[Senate Hearing 105-457]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
S. Hrg. 105-457
IMPLICATIONS OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
UNITED STATES SENATE
ONE HUNDRED FIFTH CONGRESS
FEBRUARY 11, 1998
Printed for the use of the Committee on Foreign Relations
Available via the World Wide Web: http://www.access.gpo.gov/congress/
U.S. GOVERNMENT PRINTING OFFICE
46-812 CC WASHINGTON : 1998
COMMITTEE ON FOREIGN RELATIONS
JESSE HELMS, North Carolina, Chairman
RICHARD G. LUGAR, Indiana JOSEPH R. BIDEN, Jr., Delaware
PAUL COVERDELL, Georgia PAUL S. SARBANES, Maryland
CHUCK HAGEL, Nebraska CHRISTOPHER J. DODD, Connecticut
GORDON H. SMITH, Oregon JOHN F. KERRY, Massachusetts
CRAIG THOMAS, Wyoming CHARLES S. ROBB, Virginia
ROD GRAMS, Minnesota RUSSELL D. FEINGOLD, Wisconsin
JOHN ASHCROFT, Missouri DIANNE FEINSTEIN, California
BILL FRIST, Tennessee PAUL D. WELLSTONE, Minnesota
SAM BROWNBACK, Kansas
James W. Nance, Staff Director
Edwin K. Hall, Minority Staff Director
C O N T E N T S
Eizenstat, Hon. Stuart E., Under Secretary of State for Economic,
Business, and Agricultural Affairs............................. 5
Prepared statement of Chairman Helms............................. 37
Prepared statement of Senator Hagel.............................. 38
Prepared statement of Senator Feingold........................... 41
Prepared statement of Hon. Stuart E. Eizenstat................... 41
Additional Questions for the Record Submitted by the Committee to
Assistant Secretary Eizenstat:
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator Helms............ 49
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator Hagel............ 53
1. Office of Management and Budget Report to Congress on
Federal Climate Change Expenditures, March 1998.......... 72
2. Climate Change Technology Initiative Briefing Materials. 72
3. U.S. National Communication to the U.N. Framework
Convention on Climate Change, ``Climate Action Report''.. 80
4. Prepared Testimony of Dr. Janet Yellen, Chair, Council
of Economic Advisers, Before the House Commerce
Committee, March 4, 1998................................. 80
IMPLICATIONS OF THE KYOTO PROTOCOL ON CLIMATE CHANGE
WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 11, 1998
Committee on Foreign Relations,
The committee met, pursuant to notice, at 10:25 a.m. In
room SD-419, Dirksen Senate Office Building, Hon. Chuck Hagel
Present: Senators Hagel, Thomas, Grams, Biden, Sarbanes,
Kerry, Robb, and Feingold.
Senator Hagel. The committee will please come to order.
Mr. Secretary, welcome. It is nice to have you.
Not unlike many occurrences up here, we are getting started
late because of a vote. So we appreciate very much your
Senator Helms is in another meeting and has asked me to get
going. We know your time is valuable and our colleagues are
anxious to talk a little bit about this issue. So we are
grateful that you could come up.
It could be worse, Mr. Secretary. You could be dealing with
Iraq. This is just an ``easy'' subject this morning, climate
I am going to begin with my statement and then will ask my
colleagues for any additional comments. Then we will get
started with your statement, Mr. Secretary, and questions.
Senator Hagel. In the last session of Congress, as you
know, Mr. Secretary, I chaired three subcommittee hearings in
advance of the Kyoto Conference. We now have a finished product
from Kyoto. The administration refers to this finished product,
the Kyoto Protocol, as a ``work in progress.''
This leaves people with the mistaken impression that the
treaty remains under negotiation and that objectionable parts
of the treaty can be negotiated away before it is submitted to
the Senate for advice and consent. But this is not the case, I
think, as you know.
This treaty cannot be amended until it goes into force, and
even then, only by a three-quarters vote of all countries that
have become party to the protocol. Developing countries which
are not bound by any emissions limits in this protocol make up
more than three-quarters of the world's Nations.
Certainly, later actions of subsequent U.N. Conferences
might add to the protocol. It might expand U.N. regulations and
interpretations of how the treaty would be carried out. Later
actions might define compliance measures and enact U.N.
sanctions against countries that do not meet their legally
binding commitments under the treaty.
But what is in the protocol today, including its many
objectionable provisions, will not change prior to it coming
into force--that is, assuming it ever comes into force.
This treaty requires a seven percent below 1990 levels
emissions cut for the U.S. during the years 2008 to 2012. In
real terms, this would be a devastating 40 percent reduction in
projected emissions for the United States. It is inevitable
that this extreme cut in energy would cause serious harm to our
Furthermore, developing countries like China, Mexico, South
Korea and 131 other Nations are totally exempt from any of
these new restrictions placed on industrial countries. A later
change of the treaty requires, as I mentioned, a three-
quarters vote after the treaty has already gone into force.
Last July, the Senate went clearly on record by passing 95
to 0 Senate Resolution 98, the Byrd-Hagel Resolution. Even more
significant than the 95 to 0 vote is that the bipartisan
resolution has 65 cosponsors.
This resolution was very clear, as you know. The resolution
called on the President not to sign any Kyoto Treaty or
agreement unless two minimum conditions were met. It said the
President should not sign any treaty that either caused serious
harm to the U.S. economy or that did not place legally binding
obligations on the developing countries to limit or reduce
their emissions in the same compliance period as that required
for industrialized Nations.
Nowhere does the resolution mention the administration's
nebulous standard of achieving ``meaningful commitments by
As our colleague and coauthor of Senate Resolution 98,
Senator Robert Byrd, noted in his floor statement of 2 weeks
ago, the Kyoto Protocol fails--fails--to meet either of the
requirements of Senate Resolution 98. It fails to meet the
minimum criteria set unanimously by the U.S. Senate.
In his floor statement, Senator Byrd called on the
President not to sign this treaty, and I agree with Senator
I will not now go into all of the details on why this
particular protocol is so seriously flawed. But they can be
grouped in five general areas. These are: no developing country
commitments is number 1; number 2, economic harm to the United
States economy; number 3, fair treatment for U.S. interests;
number 4, impact on our national sovereignty; and, number 5,
impact on our national security.
I expect to ask those questions as we get later into the
This returns us to the question of whether the President
will choose to sign this treaty when it is open for signature
at the United Nations on March 16 of this year and, if he does,
then whether he intends to send it, send this treaty if he
signs it, to the Senate this year.
I hope, Secretary Eizenstat, that you will be able to give
us a clear answer to these questions and others.
The President claims that the treaty, again, ``is a work in
progress.'' If so, it makes no sense to sign a flawed treaty,
thereby giving our future leverage in negotiating strength
away. This would be compounding the President's and Vice
President's past mistakes. These include agreeing to the Berlin
Mandate and publicly calling on our negotiators in Kyoto to
show increased flexibility, which the Vice President did when
you and your team were trying to hold to the President's own
position that he clearly enunciated last October.
The President's position included insistence that emission
cuts not go below the 1990 level and the so-called ``meaningful
participation of developing countries.''
I will be very interested in understanding from you, sir,
what precisely was it that the administration meant and does
mean by ``meaningful participation of developing countries''
since we gave it away in Kyoto.
But if the President believes this treaty is good enough to
sign, it should be good enough to submit to the Senate for
open, honest debate. The American people have a right to know
exactly what the President has obligated them to do under this
There is also a document known as the United States
Constitution. The U.S. Senate has a constitutional
responsibility to provide its advice and consent for all
treaties agreed to by the President. Until this treaty is
ratified by the Senate, there should be no action taken by the
administration to implement obligations under the treaty
through Executive Order, regulation, or budgetary fiat.
I look forward to receiving your comments on these points
as well as others.
[The prepared statement of Senator Hagel appears in the
Senator Hagel. With that, let me call now, Mr. Secretary,
on my colleagues for any statements they may wish to submit.
Secretary Robb--I mean Senator Robb.
Senator Robb. Sometimes I'm not sure, too. [General
Senator Robb. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Secretary Eizenstat, thank you for coming today. I have
known you for many years and have a very high regard for your
skills in a variety of different areas, and certainly you are
unsurpassed as a negotiator. You have just been given a fairly
tough list of questions to respond to. I regret that I have two
other hearings, one in Intelligence and one in Armed Services,
that are taking place at the same time. But I wanted to hear
your opening statement and I hope you will be able to address
as many of the concerns that were raised by Chairman Hagel as
I was one of the cosigners of the letter that indicated
that we thought at the very least we ought to be concerned
about serious adverse economic impact on our own economy and
particularly participation in some form by the developing
I must say that those concerns have not yet been addressed
to my satisfaction. But I commend you on the negotiations with
a very difficult topic, with disparate views given to you from
many participants in the United States. I look forward to your
I may have some followup questions for the record later on.
But at the very least I thank you for what you have attempted
to do, which will probably provide little comfort and not a
great deal of understanding at this point. But I recognize the
task you have undertaken.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I look forward to Secretary
Eizenstat's opening statement.
Senator Hagel. Senator Robb, thank you. Senator Grams.
Senator Grams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman. I would
like to recognize your outstanding efforts. You have spoken
with authority and conviction on behalf not only of the U.S.
Senate but also, I believe, for the American workers, for
families and for taxpayers as well.
First I would like to point out to the members of this
committee and to Mr. Eizenstat that the Clinton Administration
and the Department of Energy just 11 days ago missed their
legal and contractual deadline to begin taking possession of
spent nuclear fuel from commercial nuclear plants across the
Now what does this mean and how does it apply to today's
The DOE's failure to take spent nuclear fuel means that
nuclear power plants across our country will have to begin
shutting down permanently because of inadequate storage space
for the spent fuel. And as you may know, nuclear power has been
responsible for 90 percent of all the cuts in carbon dioxide
emissions from U.S. electricity production since 1973.
As more and more nuclear plants shut down in the United
States, more and more are being built all across Europe. France
is leading the way, and developing nations, such as China, are
about to significantly increase their use of nuclear power as
well as Japan.
Meanwhile, here at home, due to the rhetoric of extremists
and also the lack of a clear energy policy, we are hamstrung,
unable to act because of politics and not because of science or
technology. I cannot stress enough how important it is to
recognize that the failure of this administration to address
nuclear waste storage will lead to even greater economic
hardship as a result of this treaty.
Now we simply cannot meet our energy needs into the next
century by signing on to treaties which legally bind us to
unreasonable reductions in energy output while at the same time
we eliminate cleaner energy by closing down nuclear power
Europe recognizes this, as do many other nations with whom
we have to compete for jobs, and industry, and markets. They
know we agreed to a treaty which works for them and hurts us.
