries whose exploitation of resources and development of agriculture are occurring at a particular moment in history. Implications of Focusing on Emissions Levels for International Actions The data on greenhouse gas emissions highlight issues of both effectiveness and fairness in the effort to address global climate change. Differentiating responsibilities between Annex I and non-Annex I nations, as the UNFCCC has, does not focus efforts on all of the largest emitters. As Table 1 shows, Annex I nations currently account for only about half of current emissions, so their reductions could ultimately be offset by increases from non-Annex I nations. Moreover, contradictory issues of fairness arise. For Annex I countries, the present scheme of controlling greenhouse gases requires them to bear essentially all the direct economic costs. For non-Annex I countries, to the extent that development is linked to increasing greenhouse gas emissions, imposing controls on them could slow their development and hold down their standards of living vis-a-vis the developed nations. Finally, the focus on emissions levels at specific times — e.g., a baseline of 1990 — has differential and arbitrary impacts on individual nations. ! Looking at the industrialization process, to the extent that fossil fuel use is a necessary ingredient of economic development, the emergence of the global climate change issue at this time effectively determines the distinction between the developed, Annex I nations and the developing, non-Annex I nations. For Annex I nations, that energy exploitation has been incorporated into their economies and is part of their baseline for considering any controls on greenhouse CRS-7 gases. For developing, non-Annex I nations, however, economic development will require expanded energy use, of which fossil fuels can be the least costly. Thus imposing limits on fossil energy use at this time could result in developing countries being relegated to a lower standard of living than those nations that developed earlier. Table 1. Relative Emissions of the Industrialized, Developing, and Top-20 Countries Indicator Industrialized Countries Developing Countries Top-20 Countries 1990 GHG Emissions 59.2% 40.1% 76% 2000 GHG Emissions 51.9% 47.3% 75.4% Cumulative Energy-Related GHG Emissions 1950-2000 72% 26.6% 81% 2000 GHG Emissions with Land Use 41.7% 57.7% 70.4% Cumulative Energy-Related GHG Emissions with Land Use 51.7% 47% 74.1% Source: WRI CAIT. ! Similarly, certain land-use activities, such as clearing land for agriculture and exploiting timber, affect net greenhouse gas emissions. Nations that are currently exploiting their resource endowments, such as Brazil and Indonesia, could find themselves singled out as targets for controls. Yet developed nations, like the United States and most European countries, who exploited such resources in the past, have those greenhouse gas implications now firmly embedded in their baselines. ! Specifically, the focus on 1990 as a baseline means that the Eastern European and former Soviet Union nations have the advantage of reductions in emissions from their economic contractions, which will allow them room for growth. Likewise, the discovery and exploitation of North Sea gas has allowed Great Britain to back out coal and thereby reduce emissions since the baseline. In all these cases, the time frame adopted for defining the climate change issue and for taking actions to address greenhouse gas emissions has differential impacts on individual nations, as a result of their individual resource endowments16 and stage of economic development. The differential impacts give rise to perceived inequities. Thus the effort to find a metric for addressing greenhouse gas emissions baselines and targets that will be perceived as equitable is challenging. 