South Asian countries face mounting challenges in meeting the growing demand for food, water, and energy for a rapidly growing population. Countries have provided policy support to increase cereal production, including providing incentives by subsidizing water and energy and guaranteeing rice and wheat prices.
Global Climate Change (CC) resulting from an increasing concentration of Greenhouse Gases (GHGs) in the atmosphere has become an accepted and major theme in today‘s world. According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the average temperature of the earth increased by 0.6 ° C over the last century and it is expected to further increase by 1.4 to 5.8 º C by the end of the current century. These changes in temperature are but the crest of the many environmental, social and political issues which will follow in the wake of the changing climate. Unfortunately the major causes of a rapidly warming climate can be attributed to anthropogenic activities such as the burning of fuel, the depletion of forests and changes in land use (conversion of forest into agriculture land).
Climate change is a global phenomenon and a challenging reality for thinkers, planners, policymakers and professionals alike. It is a phenomenon that is likely to impact almost every sector of Pakistan’s economy. Today it stands not only as a major environmental issue but also as a multi-dimensional developmental issue. It was in this backdrop that the Planning Commission of Pakistan set up a ‘Task Force on Climate Change’ (TFCC) in October 2008 to provide appropriate guidelines for ensuring security of vital resources of the country such as food, water and energy. The key task assigned to the TFCC was to contribute to the formulation of a climate change policy that would assist the government in pursuing the paramount goal of sustained economic growth by appropriately addressing the challenges posed by the climate change.
As concern increases over the impacts of climate change, policymakers are seeking cost effective ways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, which do not undermine the achievement of development objectives. The carbon market, which equates to over US$100 billion annually, is an important part of this quest as it allows those with high costs of abatement to pay others with lower costs to undertake emission-reducing activities. In this way, the overall costs of reducing emissions at a global level can be considerably lowered. As many of these low cost emission reduction opportunities are in developing countries, carbon projects could be beneficial for development as well as for addressing climate change. Carbon projects could offer a way of tapping into additional funds to finance development programs.
Are there possibilities for the affected communities to be heard and will the international community be able to negotiate an agreement ? Will this agreement be strong enough and not too late to bring about a real solution to dangerous climate change?
Climate Change does not belong to one sector, one industry, one stakeholder group, one Ministry or even one Party grouping!
The root cause of climate change is the buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases (GHGs), most significantly carbon dioxide (CO2), in the Earth’s atmosphere.1 The accumulation of these gases creates a “thermal blanket” of sorts, resulting in excessive solar heat and energy in our atmosphere.2 Coal-fired electric power plants are responsible for almost forty percent of GHG emissions in the U.S.3 Mitigating the onset of climate change, therefore, will require vast reductions in GHG emissions in the power generation sector.
Can simple government programs effectively promote voluntary initiatives to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions? This paper provides an evaluation of how the Connecticut Clean Energy Communities program affects household decisions to voluntarily purchase “green” electricity, which is electricity generated from renewable sources of energy. The results suggest that, within participating communities, subsidizing municipal solar panels as matching grants for reaching green-electricity enrollment targets increases the number of household purchases by 35 percent. The Clean Energy Communities program thus demonstrates how mostly symbolic incentives can mobilize voluntary initiatives within communities and promote demand for renewable energy.
In response to the 1973 oil embargo, many states began passing building energy codes in order to promote energy efficiency. While the vast majority of states have energy codes in place, policymakers are now attempting to legislate energy codes at the federal level to help address more recent concerns about energy efficiency and climate change. Nevertheless, surprisingly little is known about whether energy codes are an effective way to reduce energy consumption in practice. This paper provides the first evaluation of an energy-code change that uses residential billing data on both electricity and natural gas, combined with data on observable characteristics of each residence. The study takes place in Gainesville, Florida, and the empirical strategy is based on comparisons between residences constructed just before and just after Florida increased the stringency of its energy code in 2002. We find that the increased stringency of the energy code is associated with a 4-percent decrease in electricity consumption and a 6-percent decrease in natural-gas consumption. The pattern of savings is consistent with reduced consumption of electricity for air-conditioning and reduced consumption of natural gas for heating. We also estimate economic costs and benefits and find that the private payback period for the average residence is 6.4 years. The social payback period, which accounts for the avoided costs of air-pollution emissions, ranges between 3.5 and 5.3 years.
Are global temperatures on a warming trend? It is di¢ cult to be certain about trends when there is so much variation in the data and very high correlation from year to year. We investigate the question using statistical time series methods. Our analysis shows that the upward movement over the last 130-160 years is persistent and not explained by the high correlation, so it is best described as a trend. The warming trend becomes steeper after the mid-1970s, but there is no signi cant evidence for a break in trend in the late 1990s. Viewed from the perspective of 30 or 50 years ago, the temperatures recorded in most of the last decade lie above the con dence band of forecasts produced by a model that does not allow for a warming trend.