But who does it really hurt? Not Bill Clinton and certainly not
Al Gore. It puts off any real political problem for them until
well after they are out of office.
This treaty hurts moms and dads, grandmas and grandpas. It
significantly will impact senior citizens on a fixed income. It
takes an enormous swipe at miners, loggers, truckers, farmers,
anyone who has any work in energy intensive professions. It
means less income for families that are struggling to survive
and educate their children. It means Americans may have to face
a challenge to their way of life and their standard of living.
If that is what this treaty holds for Americans, it cannot
and will not be supported by this committee or the U.S. Senate.
I think this body made that point very clearly when we
voted unanimously last summer on the Byrd-Hagel Resolution. I
only regret that this administration saw that vote as a mere
suggestion, rather than acknowledging the clear and unambiguous
message that it contained.
I am going to be listening very closely today to hear what
direction was given to the Kyoto negotiators by Vice President
Gore. I want to know how the administration intends to meet the
demands of this treaty. I would like to know how you will
pursue developing nations' participation later this year in
I also would like to know today, as does everyone else on
this committee, when this treaty will be presented to the
Senate for ratification.
So, again, thank you, Mr. Chairman, for your efforts in
holding today's hearing. I am looking forward to the discussion
and for the quick delivery of this treaty to the Senate for
Senator Hagel. Senator Grams, thank you. Mr. Secretary,
welcome again. Please proceed.
STATEMENT OF HON. STUART E. EIZENSTAT, UNDER SECRETARY OF STATE
FOR ECONOMIC, BUSINESS, AND AGRICULTURAL AFFAIRS
Ambassador Eizenstat. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. It is a
pleasure to be here with you and with Senator Robb and Senator
Grams. I appreciate the participation you personally made in
going to Kyoto and the amount of time you, Senators Baucus,
Chafee, Enzi, Kerry and Lieberman spent on this issue.
Rarely has there been an environmental issue more complex
or important, and rarely has there been a greater need for the
executive branch and Congress to work closely together.
I will divide the summary of my testimony--and I assume the
full version can be submitted into the record--into four parts:
first, a short discussion of the science; second, the key
features of the protocol; third, efforts to correct
misperceptions; and, fourth, a brief review of the President's
own Climate Change Technology Initiative.
First, on the science, human beings are changing the
climate by increasing the global concentration of greenhouse
gases. Over the last century, greenhouse gases have been
released to the atmosphere far faster than natural processes
can remove them. There is no ambiguity in the data.
In this first chart (indicating) the actual data is shown
in blue from ice cores taken by scientists. The orange part
indicates also actual data taken from the atmosphere in Hawaii.
What this dramatizes quite clearly is that the
concentrations of greenhouse gases have grown by some 30
percent and especially since 1960. You can see the increasing
slope of these concentrations in the orange from 1960 to the
present date. That slope will increase and continue to increase
The authoritative intergovernmental panel on climate
change, representing the work of more than 2,000 of the world's
leading climate change scientists from more than 50 countries
and representing the best synthesis of the science on climate
change, made a number of important conclusions.
Under a business as usual environment, concentrations of
greenhouse gases could exceed levels not seen on the planet for
50 million years. The projected temperature increases of 2 to
6.5 percent over the next 100 years could exceed rates of
change not seen for the last 10,000 years.
The chart which we have over here (indicating) indicates
both the increase in the concentration levels and in
temperature. It indicates the dramatic connection between
concentrations of CO2 and other greenhouse gases and
the dramatic increase in temperatures which would occur if
those are left unabated.
Increased temperatures are expected to speed up the global
warming cycle. It will lead to a drying of soils and, in some
areas, increased drought. Overall, there will be an increase in
Sea levels are expected to rise between 6 and 37 inches
over the next century. A 20 inch sea level rise could double
the global population at risk from storm surges and low lying
areas are particularly vulnerable--much, for example, of
coastal Louisiana and the Florida Everglades as well as other
parts of the world.
This would also affect human health. It would exacerbate
air quality problems and diseases that thrive in warmer
climates, including malaria, and yellow fever would increase.
It is estimated that by the end of the next century there would
be an additional 50 million to 80 million cases of malaria each
year if this climate change continues unabated.
It would also lead to a dramatic change in the geographic
distribution of a third of the earth's forests. Nine of the
last 11 years are among the warmest ever recorded. Increases in
floods and droughts are expected as global warming occurs.
Some have argued that we should wait. Science tells us that
this is a recipe for disaster for the concentrations of
greenhouse gases in the atmosphere will continue to rise each
This is a problem that has developed over the course of a
century and it will take many decades to solve.
We should look, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee,
at Kyoto as an insurance policy against the potentially
devastating and irreversible impacts of global warming. If we
act now, the premium on this insurance policy will be far more
reasonable and less costly than if we delay and hope that the
problem created by greenhouse gases will somehow go away.
Indeed, it is like a life insurance policy whose costs grow
significantly if we delay year after year in insuring
In the case of global warming, we will not have a second
chance. Failure to act could lead to irreversible consequences
and we will be committing ourselves, our children, and our
grandchildren to a very different planet, and they will never
Second is the actual conference and protocol itself. It
represents an important achievement. But it is a framework for
action, not a finished product yet ready for Senate
President Clinton and Vice President Gore established three
major objectives for us to negotiate and, as a result of the
negotiations, we achieved the first two and have made some
progress, though not enough, on the third.
Our first objective was developing realistic targets and
timetables among the developed countries. These had to be
credible in terms of beginning to reduce the dangerous buildup
of greenhouse gases and yet measured enough to safeguard U.S.
prosperity at home and competitiveness abroad.
In the end, we secured the key elements of the President's
proposal. The U.S. concept of multi-year timeframes for
emission reductions was selected rather than a fixed, single
year target. This will allow our industries greater flexibility
to meet those targets.
In addition, the timeframe 2008 to 2012 was the U.S.
timeframe, not the earlier periods preferred by the European
Union, Japan, and others. This will help cushion the transition
and the effect on businesses and workers.
We also got the concept of differentiated targets for key
industrial powers ranging from 6 to 8 percent below baseline
levels so that our competitors are taking on similar, and in
some cases with respect to the European Union, deeper
obligations than we are.
When changes in the accounting rules for certain gases and
offsets for so-called ``sinks'' that absorb carbon dioxide are
factored in, the level of effort required of the United States
is very close to the President's original proposal to return
emissions to 1990 levels by 2008 to 2012, representing at most
a 3 percent real reduction below that proposal and perhaps
An innovative proposal shaped in part by the United States
allows certain activity, like planting trees and good forest
practices, that absorb carbon dioxides, called ``sinks,'' to be
used to offset emission requirements that industry will have.
This will be a significant way of reducing costs and burdens
and will be a particular benefit to the United States.
Also, as proposed by the U.S., the Kyoto Protocol covers
all six significant greenhouse gases, even though the European
Union and Japan fought until the last moment to cover only
Our second Presidential objective was to make sure that
countries could meet their obligations by flexible market
mechanisms, rather than mandatory policies and measures, like
carbon taxes, favored by the European Union and many other
The Kyoto Protocol enshrines a centerpiece of this U.S.
market based approach, the opportunity for companies and
countries to trade emissions permits. In this way, companies or
countries can purchase less expensive emissions permits from
companies or countries that have more permits than they need.
This is not only economically sensible but environmentally
We have had a very positive experience with permit trading
in our own acid rain program, which has reduced costs by 50
percent from what was expected. This has been confirmed by a
number of experts in a recent Wall Street Journal article.
So the inclusion of these market based mechanisms and the
right to trade in the open market was a signal victory for the
United States. Indeed, we went even further by achieving a
conceptual understanding with several countries, including
Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand, Russia, and the Ukraine,
to trade emissions rights with each other. This umbrella group
could further reduce compliance costs.
Let me be very clear. The commitment we made in Kyoto would
not have been made, could not have been made, were it not for
the flexibility that these mechanisms give us that were also
agreed to. Until we are satisfied with the rules and procedures
yet to be established, the promise of Kyoto will never be
Our third objective was the one that you, Senator Grams,
Senator Robb, and others alluded to, which is to secure
meaningful participation of key developing countries. This is
obviously a concern that the Senate shares, as evidenced by
last summer's Hagel-Byrd Resolution.
Global warming is, after all, a global problem. It requires
a global solution, not only for the developed but also for the
key developing countries. By 2025, the developed world will be
emitting less greenhouse gases and the developing world will be
emitting more than the total of the developed world.
We encountered significant resistance in Kyoto by some
developing countries to meaningful participation in solving the
global warming problem. Still, developing countries may, as a
prerequisite for engaging in emissions trading, which will be
very valuable to them, voluntarily assume binding emissions
targets through amendment to the annex of the protocol that
lists countries with targets.
Some developing countries seem to believe, wrongly, that
the developed world was asking them to limit their capacity to
industrialize. We have made it clear that we support an
approach under which developing countries would continue to
grow but in a more environmentally sound and economically
Let me be very clear. The Kyoto agreement does not meet our
requirements for developing country participation.
Nevertheless, a significant down payment was made in the form
of a provision advanced by Brazil and strongly backed by the
United States. This defines a Clean Development Mechanism which
fully embraces the U.S. backed concept of joint implementation
with credits. This will build a bridge with incentives between
the developed countries and developing nations and will allow
companies in the United States and elsewhere in the developed
world to invest in projects abroad and get credit for it
against their emissions targets, again lowering the burden on
U.S. industry by allowing this kind of participation.
They can either invest or they can simply purchase the
In determining what developing countries ought to do, we,
of course, need to be aware that the circumstances of
developing countries may vary. Any one size fits all approach
to meaningful participation of developing countries is unlikely
I would like, Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, to
deal very briefly with some misperceptions. The first is that
the Kyoto Protocol will imperil the ability of our military to
meet its worldwide responsibilities. This is absolutely untrue.
We took special pains, working with the Defense Department
and with our uniformed military, both before and in Kyoto, to
fully protect the unique position of the United States as the
world's only super power with global military responsibilities.
We achieved everything they outlined as necessary to protect
military operations and our national security.
At Kyoto, the parties, for example, took a decision to
exempt key overseas military activities from any emissions
targets, including exemptions for bunker fuels used in
international aviation and maritime transport and from
emissions resulting from multilateral operations, such as self
defense, peacekeeping, and humanitarian relief.
This exempts from our national targets not only
multilateral operations expressly authorized by the U.N.
Security Council, such as Desert Storm or Bosnia, but,
importantly, also exempts multilateral operations that the U.S.
initiates pursuant to the U.N. Charter without express
authorization, such as Grenada.