16 E.g., the availability of natural gas and/or coal, and when each has been or is being exploited; or the extent of deforestation and/or afforestation, and when either has occurred. CRS-8 Alternative Perspectives The problems raised above prompt the question: What alternatives to controls derived from historically based emissions levels are available? Alternative metrics for taking into account greenhouse gas emissions and economic development include per capita emissions and economic intensity of emissions. Per Capita Emissions. The socioeconomic differences between the developed, Annex I nations and the developing nations lead to considerations about emissions other than simply their absolute amounts. One alternative is to consider per capita emissions: All else equal, populous nations would emit more greenhouse gases than less populated ones. On this basis, the difference between developed, Annex I countries and non-Annex I ones is apparent. In terms of tonnage, Appendix B shows that the top three ranked by per capita carbon (only) emissions17 are developed countries (Australia, United States, and Canada). Their per capita emissions (6.8, 6.6, and 6.3 tons carbon per person, respectively) are double the emissions of the highest-ranked developing country in the top 20 (South Korea, at 3.1), and six times that of China (1.1). From among the 186 nations, the ranks for the non-Annex I countries in the top 20 emitters range from 32 (South Korea) to 139 (India), with China at 96. In contrast, Annex I countries range from 5 (Australia) to 49 (Italy), with the United States at 6. Reasons the United States, Australia, and Canada are so high on this measure include their dependence on energy-intensive transport to move people and goods around countries of large size and relatively low population density, the use of coal for power generation, and the energy requirements for resource extraction industries. Thus, if one were considering how to control greenhouse gas emissions, one way of trying to bridge the different interests of the developed, Annex I nations and the developing ones would be to focus on per capita emissions as a way of giving each nation an equitable share of energy use. For the United States compared to the developing world, this metric could imply constraints, depending on the compliance time frame and future technological advancements. Likewise, this approach could permit most less-developed countries to increase their emissions to accommodate expanding economies. Greenhouse Gas Intensity of Economy. Another alternative for evaluating a nation’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions is to consider how efficiently that nation uses energy (and conducts other greenhouse gas-emitting activities) in producing goods and services. This concept is captured by the greenhouse gas intensity — or carbon intensity18 — measured as the amount of 17 CAIT provides per capita ranks based on carbon only, not total greenhouse gases; the top four by this measure are oil- and gas-producing Gulf States. 18 While the term “greenhouse gas intensity” encompasses all six greenhouse gases, the term “carbon intensity” is sometimes used identically and implicitly means “carbon equivalents intensity” and other times is used more narrowly to refer only to carbon emissions. The discussion in this analysis focuses on “greenhouse gas intensity.” (continued...) CRS-9 greenhouse gases emitted per million dollars of gross domestic product (see Appendices A and B). Carbon intensity as a greenhouse gas indicator has been receiving considerable attention since President Bush decided to use it as a benchmark for his voluntary climate change program.19 Also, the World Resources Institute has advocated its use as an appropriate index for developing, non-Annex I nations.20 A nation’s greenhouse gas intensity reflects both its resource endowment and the energy-intensiveness of its economy. In terms of energy resources, countries with rich resources in coal would tend to be higher emitters, while countries with rich resources in hydropower or natural gas would tend to be lower emitters. In terms of economic activity, countries with major heavy industry, major extractive industries, and extensive transportation systems tend to be higher emitters, while countries without these and/or dominated by service industries would tend to be lower emitters. As noted in terms of emissions, taking into account land use sharply increases the greenhouse gas intensity of Brazil and Indonesia. These variables do not differentiate nations simply; overall, the top 20 emitters (see Appendices A and B) range widely in greenhouse gas intensity: from 724 tons per million dollars GDP (Ukraine, representing a very inefficient use of energy) to 99 tons/million$GDP (France, representing a much higher efficiency — in large part because of its predominant use of nuclear power for generating electricity). These are both Annex I nations; non-Annex I nations have a narrower range, from 183 tons/million$GDP (India) to 329 tons/million$GDP (Iran). But taking into account land use jumps Brazil to 490 