The Actual US Climate Policy In Comparison With The Global Climate Protection And The Interrelation With The US Economy

Seminar Paper 2002 16 Pages

Engineering - Industrial Engineering and Management



List of Tables and Figures



1. Causes And Consequences Of Global Climate Change (Warming)

2. The IPCC (InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change) And “Climate Skeptics”

3. The Kyoto Protocol

4 The Actual US Climate Policy
4.1 The US Attitude And Views
4.2 The Refusal Of And The Alternative To The Kyoto Protocol
4.3 The Enron Scandal

5 Climate Policy Positions In Comparison: USA, EU And Developing Countries


Bibliography/ Literature

List of Tables and Figures

Tab. 1: Development Of The CO2-Intensities

Tab. 2: Estimates At Sector Shares Of The Greenhouse Effect

Tab. 3: Worries And Priorities In The Sector Of Energy (worldwide)

Tab. 4: The Most Important Environmental Problems In Selected Countries

Tab. 5: The Percentage Of Climate Relevant Greenhouse Gases (1980-1990)

Tab. 6: Survey Of The Main, Anthropogene Greehouse Emissions In Different Periods

Tab. 7: Energy Consumption: USA In Comparison With Germany

Fig. 1: Contribution of Major Players to Total CO2 Emissions of Industrialised Countries in

Fig. 2: Global Average Surface Temperature, 1860-2000

Fig. 3: Total CO2 Emissions of Selected Players in 1990

Fig. 4: Per-capita CO2 Emissions of Selected Players in 1990

Fig. 5: Importance Of Ozone And Climate Problems In Selected Countries

Fig. 6: The Increase Of International Environmental Contracts (1929-2000)


illustration not visible in this excerpt


Climate Change is a growing threat to the United States and all other nations. But what are the world's countries doing about it? Some details of this answer are listed in this project.

Global warming is a global problem that requires a global solution. Many American citizens begin to take action to fight climate change and its consequences because in the past environmental problems were not on the agenda in the US politics[1] - except in California where climate problems were treated exemplary.

A growing number of state and local Governments and private companies in the USA are stepping forward to address climate change with reasonable, creative, cost-effective strategies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But is it enough to preserve our environment and our climate?

The US President called global warming "the greatest environmental challenge of the 21st century" and urge all Americans to help find solutions to this important problem.

Nevertheless the USA represented itself as “refusenik” for any agreements in climate policies during the last climate conferences (COPs).

Before reading this project I recommend to take a look into the annexes. You’ll find several tables and figures which make it easier to read the following pages.

1. Causes And Consequences Of Global Climate Change (Warming)

Even small average temperature increases (“global warming”) are likely to have significant consequences[2]. A report regarding possible impacts of climate change on the US finds an increased potential for extreme weather events like storms and droughts, bad impacts on many natural ecosystems, coastal flooding, possible water shortages, and many other potentially serious impacts.

The causes of global warming are becoming clearer. The IPCC and many other scientists increasingly believe that greenhouse gas emissions especially from automobiles and power plants which need the burning of fossil fuels are at least partly, if not fully, responsible for rising world temperatures.

It is well-known that the surface temperature of the earth is warming. It has risen by 6 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years. There was a warming trend from the 1890s to the 1940s. Cooling from the 1940s to the 1970s. And there is again a warming trend rising temperatures from the 1970s to today.

There is a natural greenhouse effect which causes global warming. The concentration of greenhouse gases, especially CO2, have increased greatly since the beginning of the industrial revolution approximately 150 years ago. The IPCC indicates that the increase is due in very large part to human activity.

2. The IPCC (InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change) And “Climate Skeptics”

The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)[3] represents the work of more than 2000 of the world's leading climate scientists and estimates that global temperatures will rise by 2 to 6.5 degrees Celsius this century. They also found out that the temperature has risen by 6 degrees Celsius over the past 100 years.

In 1988 the IPCC was founded by the WMO and the UNEP. It was appointed from the UNO to research the causes and consequences of climate change and represents the basis of global decisions and agreements for environment protection.

A little but influential minority of „climate skeptics“ is convinced that nobody (as well the IPCC) knows how much effect natural fluctuations in climate may have had on warming and how much the climate will change in the future. They’re also convinced that nobody knows how fast change will occur, or even how some of human actions could impact it[4]. These „climate skeptics“ are often financed by the powerful US oil and coal industry which has also spent approximately US$ 50 million for President Bush’s election campaign.4 This connection was prooved and shown by Ross Gelbspan in several times.

In front of this background, many decisions and agreements made by President Bush concerning the global climate protection programs are now easier to comprehend.


[1] Source: Oberthür (2000, p.105 ff.), Focus (2001, 28th edition, p.100)

[2] Source: Rotte (2001, p. 11, 12)

[3] Source: URL: http://www.ipcc.ch; Fricke (2001, p. 79)

[4] Source: Focus (2001, 28th edition, p.100); Source (GEO, 07/2001)


ISBN (eBook)
File size
517 KB
Catalog Number
Institution / College
Pforzheim University – Industrial Engineering
2,3 (B)
global warming IPCC US Climate Policy Kyoto-Protocol Limate Policy Positions USA vs. EU and other countries



Title: The Actual US Climate Policy In Comparison With The Global Climate Protection And The Interrelation With The US Economy