A second misperception is that somehow the protocol will
create a ``super U.N. secretariat,'' threatening U.S.
sovereignty and national decision making through alleged
intrusive verification procedures and prior approval of
individual emissions trades. This also is not so.
The review process in the protocol largely codifies already
existing practices under the 1992 Rio Convention. The review
process is not by some secretariat, it is intergovernmental.
Experts are nominated by governments. The review teams meet
with government officials and with others by invitation. In
reviews under the prior convention, the teams have met with
Congressional staff, with representatives of the private sector
and environmental organizations, but only with their
concurrence. Any other visits, such as site visits, would take
place only--and I underscore only--if approved by the host
country, including in this case the United States, and only if
the private sector involved agrees to it.
So the notion that somehow people are going to be swooping
down on U.S. private property is utterly, completely, and
In addition, let me be unmistakably clear. We will not
accept nor do we anticipate an approach that would require
prior approval of individual emissions trades by any
international body. Trading will be done between interested
nations and their companies based on market principles.
A third concern is that somehow on the one hand we are told
it will threaten U.S. sovereignty by dictating national
decisions on implementation, and yet, on the other, it lacks
mechanisms or teeth to verify compliance. In fact, the protocol
strikes an appropriate balance between these two extremes.
We firmly opposed and succeeded in opposing mandatory
harmonized policies that were desired by others and that would
have imposed on us uniform ways to reach our targets. We
prevailed. The protocol leaves to the parties themselves to
decide how best to meet their targets based on national
circumstances. If somebody else wants to do it by heavy carbon
taxes or heavy central regulation, that is their business. We
are going to do it by market driven mechanisms alone.
At the same time, we obviously could not tolerate a free-
for-all. And so, the protocol calls for national measurements
of emissions, detailed reporting, and in depth reviews on an
intergovernmental basis, not by some secretariat.
Finally, there are some who suggested that the protocol is
going to result in a huge government transfer of foreign aid to
Russia. This is also not true. U.S. private sector firms may
choose to purchase international emissions credits from Russia
and from others. This will be a private decision, and, indeed,
it is one of the crucial ways to achieve cost effective
emissions reductions for U.S. firms.
Now where do we go from here? First, rules and procedures
must be adopted to assure that emissions trading rights, joint
implementation, and the Clean Development Mechanism operate
efficiently and smoothly. In addition, we will work closely
with our industries to be sure they are satisfied that the
emissions trading system which is developed is as efficient and
effective as possible to meet their needs. I have already met
with industry and I have told them: you have to tell us if it
satisfied your needs. We cannot tell you.
Most significant, we have to work to secure the meaningful
participation of key developing countries. We will put on a
full court diplomatic press to bring developing nations into a
meaningful role to help solve the global climate challenge. We
will accept nothing less nor would we expect the U.S. Senate to
As the President has indicated, the U.S. should not assume
binding obligations under the protocol until key developing
countries meaningfully participate in meeting the challenge of
climate change and more progress is clearly necessary. It
obviously would be premature to submit something to the Senate
when the Senate itself has asked for this kind of participation
and we have not yet achieved it. That is the great obligation
we have to assume over the coming months and, if necessary,
The President outlined last October a three stage approach
to address climate change at home. As a first installment, he
announced in his State of the Union Message a proposal for a
$6.3 billion Climate Change Technology Initiative over 5 years
to cut U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. These will mean tax cuts
combined with R&D incentives to take cost effective, practical
steps to position us to meet the challenge we face early in the
We have no intention by executive fiat of going around the
Senate's constitutional prerogatives--absolutely none. This is
a down payment that the Senate itself can make to get us on a
path so that we will be ready for any obligations we may later
assume with the Senate's advice and consent.
We in the administration have great confidence in the power
of U.S. ingenuity, innovation, and technology to help us meet
our goals. Indeed, I think this will stimulate this ingenuity
in remarkable ways.
An example is the partnership for a new generation of
vehicles which will get up to three times the fuel efficiency
of today's cars in a recent announcement by the chairman and
CEO of General Motors about his goal for a new generation of
In closing, this administration is committed to work with
you and the Congress both to realize the potential of the
Climate Change Technology Initiative of the President and to
craft our ongoing approach to climate change. We have the power
to lead the global effort and Congress holds the key. What is
done or not done today will determine the kind of world we
leave to future generations and the conditions of life they
But we can not, in conclusion, ignore what science is
telling us. We would do so at our peril. And, again, what we
are looking for is a kind of insurance policy, one that we can
afford, one that is prudent, but one, Mr. Chairman and members
of the committee, if we fail to act, if we fail to recognize
what these scientists and charts are telling us, will be
infinitely more costly to do in the future without action now.
Thank you very much and I look forward to your questions
[The prepared statement of Ambassador Eizenstat appears in
Senator Hagel. Mr. Secretary, thank you.
Let me ask the distinguished ranking member of the Foreign
Relations Committee, Senator Biden, for any opening comments.
Then, after Senator Biden's comments, we will go to questions.
Senator Biden. Thank you, Mr. Chairman. I will withhold my
opening comments until it comes time to question.
Mr. Ambassador, I think you did an incredible job. It is
obvious two major things remain to be done. But when I get to
the questioning, I will pursue those at that time.
Thank you for the opportunity, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. Yes, sir.
We will take a 5 minute rotation period for questions and I
Mr. Secretary, again, thank you for coming up here. I think
there is little doubt that everyone on this panel who has dealt
with you over the years has a very, very high regard for you,
including this junior Senator from Nebraska in the time that we
have had to get acquainted over this last year and a half. I
have appreciated it.
I say that up front because I think it is important that we
all understand our respect for you and the kind of job that you
have done for this country over the years in many positions.
I would like to take you through a series of questions and
I will have more later. My colleagues I know will want to ask
questions. Let me begin with this.
Can you tell us if at this point the President is prepared
to sign the protocol in March? Or when would the President sign
this if he intends to sign it?
Ambassador Eizenstat. Mr. Chairman, the protocol is open
from the middle of March 1998 to the middle of March 1999. We
would plan to sign the protocol within this 1 year signing
period provided in the agreement. We have not yet determined
the precise timing and we will sign at a time that makes the
most sense in terms of the overall diplomatic situation.
The issue that is more significant is ratification. As the
President has said, we are not going to submit the protocol for
ratification until we get the kind of participation from key
developing countries that we want to achieve and that you want
us to achieve. That will be the great obligation on our
shoulders in the months, and, if necessary, the years ahead.
Senator Hagel. Are you saying, then, that you will or you
will not, upon the President's signing the protocol, send it to
Ambassador Eizenstat. Again, we don't know where we will be
between March 1998 and March 1999, how far we will have come in
terms of getting this meaningful participation that we desire
and that the Senate has made unmistakably clear it requires.
If we have not obtained that--and I think it would be a
stretch to imagine that in that 1 year period we will have
achieved that because it is going to take a great deal of
work--then we would not be in a position to submit it. If we
have, we would be. That is the key issue.
So I cannot give you a definitive answer because we don't
know where we will be at the end of the signature period. But,
again, I think, quite frankly, it is a real stretch to imagine
that we will get the kind of meaningful participation that we
desire and that the Senate requires in that 1 year timeframe.
Senator Hagel. You heard my comments in my opening
statement, Mr. Secretary, regarding the process of amending.
Unless there is some misunderstanding here within the committee
and within the rules, it is my understanding that we would have
some difficulty going back and changing any of the dynamics of
this Kyoto Protocol.
Would you take us through how this would happen and how it
would work using specific examples on developing nations, such
as when the Chinese have said straight out--they told me with a
number of my colleagues from the U.S. Senate present--that they
had no intention of signing anything and would not, as you
know, even consider signing anything on a voluntary basis, as
well as other members of the G-77?
Ambassador Eizenstat. No one knows better than I do--and,
of course, you were there as well--the difficulty we had with
some of the developing countries, including China and India. It
was not uniform, but certainly they were in the lead.
First, it would require an amendment, as you suggest, for
major changes in the treaty. However, a mechanism is created by
which countries can, if they wish, voluntarily assume binding
obligations, and that is one of the things that we will be
pressing developing countries to do.
Let me, if I may, mention a couple of things on the
developing country side because I think it is important to
understand what was accomplished and what was not.
First, I see a spectrum of developing countries. There are
those, for example, who are already members of Western
industrial institutions--for example, the OECD. Mexico and
South Korea would be examples and there are other countries,
such as Argentina, that are knocking on the door.
I think that for those countries, they ought to assume, if
they are members, in effect, of an industrialized organization,
the kind of binding reductions over time that we have done.
Second, there are other countries that are not at that
stage of development but who can afford to make binding
reductions or perhaps, if not reductions, at least reducing the
rate of increase by an efficiency standard. One of the things
we have said to these countries is if you are concerned about
your own stage of industrialization, then you ought to be
concerned also about energy efficiency and sustainable
development. We are working on a formula that is emissions per
unit of GDP so that they would cut their rate of growth.
For still others, there may be other ways to meet those
commitments. Bilaterally, subregionally, and multilaterally
through the international financial institutions we will be
working to achieve that result. We, for example, want to make
sure if the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, or the
Inter-American Development Bank make large loans or grants for
power plants and other projects, that they are done in ways
that are environmentally sound.
But it is also important to recognize that the developing
countries did begin a process. It is not sufficient. But we
should not think they did nothing.
For one thing, for example, they agreed to the creation of
this Clean Development Mechanism. This is a way of beginning to
bring them into the process. It has a double benefit. It brings
them into the process, but it gives our companies credits for
any clean projects that they agree to or any credits that they
Second, developing countries also agree to advance the
implementation of their existing commitments under the 1992 Rio
Third, I believe, Mr. Chairman and members of the
committee, it will be a very, very powerful incentive when this
trading rights regime begins and we have international
emissions trading as we already have in the Acid Rain program
in the United States.
In order to be a party to an emissions trade, a developing
country is going to have to take on binding obligations. So
that in and of itself will also create an incentive for
developing countries to take on these binding obligations.
Senator Hagel. Let me just ask a followup question to this
and then we will go to Senator Biden.
I understand your point about incentives and the
possibility of developing nations signing on for the reasons
you mentioned, and I suspect there are more.
Why would we sign a treaty, though, why would we put
ourselves in a position when, in fact, there is no assurance
that China, India, and 132 other nations that, as you say, will
be the biggest manmade greenhouse gas emitters in the next few
years, China being the largest by the year 2015, will join?
And, as you suggest as well, and I agree, if this is a global
problem, it requires a global solution. So why would we go
ahead and put ourselves in a position with the possibility that
these nations would come on board and restrict ourselves to
legally binding mandates, restrict our economy and all the
dynamics of our society when the Chinese and other nations have
made it pretty clear that they have no intention of moving
forward on this?