tons/million$GDP (+ 163%) and Indonesia to 1,360 tons/million$GDP (+ 518%), respectively (the next largest increase from land use is Canada, at 8%). As a metric for considering how to control greenhouse gas emissions, intensity focuses attention on the efficient use of energy and on the use of alternatives to fossil fuels. Thus, a greenhouse gas intensity metric would reward the use of renewables, hydropower, and nuclear power in place of fossil fuels; and among fossil fuels it would reward natural gas use and penalize coal use (with oil use falling in between). For carbon (only) intensity, the United States ranks number 50 in the world, making this a much more favorable metric than absolute emissions (the United States ranks number 1 in the world) and per capita emissions (the United States ranks number 6). Of the indicators examined here, the United States gets the most favorable results from this one. Nevertheless, in absolute terms, the United States 18 (...continued) (Appendix A ranks nations on carbon emissions only, but Appendix B provides total greenhouse gas emissions. Appendix B also includes data on intensity that incorporate the effects of land use.) 19 Papers outlining the Administration’s climate change initiative are available on the White House website: [http://whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2002/02/climatechange.html]. 20 See Kevin A. Baumert, Ruchi Bhandari, and Nancy Kete, What Might A Developing Country Climate Commitment Look Like? World Resources Institute Climate Notes, May 1999. CRS-10 is relatively inefficient with respect to intensity compared with Western European countries and Japan. In addition, the United States is less efficient than several major non-Annex I emitters, including India, South Africa, and Mexico, but it is more efficient than China, Indonesia, and South Korea. Discussion As stated above, the data on greenhouse gas emissions highlight issues of both effectiveness and fairness with respect to current efforts to address global climate change. Differentiating responsibilities between Annex I and non-Annex I countries fails to focus efforts on all the largest emitters. In addition, contradictory issues of fairness arise, as Annex I countries bear essentially all the direct economic costs of reducing emissions, and non-Annex I countries are granted the right to increase emissions to meet developmental needs. Finally, the focus on historical emissions as a baseline for regulation has differential and arbitrary impacts on individual nations. The result of the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol’s setting emissions targets for only developed nations and focusing on returning their emissions to a specific baseline is twofold: (1) the current regime has had little effect on global emissions, and will have little effect in the near future; and (2) the largest emitters, the United States and China, have not found it in their interests to join in the international effort to a significant degree. Indeed, the United States has pulled completely out of the Kyoto process. Proponents of the Kyoto Protocol may assert that although it is only a first step, it is one that must be taken. However, without serious efforts with respect to compliance and developing world participation (along with some more developed world participation), it may suffer the same fate as the UNFCCC. This history of the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol raises serious questions about how to develop greenhouse gas targets, time frames, and implementation strategies. With respect to targets, the UNFCCC recognized the right of developing countries to develop and the responsibility of all countries to protect the global climate. These goals of the UNFCCC suggest that if there is to be any permanent response to climate change that involves controlling greenhouse gases, then a regime that combines some measure reflecting the right of developing countries to develop, such as per capita emissions, and some measure reflecting the need to be efficient, such as carbon intensity, may be necessary to move the world toward a workable and effective climate change framework. As shown above, globally, a target focused on per capita emissions generally rewards developing nations,21 providing them room for economic growth, with the target’s balance between limiting emissions and permitting growth determining the individual winners and losers. For example, based on Appendix