Ambassador Eizenstat. That is a good and important
question. Let me answer it in the following way.
First of all, we will not be assuming legally binding
obligations on ourselves until and unless we have that
meaningful participation. Let me underscore that. We will not
be assuming legally binding obligations. Only the Senate of the
United States can take that upon the United States, and we will
not submit it to the Senate until we have that, until we are
satisfied and you are satisfied that we have that level of
Senator Hagel. May I also ask: that means the
administration will not go forward in trying to implement any
dynamic of this Kyoto Treaty through regulation, budget, fiat,
executive order, until, as you suggest, it is brought before
the U.S. Senate?
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, sir.
We have no intention, through the back door or anything
else, without Senate confirmation, of trying to impose or take
any steps to impose what would be binding restrictions on our
companies, on our industry, on our business, on our
agriculture, on our commerce, or on our country until and
unless the Senate of the United States says so.
Now, with respect to the signature issue, which was the
second part of your question, there are two factors there. The
first is we believe it is important sometime during this 1 year
period to lock in the kinds of commitments that we got from the
other developing countries and the achievements we achieved.
We got sinks in, we got flexible market mechanisms in, we
got our budget period in, we got multi-year budgeting in, we
got the joint implementation with credits in the form of the
Clean Development Mechanism in. These were all brand new
concepts, literally brand new. Nobody had ever heard anywhere--
not just in the developing world, nobody in Europe had ever
heard--of an emissions trade as we have already been doing
Nobody knew what a sink was except as something in which
you wash dishes. No one had any idea what joint implementation
with credits was.
These were U.S. concepts. We have now gotten countries to
agree to that and we want to lock that in.
Last, we didn't want to isolate ourselves, having achieved
this, in terms of the ability to continue to get other
countries to take this seriously by being the only country in
the world that does not sign the treaty.
Now, again, the timing, you will understand, has to be done
tactically so that we do it at the right diplomatic moment. But
I can assure you that this administration has no plans to and
will not in any way, shape, or form, take executive action,
preempting your constitutional right to make this ultimate
We will push forward with things like tax credits and R&D,
assuming Congress approves it, which, of course, is just
getting us in line for this--but nothing more and nothing less.
Senator Hagel. Thank you. Senator Biden.
Senator Biden. Stu, I think you did an incredible job. The
hardest part of all of this is that I think Senator Byrd may be
right when he referred to it as a ``work in progress.'' I mean,
first of all we finally have stopped fighting about whether or
not it is a problem. I come from what some people facetiously
refer to as the ``State of du Pont.'' [General laughter]
Senator Biden. Fifteen years ago or 20 years ago, in my
State, where the chemical industry is big and the automobile
industry is big, and it is a small State, there was a great
debate about whether this was a problem. There was no problem.
We didn't have any problem. It has taken a long time and a lot
of scientific data and investigation, and the consensus has
been arrived at by those companies and many others that there
is a serious problem.
How you get from acknowledging a serious problem--and we
can disagree on the consequences of the problem and how far out
it becomes serious, more serious--how you get from that
acknowledgement to an international code of conduct, in effect,
is a painstaking process.
So I don't know how you could do it any other way than the
way you are approaching it.
One of the things you said here today is that, although
Senator Kerry of Massachusetts and the distinguished chairman
both have taken intense interest in and know a great deal more
about this issue than I do, and have differing views or
perspectives, the vast majority of American businesses,
American citizens, and American farmers assume that what
happened in Kyoto was binding. In my State, they think that OK,
well, they went over and signed that damn thing and this means
we cannot make a Durango in my State anymore, and this means
such and such--all of which is not true, all of which is not
So the important point--and we only have 5 minutes, so I
will use this time for my statement--is that you have laid out
here that nothing is binding upon the United States of America
at this moment, and even if and when you sign, you cannot, the
President of the United States cannot bind--cannot bind--the
United States. Only the U.S. Senate can do that. And it is
crystal clear to you, a man who knows this body incredibly
well--we have been here a long time, off and on, together--that
this body, to use the vernacular, is not going to ratify a
treaty that does not deal with the two outstanding, more than
fine tuning, problems, that is, the issues of the countries in
question from Brazil to China and their participation, and many
others which I have left out, as well as how this emissions
trading mechanism will, in fact, work.
I just want to say to you that I thought it was remarkable
that you went to Japan, you prevailed on the timetable, you
prevailed on the average emissions, on the budget period, you
prevailed on inclusion of the six gases that contribute to the
greenhouse effect, and you prevailed on dealing with the
military for multilateral operations as well as ones we
initiative, and you also essentially laid in and accepted a
provision for market based practices for trade in emissions.
These are significant.
Now I don't know how you are going to hold on to them, to
be blunt about it. I am not sure how you are going to keep
them. I am not sure how, other than signing at some point,
other than signing, you are going to be able to hold this
center together. You are going to have one hell of a job trying
to bring in the largest future polluters in the world.
But I have great faith in your skills and I just hope you
are able to figure out how in the hell to do that. That is
because, to state it very plainly, and I surely cannot speak
for the Senate--although my daughter thinks I was born in the
Senate I have been here for so long--the truth of the matter
is, absent dealing with the two major issues you mentioned,
there will be no ratification of this treaty.
I hope that between now and next year we can all work
toward trying to help you and the administration in dealing
with the two problems--and there are others--rather than just
suggesting that what came out of Japan is dead on arrival. I
hope we won't do that, because you have forthrightly
acknowledged that you know the hurdles you have to get over to
send this up to the Senate for any practical prospect of
I have an open mind. I think you are correct, and I hope in
the meantime, by the way--I know the chairman didn't mean
this--but I hope that we do not suggest that we should not
independently, unrelated to any other nation in the world,
further deal with emissions issues here in this country for our
own safety's sake regardless of anybody else doing anything at
all. So I am sure, I hope there will be suggestions,
legislative initiatives, and executive initiatives relating to
dealing with the environment that may, in fact, fall under the
purview of what is captured in this agreement, but not because
it is in the agreement.
Again, I thank you for listening. I apologize for being
late and I will now yield to those who have made it more of
their business to be informed on the details of the treaty.
But, like the work in progress, I think this is an educational
process, including educating those nations that have not signed
on on what their own naked self-interest is.
Ambassador Eizenstat. I appreciate that very much.
If I may be permitted just a brief comment----
Senator Hagel. Certainly.
Ambassador Eizenstat. I would like to relate again back to
Senator Hagel's statement as well as Senator Biden's.
When we talk about our own action, I want to be clear. For
example, Presidents for years, Republican and Democrat, have
been trying to put good practices into government procurement,
into insulation, into clean car initiatives. We would continue
to do that so that, for example, the U.S. Government is a
Our military--and I am proud that they are sitting behind
me--our military has been the leader in energy efficiency. They
are already very close to meeting the 1990 targets.
Now, admittedly some of it is because of base closings. But
they have put in real energy efficiency. So I don't want you to
misunderstand. Obviously, those would be going on because they
are good practices, not because we are subverting Senate will.
Second, I have had the honor of knowing Senator Byrd for 20
years. There is no State that has a more direct relationship to
this problem than West Virginia. I have been very impressed by
the way in which Senator Byrd has looked at this issue.
He, no more than me, is not a scientist. But he has
listened to the science. I think a lot of us have.
Without being in any way impertinent, let me just suggest
for those who have legitimate concerns--and there are real
questions that have to be answered--if one believes these
figures, these charts--and this chart (indicating) is not a
projection; this chart (indicating) is a projection, but this
one is not a projection. These are actual core samples that
were done from glaciers and so forth which were melting. They
show this dramatic curve. Then the orange is actually taken
from measurements in Hawaii on top of a very tall mountain.
If one believes that slope, if one believes the science and
the likely projections over here (indicating), one has to say
what is one going to do about it. What do you do about it?
Now, God knows, this is not a perfect treaty. No treaty is.
There are always compromises. But it is a reasonable down
payment on a beginning of that process. It is not complete. It
is a work in progress. As Senator Biden very eloquently said,
the problem is so complex, no one agreement can encapsulate
everything that needs to be done.
We did not succeed as we'd hoped to with developing
countries. We didn't. I am the first to admit it. But we
achieved a lot of other things. We made a first step, and that
gives us the foundation to then go to developing countries and
say now look, we are willing to do our part if you will do your
part, and if you don't do your part, there is not going to be a
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Senator Grams. Thank you very much, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Eizenstat, again, welcome. I would like to go back to
some of the things I mentioned in my opening statement, and
that is that in this country we rely primarily on fossil fuels
and nuclear power to meet our energy needs.
This administration, however, just 11 days ago, as I
outlined, failed to meet both its legal and contractual
obligations to begin accepting spent nuclear fuel from
commercial plants across the country. And, as we know, this
means it could have very permanent effects on plant shutdowns,
on the decreased use of nuclear energy, which is very likely. I
have seen figures which show that nuclear power plants are
credited, as I said, with 90 percent cuts in carbon dioxide
emissions from U.S. electricity production since 1973.
Additionally, countries throughout Europe, again, like
France, are turning more and more to nuclear power. China has
plans for substantial use of nuclear energy now and in the
future, as does Japan.
Meanwhile, we continue to hide from nuclear power thanks to
extremist rhetoric and fear.
Now just how do you and the administration expect the
United States to meet our energy needs in the years to come
given the limits of Kyoto and our lack of nuclear energy
Ambassador Eizenstat. That is a very important question. I
was Ambassador to the European Union for 2\1/2\ years and was
based in Brussels. I travelled widely in Europe and I know what
nuclear power means in countries like France, where it supplies
70 percent of electricity.
I have been a very strong, unequivocal proponent of nuclear
power. I believe that under Kyoto and post Kyoto, nuclear power
will have to play an increasingly important role because it
does not emit greenhouse gases.
I agree that we need, therefore, to look at our nuclear
policy and I might say that when I served as President Carter's
Chief Domestic Advisor, I had on my desk, literally, the
Nuclear Siting and Planning Act which would have speeded up
permitting. It was within perhaps 48 hours of being submitted
to the Congress when Three Mile Island occurred, and we have
never recovered since.
I cannot speak to the DOE issue and would defer to them. I
would be glad to try to get them to respond to your legitimate
Senator Grams. We have tried and cannot do it.
Ambassador Eizenstat. But I will say also on the fuel issue
that we were talking in 1977-78, when I was in the White House,
about salt domes and other ways. I think this country, under
Republican and Democratic Presidents, ought to be doing more,
ought to have done more. I think, again, nuclear energy has a
very real role to play in this climate change issue. On that, I
fully agree with you.