B, a target of 3 tons carbon per person would allow all the developing nations in the top 20 emitters except South Korea growth room, while six developed nations (United States, Russian Federation, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia) would have 21 An exception is several Gulf States that are high emitters due to exploitation of their oil reserves. CRS-11 to make cuts. In contrast, a target focused on greenhouse gas intensity would have more diverse implications for developing nations. Several major developing nations produce considerably higher greenhouse gas emissions per million dollars of GDP than some developed nations. For example, China’s carbon intensity is over twice that of Japan’s (287 tons/million$GDP versus 114). Thus a greenhouse gas intensity goal could be a counterforce to the economic development process for some countries, meaning that the winners and losers of a regime combining per capita and carbon intensity measures could be highly dynamic and contentious. Adding landuse implications would further complicate the regime, and selectively affect certain nations, especially those just now at the point of exploiting forests (notably Indonesia and Brazil). For the United States, a regime containing some mix of per capita and greenhouse gas intensity measures would likely imply a need to constrain emissions over some time frame. The U.S. greenhouse gas intensity is declining, as is the case with most nations, but the decrease currently does not completely offset increased emissions resulting from economic growth. The extent to which targets could translate into economic costs would depend on the other two features of the regulatory scheme: (1) time frame (specifically, whether it would accommodate technological advances in less-carbon-intensive technology or accelerated commercialization of existing technologies such as nuclear power); (2) implementation strategy (specifically, whether it encourages least-cost solutions and development of advanced technologies). With respect to time frame, the data indicate two things: (1) most countries that achieved a significant reduction during the 1990s did so as a result of either an economic downturn or a substantial realignment in energy policy; (2) many countries have not been able to stabilize their emissions despite the UNFCCC, much less reduce them. As the UNFCCC protects the right of countries to development, using economic contraction as an emission reduction strategy can scarcely be considered an option. Instead, the substantial development and/or deployment of less-carbonintensive technology, improved land-management strategies, and other actions would be necessary to achieve stabilized emissions. As noted above, greenhouse gas emissions are closely tied to industrialization — a synonym for “developed.” With few exceptions, improvement in efficiency has been gradual. A permanent transformation of the global economy necessary to ensure a long-term stabilization of greenhouse gas emissions may involve a multi-stage, long-term time frame. The difficulty in implementing the UNFCCC suggests implementation and compliance are still an open issue. The United States submitted climate action plans during the 1990s indicating it would achieve the UNFCCC goal of returning emissions to 1990 levels. It did not. There were no sanctions. Likewise, many Kyoto signatories may not achieve their reduction targets in 2008-2012. The sanctions are unclear. Given the wide range of situations illustrated by the data, a flexible strategy that permits each country to play to its strengths may make it easier for diverse countries like the United States and China to reach some acceptable agreement. The extent of flexibility would depend on the balance between emission reductions and economic cost designed into the targets, time frame, and CRS-12 implementation strategy. Market-based mechanisms to reduce emissions focus on specifying either the acceptable emissions level (quantity), or compliance costs (price), and allowing the marketplace to determine the economically efficient solution for the other variable. For example, a tradeable permit program sets the amount of emissions allowable under the program (i.e., the number of permits available caps allowable emissions), while permitting the marketplace to determine what each permit will be worth. Conversely, a carbon tax sets the maximum unit (per ton of CO2) cost that one should pay for reducing