Senator Grams. Has the administration in these talks or in
your consideration, then, considered the regional implications
of complying with the treaty for areas which will have to
replace energy from nuclear reactors, such as in my home State
of Minnesota? About 30 percent of our power comes from nuclear.
It would be awfully expensive to go to coal fired or other
places to replace that.
So has this been part of your consideration and in your
numbers as well?
Ambassador Eizenstat. It will be factored in.
There is a nuclear power initiative in the President's own
budget to extend the life of plants. That is a beginning of the
process. It is certainly not the end of it.
We would like very much to work with you to plan on how we
could make nuclear energy more significant in the years ahead.
Senator Grams. I have just some other quick questions. What
type of economic modeling, outside of the nuclear issue, has
the administration done to determine the economic effects of
this treaty? I want just to mention a couple of things.
The administration attempted, I think, an economic modeling
effort, which has been branded a failure. In fact, the Director
of the President's Council of Economic Advisers, Dr. Janet
Yellen, testified before the House Commerce Committee that the
administration's efforts were ``futile.''
How do you respond to that?
Ambassador Eizenstat. I regret that Janet Yellen is not
here. We came very close to being able to arrange our timing.
Unfortunately, the Economic Report of the President, which is
the Council's major activity for the year, came out at the very
time of this testimony or she would have been here to present
our economic analysis. That analysis will be ready very
shortly, and when I say very shortly I mean literally within a
week or 2, and at an appropriate Congressional hearing we will
lay that out.
I think you will find from here findings that the costs to
the economy are reasonable and that there are, indeed, many
benefits to doing this as well, health and other, and that,
again, delaying action will only increase the cost.
Senator Grams. When you say costs are doable or can be
absorbed, I know Senator Byrd is extremely interested in this.
The United Mine Workers of America commissioned a study which
considered economic impacts as a result of the reduction only
back to the 1990 levels. Some of their findings included this:
Nearly 1 of every 2 coal miners will lose their jobs. 1.7
million more American jobs will be eliminated as a result. Gas
prices will increase 43 percent, fuel oil will increase 119
percent, electricity prices will increase by 94 percent.
You could go on and on. But how do you answer numbers and
statistics like that?
Ambassador Eizenstat. Again, Chairman Yellen will have that
analysis very shortly. I think you will find that it is
dramatically different than those figures that you just
Many of the studies, Senator Grams, did not take into
account things like offsetting costs of sinks, the offsetting
costs of joint implementation with credits, the offsetting
costs of emissions trading. When those are factored in, one
sees that the costs go down very, very dramatically.
In addition, over the last several decades we have had
these kinds of studies every time there has been an
environmental initiative, whether it was clean water, clean
air, ozone, acid rain. What we found is that we can, in fact,
do both. We can have a cleaner environment and we can have a
We have now an economy we can all be proud of: 14.5 million
jobs have been created; an under 5 percent unemployment rate.
And yet, we have an environment that is infinitely cleaner than
We also have, and I think these studies do not take that
into account, something called a Five Labs Study that was done
by the five National Labs. They are totally independent. You
know, nobody told them what to come up with. They made some
findings about what technology can do and how we can reduce the
burdens and costs on coal miners and others by coming up with
what is the hallmark of America, and that is ingenuity and
We believe that we are going to be able to develop cleaner
plants and cleaner cars and that, indeed, having this kind of
target is going to send a signal to the free market to
innovate, and that that innovation will itself create jobs.
Senator Grams. Just one final thing. You mentioned that
there were over 2,000 leading scientists from 50 countries. I
have heard some questions about the names and everything. Could
you just supply me in the future with their names and
Ambassador Eizenstat. Absolutely, and many came from the
United States. We would be glad to.
I think this is the most definitive group and represents a
Interestingly, just within I would say the last couple of
weeks, actually, when we got the 1997 final reports on weather
which made 1997 one of the warmest years in history--it fell
into a pattern where 9 of the last 11 years are among the
warmest ever recorded--a lot of climatologists who were
themselves somewhat doubtful have now said indeed there must be
something happening here and it must be to some extent
occurring from human conduct. So we will be glad to supply that
to you, Senator.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Senator Grams. Thank you very much.
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. Senator Kerry.
Senator Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Chairman, I am going to use a little bit of my time to
make a couple of opening comments, if I may, and then would
While it is not our responsibility here to provide
testimony or anything, I would like to make a few observations
as a member of the Observer Group with you, who spent time in
Kyoto and has been following this issue. Then I would like to
ask a few questions of Ambassador Eizenstat, if I may.
Let me begin by saying that I think it is very important to
underscore the positive side of the ledger here and to
recognize the circumstances in which we arrived in Kyoto.
In my judgment--and I was in Rio, and I was the chairman of
the delegation that went to Cairo, so I have been through a few
of these--we were a little less organized than we had been
previously, regrettably, and I think some of the groundwork
that needed to have been done was still hanging loose for
So I thought that we arrived in Kyoto on a precipice. I was
somewhat concerned initially about a change in sort of the
personnel and the relationships of who was going to be
I must say that Ambassador Eizenstat I thought did a superb
job and I think his team did a superb job of pulling together a
rather remarkable step forward in the face of some very, very
tricky, complex, and difficult negotiating circumstances. I
think the team negotiated skillfully and diligently with a
remarkable stamina. I don't know how they stayed up the hours
they did. And notwithstanding the long hours, I think nobody
lost sight of the focus of interests that we were trying to
protect--the interests that you had expressed, Mr. Chairman,
with Senator Byrd, and the larger economic interests for our
So I think we need to look at the positive. One hundred
fifty nine countries came together with no argument over the
science. Prime ministers, presidents, and whole governments
sent their delegations there with an understanding among all of
them that we needed to do something. There was no issue about
the need to do something. The question was who takes the first
steps and by what quantities and methodologies.
I think it is very important for people in the U.S. Senate,
which seems to be the only place in the world where there is
sort of a significant governmental effort to try to rewrite or
reinterpret some of the science, to take note of this fact of
159 nations making this decision to come together.
Second, I think it is very important to put on the table
the difficulties that Ambassador Eizenstat and others ran into
I was personally taken aback by it. In all of the dealings
I have had in the 13 years I have served on this committee, I
have never in my foreign travels run into quite the degree of
anger directed toward the United States as was just palpable in
our negotiations in Kyoto.
There has always been tension. We have always been, since
World War II, certainly, the larger player on the block, and we
have always suffered some slings and arrows for the perceived
arrogance of some of the positions that we take.
But this was different, and I think Ambassador Eizenstat
would agree with me that it was different. Two reasons
particularly leapt out as to why it was different.
Reason number one is because of our failure to pay our dues
at the United Nations and the sense people have that we are
willing to throw our weight around without carrying our portion
of that weight; that we are delinquent and, because of that
delinquency, I think it has cost us in Kyoto, as I believe many
people on the international scene interpret it as costing us
now in our efforts with Iraq.
The second point is that we went to Rio, and we signed on
in Rio, and the U.S. Senate ratified the treaty in Rio which
agreed to voluntarily reduce our emissions. And every nation in
the world was able to sit in judgment on the fact that, not
only did we not reduce, not even make some enormous effort to
reduce, we significantly increased our emissions in this
And so, they sat there saying who are you kidding. You are
telling us less developed countries that we have to come on
board and you people have not even made a good faith, first
step effort to prove you are wiling to be serious about this.
So there are serious doubts about the bona fides that we
brought to the table, notwithstanding the Clean Air Act, the
Clean Water Act and other great efforts we have made in this
country, which many of us tried to explain to them. But we were
dealing in a very difficult climate.
The third point I want to make is this. There was a very
significant misinterpretation which could not be undone in the
circumstances I just described by the developing countries as
to what was expected of them. And because of the volatility
that was in the air and the pressures of coming to cloture in a
short period of time, there just was not a capacity, even with
all of the delegation meetings that we had, to pull them back
from this misinterpretation.
I believe in these ensuing months, before we go to Buenos
Aires, we have the opportunity to reach out with personal
diplomacy, with bilateral diplomacy, with multilateral, quietly
to bridge that gap.
None of these developing countries understood the degree to
which we are not requiring them to have the same implementation
plan, the same timetable, the same levels. All of them saw our
efforts to include them as a conspiracy to minimize their
growth whereas it is much the contrary.
But because the concepts of joint implementation and
emissions trading and other things were wholly new to them,
without the time to explain them we simply were not able to
bridge the gap and bring them on board.
I am quite convinced that, over a period of time, they will
recognize that what we are really asking them to do is simply
sign on to the notion that this is a global problem with
varying responses needed by different countries.
In fact, China today is taking very positive steps in many,
many areas of the environment and embracing whole new
technologies, many of which would adequately satisfy already
what we are really needing to get in the context of this kind
In addition, there are distinctions between countries.
While China was very adamant, many of us found other less
developed countries or developing countries wholly prepared to
participate, anxious to take part in the upsides of this
treaty, which are the joint implementation and other matters.
There is a golden lining for us, too, with respect to that.
I just met 2 days ago in Massachusetts with the Environmental
Business Council. We have hundreds of companies in our State,
as there are in California, Texas, Florida, and other States in
the country, all of which are pushing the frontier of
technology in remediation mitigation, in clean air, best use,
and so forth.
This notion that this represents a job loss to us is
incomprehensible when measured against the technological
journey this country has led in since the war.
We have enormous ability to be able to produce jobs through
this endeavor, and the experience of the 1980's, when President
Reagan came in and pulled the money out of the Energy Institute
in Colorado is one of the clearest examples of what happens
when we diminish or relinquish our research and technology
The Germans and Japanese leapt to the forefront of
photovoltaics and renewables, and now, as the former Communist
Bloc countries come on line seeking those technologies,
unfortunately there are other countries they go to rather than
us for the leading technologies in those areas.
If we push the curve, as the President's budget seeks to
do, with $6.3 billion of technology effort over the next years,
we can regain that lead and we can provide the jobs.
There are a final two points I would quickly make.
The joint implementation effort and emissions trading
opportunities here ought to also be viewed in their proper
light. There is enormous technology transfer available in this
treaty. It is ground breaking in its capacity to take the
United States and other developed countries' technologies and
assist the developing countries to avoid making the mistakes we
made even as they grow.
This is, I think, one of the most brilliant and important
parts of this treaty. We should look on that as pure
opportunity--economic opportunity and environmental
opportunity. I think it is important for our colleagues in the
Senate to understand the full measure of that opportunity.
In addition to that, it can even be argued--and I regret to
say this--that if you accept all of the science as these
countries have and you come here looking at these charts with
their increasing curves, the truth is that what happened in
Kyoto is not enough, frankly, to turn that around. Most
environmentalists and most scientists will regretfully have to
swallow hard to tell you that truth.
But this treaty merely tries to get us down toward
stabilization and slightly below it. Nobody makes the argument
that this is a level sufficient to solve the problem of global
So we need to be very, very cautious in whatever measures
of opposition we bring to even these efforts as we think about
where we are going in the future.
The last comment I would make in terms of opening is that
the benefits always get hidden here. The benefits are always
overridden by statistics that do not adequately take into
account the kinds of things Ambassador Eizenstat just talked
about--the mitigation, the counter technologies, the emissions
trading, the joint implementation, all of these upsides that
are more difficult to measure. But when you read these
dastardly figures, they do not take them into account.
But they never take into account the upside benefits of
health, of what happens with respect to energy efficiency and
of national security. We have become far more energy dependent
on foreign oil, not less, since the Gulf War. We fought a war
over oil only a few years ago. And, even as we become more
dependent, we ought to be thinking about how we turn that
This treaty has the silver lining of actually requiring us
to begin to become more energy efficient and less dependent.
That increases the national security of the United States.
So the upside benefits it seems to me also need to be put
on the table.
Mr. Chairman, I thank you for your indulgence. I won't ask
questions in this round.
Senator Hagel. Thank you. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. Secretary, as a matter of fact, I find Senator Kerry's
comments interesting. He is right about his sense of the anti-
Americanism which you dealt with every second of your time in
Kyoto. That seems to me should give us even more pause, seeing
that, living with that, as you did, as Senator Kerry and I saw
that strong, intense, anti-Americanism there, even more pause
as to the issue of fairness and functionality of any kind of
agreement we make here when you are allowing 134 developing
nations to essentially have, by the dominance of their numbers,
the sway on this treaty. I think that is a very important
issue. I know it is with American industry, American business,
with the AFL-CIO, that is, will we be treated fairly? Will this
continue, this big, ``Ugly American, you have polluted the
world, you have done us all in, you have taken advantage of our
resources''? That is a concern.
Let me shift to a couple of other areas, to economic
We are all sorry that Dr. Yellen is not here. You may know
that I have asked many times for the administration to send
somebody up here who could talk to us about the economy, some
of the issues that Senator Grams was referring to, major
issues. Aside from the debate over the science, whether it is
contradictory, whether it is unclear, whether it is there or
not, if, in fact, we would go forward here, it is going to be
at some cost to our economy.
Now I am not disregarding what Senator Kerry is talking
about, initiatives in technology and things that we know about.
But the fact is, when you are talking about the kind of numbers
we are talking about here, the administration surely is going
to have to come forward with some economics here, some models,
One of the biggest problems we have here with the
administration on this issue, and I think, generally, with the
people across this country who would be affected most by this,
is where are those numbers, who is addressing this, and that we
are not focusing on the reality.
The theoretical is one thing, and addressing the science is
something. But when you are talking about people losing jobs
and our international competitiveness being questioned, being
imperiled, being threatened, and all that goes back from that--
standards of living and the future of our children--I would
like you to deal a little bit with that issue and when are we
going to see something?
Ambassador Eizenstat. Let me take both aspects because
Senator Kerry led off with it as well.
On the anti-Americanism, I think no one bore more the
slings and arrows of outrageous fortune in that regard than I
did. I sometimes, frankly, thought I was in a 1950's time warp
and that we were in the old North-South debate, rather than the
globalized economy we all believe we are in.
But there are two aspects to it that give me confidence.
First of all, we worked our way through that, and, with our
leadership, with the help of Chairman Estrada, who is a
tremendous chairman, and with the help of other developing
countries who did not take such an extreme position--Senator
Kerry is right; particularly some of the Latin American
countries were much more reasonable--we were able to work
through that anti-Americanism and come up with all of these
concepts--flexible market mechanisms, joint implementation with
credits, reasonable budget periods, and trading rights, and so
forth--that were essential to us.
A second point on the anti-Americanism--and I agree 110
percent with Senator Kerry--is there is a real education issue
here. The developing world did misunderstand what it was we
were suggesting and somehow thought it was imperiling their
industrialization. Their argument was look, you have been
polluting the climate for 100 years and now you industrial
countries are telling us, just as we are beginning to
industrialize, what we can't do. We can show them how it is
good for their economy to be more energy efficient, that
development has to be sustainable to be real. I think with that
education we will begin to get countries on board. But that
will take time. Yet it will happen.
With respect to the issue of sort of being overwhelmed, the
way in which this is structured, this is a conference of
parties. There is not going to be any centralized bureaucracy
which tells us what to do. We have a very important say-so.
Developing proper rules for trading is absolutely critical, and
we will be working with you and industry to assure that we get
Last, on the cost issue, I assure you that Chairman
Yellen's absence here is not due to the fact that now we do not
have a model. Quite the contrary. We have done an economic
study, relying on other models. That study will be available
Indeed, had her timing worked out with the economic report,
she was fully prepared to come here and sit with me. You do
have a right to know the cost impacts and we will provide them.
Senator Hagel. Well, that is reality and you understand
that. I am not sure people in the White House understand that,
but that is what real America is looking at here.
Ambassador Eizenstat. They have a right to it.
May I say, again, that no one lives in a vacuum. We live in
a world of relativism, and we have to look at the commitments
we've made relative to those that our major competitors took.
And, when you look at that, what did Japan assume? What did the
15 countries of the European Union assume who are our major
You will see that our obligations were essentially the same
or even less than theirs. And when you add in sinks, things
that we have particular advantages with because of our forests,
we come out very well compared to our major competitors and
certainly no worse.
Senator Hagel. Well, I think that is debatable. But I will
take that back up in another round. Let me add just one thing.
With all due respect, Mr. Secretary, to your answer
regarding the intensiveness of the anti-American feeling over
there, the fact is you left Kyoto with not one developing
nation signing up. That is the cold, clear fact that we are
dealing with here, which makes all of us very uneasy.
Just one very quick question and then Senator Feingold has
a number of questions. He has been patient.
It is my understanding that, as you negotiated, prior to
the negotiations there was a master document that the
negotiators were working off of. Can you tell me if that is
correct and who, then, produced that? If there is such a
document, would you share that with the committee?
Ambassador Eizenstat. If you are referring to the initial
drafts by Chairman Estrada, a sort of working draft, there were
working drafts with brackets that had been put on over the
course of, oh, perhaps a year of negotiations, where we put
certain brackets around items we couldn't accept and other
countries did. That is the only document I can think of.
Senator Hagel. This is a document that I have been told you
were working off of that showed each country's baseline
emissions and you didn't have any kind of master document--
``you,'' the negotiators, not the U.N. or Estrada.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Our team did have information about
the emissions levels of other countries. But I never had one
sort of master document that I was operating from. I had
negotiating instructions, but not something that you refer to
I would be glad to try to look to see if there is anything
relevant, but nothing that fits the description that you just
have given me comes to mind.
Senator Hagel. Thank you.
Senator Feingold. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Let me, first of all, ask that my full statement be placed
in the record.
[The prepared statement of Senator Feingold appears in the
Senator Feingold. Let me also begin by just thanking my two
colleagues here who obviously have devoted an enormous time to
this. That is in addition to all of the other responsibilities
they have. To devote that much effort to something this
complicated is impressive and I am appreciative of it.
I find myself in the position of obviously not knowing all
the details of the impact of the protocol on the country and on
Wisconsin. This hearing, which reviews for the committee the
evolution of the United States negotiating position from
stabilizing its emissions at 1990 levels to agreeing to a 7
percent reduction, is a first step in developing some
understanding of this.
Some of the predictions that have been made regarding the
impact of the Kyoto Protocol are very serious and concern me.
They need to be addressed and I know the Secretary is already
doing that. But let me begin for a couple of minutes by asking
you something that has already been raised of me in Wisconsin,
Mr. Secretary. You have already touched on it.
Some manufacturers in my State have raised concerns that
the administration will be implementing the protocol without
the United States actually ratifying the protocol. You have
already said in answer to an earlier question about this that
there are no binding agreements to that effect.
But the specific question that has been raised to me was
whether or not the budgetary proposals having to do with $6
billion in tax credits are, in effect, a way to implement the
protocol without ratifying it.
I would appreciate it if you would respond to that.
Ambassador Eizenstat. First of all, on your first question
or statement with regard to targets, the target we agreed to
represents, at most, a 3 percent real reduction and possibly
less, below the target that the President has initially set
before the negotiations. The remaining 4 percent or so results
from changes in the way the gases are treated. We benefited by
having six gases in rather than three and particularly
benefited by a factor of 3 percent or more by the inclusion of
carbon absorbing sinks--that is, forests and things--which will
remove a burden from Wisconsin in other industries that they
otherwise might have had to assume.
Second, I want to reiterate that we are not implementing
binding obligations on this country without Senate
Third, with respect to the President's program of tax
credits and R&D incentives, these are to get us in a position
where we will be further down the road and won't have to make
the kind of drastic reductions that otherwise might be called
for. These are voluntary. Congress has to fully debate and
approve them. They are good energy practices. They are
incentives for industry to do more, similar to what other
Presidents have done in other circumstances. They are not some
covert effort to implement obligations or assume binding
obligations. They are really to make this country more energy
efficient, and by doing so we will be in a better position if
and when the Senate ratifies to meet our obligations. We will
have gotten a fair start.
Senator Feingold. Is it fair to say, then, that we could
have expected those tax credits or incentives to have been in
the budget regardless of whether the Kyoto Accord had been
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, because the President had talked
about those before there was a Kyoto Protocol. We have enhanced
them by another billion dollars to show our earnestness in
moving forward. But they already were being planned and talked
about well before the Kyoto Protocol was signed--excuse me--was
negotiated. It was not signed.
Senator Feingold. I appreciate your directly addressing
that because it is being mentioned to me.
Mr. Secretary, do you see any chance that the protocol will
enter into force without the U.S. ratifying it?
Ambassador Eizenstat. No.
Senator Feingold. How will the administration be seeking
additional involvement of developing countries? I think you
have touched on this, but if you could, say a little more.
Ambassador Eizenstat. We are going to undergo a full
diplomatic press. This will include the following: using
multilateral fora, like the G-8, to encourage our developed
country partners to get into swing with us in encouraging
developing countries to be involved; doing the same in the
OECD; using international financial institutions, like the
World Bank and the regional development banks, to agree only to
fund projects abroad in the energy area which are greenhouse
gas friendly; bilateral efforts.
Senator Kerry, I will tell you if there is one lesson that
I drew out of this, it is that if you go back into a G-77
context and try to get this done, it won't get done. We have to
deal country by country with the key countries involved, and we
will be doing that bilaterally.