emissions, while the marketplace determines how much actually gets reduced. Hence, a major implementation question is whether one is more concerned about the possible economic cost of the program and therefore willing to accept some uncertainty about the amount of reduction received (i.e., carbon taxes), or one is more concerned about achieving a specific emission reduction level with costs handled efficiently, but not capped (i.e., tradeable permits). Of course, combinations of these approaches are possible, depending on the flexibility desired.22 The data presented here portray a very wide range of situations and conditions among the 20 top countries that represent 75% of total emissions. Significant flexibility may not only be desirable but necessary for them to reach any significant agreement. 22 See CRS Report RS21067, Global Climate Change: Controlling CO2 Emissions — CostLimiting Safety Valves, by Larry Parker. CRS-13 Appendix A. Relative Ranking of Twenty Top Emitters of Greenhouse Gases Based on Estimated 2000 Emissions Country United States of America China Russian Federation India Japan Germany Brazil Canada United Kingdom Italy Korea (South) Ukraine Mexico France Indonesia Australia Iran South Africa Spain Poland Annex 1 Yes No Yes No Yes Yes No Yes Yes Yes No Yes No Yes No Yes No No Yes Yes Source: World Resources Institute CAIT. 2000 1990 Emissions Emissions 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 5 6 6 5 7 9 8 10 9 8 10 12 11 19 12 7 13 14 14 11 15 17 16 15 17 21 18 16 19 20 20 13 2000 Per Capita 6 96 20 139 37 27 84 7 31 49 32 35 79 53 121 5 63 44 47 43 2000 1950-2000 1950-2000 2000 Emissions Cumulative Cumulative Carbon with Energy Energy w/ Intensity Land-use Emissions Land-use 50 1 1 1 38 2 3 2 10 5 2 3 95 6 9 13 88 7 5 7 81 8 4 6 119 4 18 5 45 10 10 9 82 11 6 8 106 13 12 15 42 14 19 24 6 15 7 11 71 12 14 16 120 17 8 12 70 3 28 4 40 18 15 19 32 19 24 32 39 20 13 20 89 24 17 25 29 23 11 14 CRS-14 Appendix B. Emissions and Other Climate Change-Related Indicators for 20 Largest Emitters 2000 Rank Country 1 United States of America 2 China 3 Russian Federation 4 India 5 Japan 6 Germany 7 Brazil 8 Canada 9 United Kingdom 10 Italy 11 Korea (South) 12 Ukraine 13 Mexico 14 France 15 Indonesia 16 Australia 17 Iran 18 South Africa 19 Spain 20 Poland Total 2000 Annex 1 MMTCE Yes 1,892 No 1,356 Yes 520 No 506 Yes 364 Yes 265 No 230 Yes 195 Yes 181 Yes 146 No 143 Yes 143 No 139 Yes 137 No 135 Yes 130 No 120 No 113 Yes 104 Yes 102 6,921 2000 1990-2000 % of 1990 Difference Difference world MMTCE MMTCE % 20.6% 1,643 249 15.1% 14.8% 1,011 345 34.1% 5.7% 799 -279 -34.9% 5.5% 359 147 40.9% 4.0% 322 42 13.1% 2.9% 327 -62 -18.8% 2.5% 186 44 23.5% 2.1% 155 40 25.6% 2.0% 199 -18 -9.0% 1.6% 138 8 6.0% 1.6% 80 64 80.0% 1.6% 236 -93 -39.5% 1.5% 118 22 18.4% 1.5% 147 -10 -6.9% 1.5% 90 45 50.0% 1.4% 110 21 18.9% 1.3% 77 42 54.7% 1.2% 97 15 15.8% 1.1% 79 25 31.1% 1.1% 123 -20 -16.5% 75.4% 6,295 626 9.9% 2000 Per Capita GHG Emissions (Tons C/person) 6.6 1.1 3.6 0.5 2.9 3.2 1.3 6.3 3.1 2.5 3.1 2.9 1.4 2.3 0.7 6.8 1.9 2.6 2.6 2.7 2.9 CRS-15 Appendix B. Emissions and Other Climate Change-Related Indicators for 20 Largest Emitters (continued) 2000 Rank Country 2000 Emissions with Landuse (MMTCE) 1 United States of America 2 China 3 Russian Federation 4 India 5 Japan 6 Germany 7 Brazil 8 Canada 9 United Kingdom 10 Italy 11 Korea (South) 12 Ukraine 13 Mexico 14 France 15 Indonesia 16 Australia 17 Iran 18 South Africa 19 Spain 20 Poland Total Source: World Resources Institute CAIT. 1,782 1,343 535 495 365 265 604 212 180 145 144 143 166 135 834 132 122 113 102 102 7,919 1950-2000 1950-2000 Cumulative Cumulative Energy Energy with Emissions Land-use (MMTCE) (MMTCE) 57,874 19,558 20,940 4,966 10,140 12,828 1,998 4,715 8,131 3,992 1,903 5,744 2,521 5,082 1,150 2,506 1,509 2,774 2,091 4,332 174,754 50,724 30,178 24,716 4,641 11,507 12,879 18,632 6,132 8,125 3,990 2,139 5,744 3,695 5,096 21,821 2,867 1,663 2,788 2,060 4,346 223,743 GDP (millions of international $) $9,680,850 $4,724,163 $983,864 $2,772,730 $3,207,344 $2,063,536 $1,233,633 $825,745 $1,384,896 $1,400,835 $691,772 $197,005 $839,150 $1,383,340 $613,299 $470,916 $364,399 $470,467 $799,397 $360,114 $34,467,455 2000 GHG 2000 GHG Intensity with Intensity Land-use (tons/million (tons/million GDP) GDP) 195 184 287 284 528 544 183 179 114 114 129 128 186 490 236 257 130 130 104 104 207 208 724 726 166 198 99 98 220 1360 277 280 329 335 240 240 130 128 284 283 201 230