We already have, for example, with China the beginnings of
that--it is only the beginnings, but the beginnings--that Vice
President Gore negotiated through a bilateral environmental
agreement. We also will use subregional and regional fora,
whether it is the Summit of the Americas, working with
MERCOSUR, to get them to do so. And we are going to do the
education job. We are going to point out to them the advantages
of assuming real limitations, or at least limitations on their
growth to their own economy.
In addition, we are going to point out to them that if they
want to take advantage of the benefits of emissions trading,
which is a potentially huge advantage for them, they cannot do
that without assuming binding emissions targets.
They are going to see, Senator Feingold--I am absolutely
certain of this--over time, when they see how emissions trading
works and how profitable it is for the companies selling
credits, they are going to want to be part of that.
We are also going to work on the joint implementation with
credits concept, the Clean Development Mechanism to implement
that. So it will be a multifaceted effort. It is one that will
take time, but we are committed to do it. We know how important
it is to the Senate.
But may I say, if the Senate had never passed Hagel-Byrd,
if it had never passed Hagel-Byrd, we would be doing the same
thing because we believe that this is a global problem and it
cannot be solved by the developed countries alone.
Senator Feingold. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. Thank you, Senator.
Mr. Secretary, you alluded to this earlier, but take us
through how this works with the U.N. The U.N. now has over
50,000 employees. Much of the concern, at least from the people
that I think many of us hear from across this country is my
goodness, we are going to allow the United Nations to
administer, to enforce, and what else, what we are doing.
Would you reassure us as to how this is going to work? Who
enforces, who administers? What is the recourse? Say my farmer
out in Nebraska comes in and has somebody test soil. And, by
the way, this is not an exaggeration, as you know. You know
what the appendix looked like in this document, and you know
that Article 2 deals with agriculture, and you know very
specifically what that soil composition is supposed to be. So
somebody comes in and tests soil. I don't know how it works,
but you tell us. Then what is the recourse? Do we go to the
Hague? How does that happen?
Ambassador Eizenstat. I want to assure every farmer in this
country, every person who works in an industry in this country
that there will be no visits by any international body to which
the U.S. Government does not invite them and that they
themselves permit that to occur. It is very important to
Senator Hagel. I am a little confused. If there are legally
binding mandates, you are then going to say that if the farmer
wants to be tested, even though the United States is part of a
legally binding, mandated forum here, that he can or can't be?
Ambassador Eizenstat. What I am saying, Senator, is that
compliance under this agreement--and this is something we
insisted on--is essentially national. It relies on the United
States to do the heavy compliance work.
Now there will be teams. These will be intergovernmental
teams. They will be review teams that will look at data that we
supply, that we, the United States of America supply.
Senator Hagel. United Nations teams? When you say there
will be teams, what kind of teams? United Nations teams?
Ambassador Eizenstat. They will not be from any secretariat
They will be chosen by the countries who will be participating
in the reviews--for example, the Annex I countries. So there
will be Canadians on the team and so forth.
But what does the team do?
Senator Hagel. So we have the possibility of a multi-
national team visiting sites in America?
Ambassador Eizenstat. No, sir--not unless we invite them
and not unless the person on whose property they wish to go
Senator Hagel. And so, if a farmer in Nebraska does not
want to invite a United Nations team in to look at his soil,
that is all he has to say, I don't want them in?
Ambassador Eizenstat. That is exactly correct.
What will this team, this intergovernmental team do? They
will meet with U.S. Government officials, just as they have
already met with Congressional staffs under Rio. They will look
at our data. They will try to verify the data we supply. But
they will not be able to have the capacity to do intrusive
investigations of sites without the approval of our government
and without the approval of the person involved. That is a very
important thing to recognize.
This is essentially self-reporting and it does not impose
some U.N. secretariat swooping down on people not only
unannounced but uninvited or unwanted.
Senator Hagel. But how is this enforced? If these are
legally binding mandates, how, in fact, if that is the case,
what you just said, how do you enforce this? If any other
signatory to the treaty says I am not interested in having you
come look at my coal mine or my farm, where is the enforcement
Ambassador Eizenstat. OK. First of all, Annex I parties
have to have in place a measurement system for greenhouse gas
emissions. We already basically have ours. Most of the
developed countries do. But this will be something that will
provide a baseline for measurement.
Second, there will be this intergovernmental process,
nominated by governments, who will take data and meet with our
Third, we will try to insure compliance with the
obligations by making it clear that countries that are not in
compliance with the reporting requirements cannot receive
credits for joint implementation projects.
Now, fourth, there is a need--and this will be elaborated
also, and this is why we call it a work in progress--this will
also have to be elaborated, the precise rules that will govern
compliance and enforcement. We have this kind of outlined but
it needs to be filled in.
Senator Hagel. So we don't yet know how this will work.
Ambassador Eizenstat. What we do know is there won't be any
intrusive, unwanted, uninvited visits. What we do know is that
it relies largely on national compliance. What we do know is
that there is not going to be some international secretariat
insisting on compliance. It will be done through an
intergovernmental process in which we are fully involved.
Filling out the details of that framework--and that is why
I call this a framework for action--will be the work over the
next months and years. But we have taken out those concerns
that people had, Senator Hagel, that there would be again some
intrusive, U.N. mandated search, swooping down unannounced,
uninvited, and unwanted. That will not happen.
Senator Hagel. When you say you have taken them out, you
took them out of what?
Ambassador Eizenstat. We assured that that was not in the
Senator Hagel. So those are unfounded concerns across
Ambassador Eizenstat. They are completely unfounded
Senator Hagel. OK.
Senator Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Mr. Secretary, in response to the chairman's comment and
inquiry simultaneously about the 134 developing countries and
the atmosphere and us being pushed around by that, it struck me
that, to the contrary, we were remarkably successful in holding
our ground and achieving sort of a common sense conclusion
based on the merits of our arguments.
I thought you might just sort of summarize, if you would,
please, what you thought were the list of sort of
accomplishments with respect to what we went in to fight for
and what we came out with. Just make sure we are clear on the
Ambassador Eizenstat. I think it is very important in
response to Senator Kerry's comments, and, Senator Hagel, you
obviously saw that as well, that we recognize what was
The United States of America does not allow itself to be
pushed around by anybody, and we did not. We got multi-year
budgeting, rather than having 1 year, which other countries did
not want. We got our budget period, 2008 to 2012, rather than
the Secretariats, and the EU's, and Japan's, and the developing
countries' earlier budgets which they wanted.
We got the joint implementation with credit concept through
the Clean Development Mechanism.
We got emissions trading and the kind of enforcement and
compliance we did. All of those were done notwithstanding the
opposition, because we had clear positions, we had clear
negotiating instructions from the President and Vice President.
We stuck to those. We achieved reasonable targets and
timetables. We got flexible mechanisms. All of those were
Now you were absolutely right, Senator Hagel. We did not
get the binding obligations by developing countries. That is
what we have to work on.
But, my goodness, when you look at the opposition that we
had to all of these other things, Senator Kerry, we got all of
these, notwithstanding not only the objections of developing
countries but those of the European Union as well. The six
gases is another example.
This is something that not only our environmental community
but the business community that was in Kyoto insisted on. The
EU and Japan did not want six gases. They only wanted three
because it made their numbers look better. That's number one.
Number two, they knew that they had rapidly growing gases in
the other three areas, more so perhaps than we did. They did
not want to cover it.
We said no deal unless it's six gases. We got six gases
covered. That also gives us at least a percent off of our
The sinks are another example. Again, this is a novel
concept, the notion that good forestry practices would somehow
count in favor of our targets so that we could take them as
credits. Again, we probably get 4 percent or so on that, 3 or 4
percent. That was a new concept, not something that was
immediately approved by either the developed or developing
world. We worked through that opposition.
Let me put it very bluntly. Every country, however anti-
American their rhetoric may have been, knew there was not going
to be an agreement unless the United States of America was a
player and its essential requirements were provided for.
That does not mean we got everything we wanted. But we got
virtually everything that we came looking for except the
developing country piece. We got a down payment on that with
the joint implementation with credits and with other provisions
that I have mentioned, and that is what we had to work on.
Senator Kerry. Thank you very much.
In addition, there are many CEOs of various companies in
this country who are very excited about the prospects of what
this treaty can accomplish. There are businesses that are very
supportive of it as there are some that are concerned about it.
You can draw the lines fairly clearly about what interests are
But I wonder if you would share with the committee and
those interested for the record why joint implementation,
emissions trading, and the Clean Development Mechanism are, in
fact, cause for business to view this positively and what you
think the upside for business is as a result.
Ambassador Eizenstat. There are several upsides. First of
all, when I was Under Secretary of Commerce for International
Trade, one of the areas that is the fastest growing export area
is environmental exports. We indeed created a whole new unit
for environmental exports. With Kyoto, we are going to find
that the demand under the Clean Development Mechanism, under
joint implementation with credits, as developing countries want
more of this technology is going to be fantastic. The number of
jobs that will be created through environmental exports,
measurement devices and the like, is just going to be
tremendous. It is really going to be an enormous growth area.
Second, what our industries said to us is don't impose
carbon taxes, don't put in a top/down regulatory system. Give
us the flexibility to meet these targets by market driven
mechanisms, and that is what emissions trading really does. It
gives a company, a utility in Nebraska or in Massachusetts the
opportunity to joint venture in India, Pakistan, South Korea,
or China, and not only provide that country with an incentive
to begin to get involved in cleaning this problem up but in
getting a credit to boot so that they don't have to put on an
additional scrubber, perhaps, so they don't have to take
additional demands on their own shoulders.
In other words, it is the cheapest, most efficient way
economically and it is environmentally sound because it will
encourage developing countries who want to sell these credits
and developed countries under Annex I to do as much as possible
to have excess credits that they can sell. The same is with the
joint implementation and Clean Development Mechanism. This is a
bridge between the developed and the developing world. It is a
partnership. Again, a company in Nebraska or in Massachusetts
can do one of two things.
It can invest in that particular power plant or forestry
project in a developing country; but if it does not want to
invest, it can just purchase the credit that comes from it.
So in all of these ways, we have done what industry wanted,
which is to provide flexible, nongovernmentally driven, non-tax
Senator Kerry. Mr. Chairman, I know my time is up, but may
I just ask one more question because I have to leave?
Senator Hagel. Yes, sure.
Senator Kerry. I appreciate that.
Recently, there was a letter, the so-called Compass letter
to the President from a number of former national security
personnel, and this letter, signed by Jeane Kirkpatrick,
Richard Cheney, Caspar Weinberger and others, suggested that
the Kyoto Treaty threatens to limit the exercise of American
military power: ``by exempting only U.S. military exercises
that are multinational or humanitarian, unilateral military
actions, as in Grenada, Panama, and Libya, will become
politically and diplomatically more difficult.''
I know that this is not, in fact, the case. But I would
like to ask you, for the record, if you would address that
question so we can try to answer it.
Ambassador Eizenstat. First of all, there is not one person
on that list that I do not respect. Each has served his or her
country in very positive ways and what they say has, therefore,
to be taken seriously.
It is, unfortunately, completely incorrect. Everybody is
entitled to at least one mistake in life.
If they would have checked with our uniformed military and
with our Defense Department, they would know that every
requirement the Defense Department and the uniformed military
who were at Kyoto by my side said they wanted they got.
This is self-defense, peacekeeping, humanitarian relief,
and they even mention in there that this would not have covered
Grenada. That is not so. That is not so. It covers not only
multilateral operations expressly authorized by the Security
Council, like Desert Storm in Bosnia, it also covers
multilateral operations we initiate pursuant to the right of
self-defense. Under the U.N. Charter, it does not have to be
authorized by the U.N. A perfect example of that is Grenada.
When President Reagan went into Grenada to relieve that
island of its communist dictators, it was a multilateral effort
that we initiated. It wasn't done pursuant to the United
Nations, but it was, in effect, pursuant to the Charter but not
authorized by them. That is perfectly permissible.
We got bunker fuels covered.
There was also a concern by our military because of our
unique situation with NATO where we have troops based in South
Korea and in Europe and in many other countries that, somehow,
countries would want to throw out U.S. troops, because they
would be concerned that somehow the emissions coming from bases
and so forth would count against them.
We got that taken care of by allowing a negotiation. We are
willing to assume that ourselves.
So I think it is a fair statement to say that our military
really believes that we did what they wanted, that we produced
what they wanted. And if there is anything else that is
required, which I do not believe there to be, that can
certainly be taken care of in implementing legislation.
Senator Kerry. Mr. Secretary, thank you. I know that people
in public life are easy targets these days and public servants
do not get a lot of credit. But I will say that you and your
entire team, I wish people in this country could have seen how
hard, expertly and diligently you all labored on our behalf
there. I thought it was a terrific job and I thank you for it.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Kerry. Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
Senator Hagel. Senator Kerry, thank you.
Mr. Secretary, if I could pick up on where Senator Kerry
left off on the military issue, the Compass letter, you
probably saw the full page ad in the paper this morning.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, I did.
Senator Hagel. There is another aspect of it which is
national sovereignty. I would very much like to ask you to
respond to that as well. But let's keep on the military point
for a moment.
Are you saying that what essentially we have agreed to here
would cover all United States unilateral military activity,
that there is, in fact, a blanket exemption for our national
Ambassador Eizenstat. What I'm saying is that we took care
of those concerns the military had and that includes those
actions we unilaterally initiate that have a multilateral
component, as almost everything we do does.
For example, in Grenada we did not go to the Security
Council. President Reagan did not go to the Security Council,
but he involved some of the Caribbean countries in that process
because we obviously want to have that kind of coalition. Those
are fully covered, even if the U.N. Security Council never
Senator Hagel. So, in essence, there is a blanket exemption
for the United States military here?
Ambassador Eizenstat. There is the kind of exemption that
they wanted. Yes, sir.
Senator Hagel. Does that mean a blanket exemption? Did they
ask for a blanket exemption?
Ambassador Eizenstat. They asked for what we gave them.
That's what they asked for. I'm not trying to be coy. We asked
them what do you need and this is what they told us and this is
Senator Hagel. So if I would ask any of our commanders,
they would give me the same answer.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Well, if they were the same ones that
were with me, they certainly would, and I hope that that is the
Senator Hagel. You hope it is the case?
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, sir, because----
Senator Hagel. I want a little more precise answer than
that, Mr. Secretary.
Ambassador Eizenstat. I'll give you a precise answer.
Senator Hagel. I'm asking you a question of whether, in
fact, they asked for a blanket exemption--and I don't know that
Ambassador Eizenstat. I can tell you that in the meetings I
participated in--I don't know what happened in Virginia, but I
can tell you in the meetings I participated in--we asked them
what do you need. They told us and we got them for us. I also
understand, although I was not privy to this, that there was a
briefing by our uniformed military and our Defense Department
of the committee that is responsible, the Armed Services
Committee, in either the Senate or the House that asked these
questions and that our military said that they were satisfied.
Now I have only that to go on and that is as precise an answer
as I can give you.
They told me that this is what they needed. This is what
they produced and I am told they are satisfied with it.
Senator Hagel. When we say ``they,'' or when you say
``they,'' who does that mean? Does that mean the Chairman of
the Joint Chiefs of Staff or each of the Chiefs of the various
services? You don't know?
Ambassador Eizenstat. I know that there was in Kyoto a
representative of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who represented
himself as representing the views of the Joint Chiefs of Staff,
and I wouldn't say he kissed me, but he came darn close to it
in terms of telling me how much he appreciated what we had done
and that they were satisfied with what was done.
Senator Hagel. Well, if you would, provide for the record,
since there is, I think, some unclear communication here,
number 1, what, in fact, was requested by the military; number
2, who, in fact, requested it from the military; and, number 3,
was there any change or deviance from that request. I think if
we get those three questions answered, that would give us a
clearer understanding of what exactly they asked for and who
asked for it.
[The information referred to appears in the appendix.]
Senator Hagel. May I go back, Mr. Secretary, to a previous
conversation we had on administration implementation of this?
You made it pretty clear that the United Nations, that is, it
is still unclear as to what exactly their role is, but you made
it very clear that they would not be administering or
implementing this treaty.
That, then leads me to believe that there would be agencies
of our government that would be implementing the treaty, I
suspect agencies such as the EPA.
If this, in fact, is correct--and please direct me in the
right area here as to how we comply--what new laws and
regulations will be required and how will you move on those new
laws and regulations in order for us to be in compliance?
Ambassador Eizenstat. That is something that we will be
working on in the coming months and we will be able to give you
a more precise indication of that.
I can give you one example of something that would require
legislation if you ratify the treaty. It is this.
We would want to do not only an international trading
regime but we would have to do a domestic trading effort and
that would require legislation.
In terms of the enforcement process, I am not immediately
aware of anything that would require new legislation. I think
it can all be done within existing authorities. But certainly
if something arises, we will be working very closely to tell
you. But I am not aware in the enforcement area that we require
Senator Hagel. And, as you said earlier, we don't need to
worry about now because that won't happen, and it will not
happen until the President would sign the treaty and the Senate
would ratify it, is that correct?
Ambassador Eizenstat. That is correct.
Senator Hagel. Have you any idea on the cost of compliance
by industry or by region? Do we have any of those numbers? Have
we looked at any of those things?
Ambassador Eizenstat. With your permission, again, I am not
an economist. I have enough problems being a lawyer and don't
have to take that additional burden on. But Janet Yellen will
be testifying at the next available opportunity. Again, she
would have been able to testify here had we been able to work
out the timing with the Economic Report. We will try to give
you the best macroeconomic analysis we can.
Senator Hagel. But surely, Mr. Secretary, as you negotiated
this and those prior to your tenure would have had to factor in
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, sir, we did. We had with us a
representative, John Gruber, from the Treasury Department, who
had his handy computer, who at every turn, every time we made
any significant proposal or we received one, factored the costs
in. He was in constant contact with Washington, with Treasury,
and with the Council of Economic Advisors. We did not sneeze
without getting an economic analysis of it.
Senator Hagel. You know, that is all interesting. But I
find it even more interesting that you used those numbers and
you used some format for modeling. You had to. Certainly there
is something available. But yet, we have never been able to get
any of that.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Well, as the World Resources
Institute has indicated, there are scores of models. The models
depend on different assumptions.
Senator Hagel. But I am talking about the ones that you
used to negotiate the deal in Kyoto.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Yes, sir.
Senator Hagel. That is the only one I have ever been
interested in and I think my colleagues, too, as to how did you
then use the economic piece of this and how was that factored
in; also what numbers did you use and where did they come from?
Ambassador Eizenstat. They came from Treasury and the
Council of Economic Advisors, which, in turn, relied on other
models, which they will be prepared, which Janet Yellen will be
prepared to testify about in great detail.
Senator Hagel. And we will look forward to that.
Mr. Secretary, we have kept you for a long time. As always,
we are grateful for you and the work you do for this country.
Ambassador Eizenstat. Thank you, Senator.
Senator Hagel. Am I supposed to do anything else? I guess I
should just remind you that for all comments, additional
points, anything for the record, we will keep it open for a
couple of days. I will be sending up some additional questions
Ambassador Eizenstat. Thank you for your courtesy.
Senator Hagel. Mr. Secretary, thank you.
[Whereupon, at 12:20 p.m., the hearing was concluded.]
A P P E N D I X
Prepared Statement of Chairman Helms
Senator Helms. The Committee meets today to begin consideration of
the Agreement reached in Kyoto, Japan, in December regarding global
climate change. This is the first time that the Committee will hear an
assessment of the Kyoto Agreement by the distinguished Under Secretary
of State for Economic Affairs Stuart Eizenstat. Secretary Eizenstat was
brought in at the 11th hour to head the U.S. negotiating team in Kyoto.
Mr. Secretary, I think you are aware of my personal respect for
you. For that reason, I must be frank: I believe that the
Administration's policy on climate change, and the Agreement reached in
Kyoto, are wrong-headed and bode ill for the United States.
The United States currently has a treaty commitment to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000. That is under
the U.N. Convention on Climate Change. I think we can all agree that
the U.S. will not meet that unrealistic goal. So I am at a loss as to
why this Administration decided it was a good idea to go ahead and
negotiate a follow-on Protocol to that obviously flawed treaty, which
contains an even more extensive mandate and even more intrusive
enforcement of the greenhouse gas emissions goals?
Why would the Administration--knowing full well that the United
States cannot, and will not, meet the goals set in 1992--begin a
massive campaign (headed, incidentally, by former Under Secretary for
Global Affairs Tim Wirth) to press for a new, legally enforceable,
treaty designed to try to force additional action?
Mr. Secretary, despite all their best efforts, the U.N. bureaucrats
and the extremist environmental groups could not persuade the Bush
Administration to sign onto a legally enforceable climate agreement in
1992. Their agenda in Kyoto was to get this Administration to do what
the Bush Administration refused to do--that is, set a process in place
that would lead to a legally binding international obligation.
Apparently they succeeded.
I am, quite frankly, appalled that the Administration is seeking to
end run the legislative process, and present the Kyoto Protocol to
Congress as a fait accompli. In pushing forward this treaty policy, the
Administration is attempting to circumvent Congress and thereby shift
decision-making authority over U.S. energy policy to a small group of
unelected U.N. bureaucrats and the foreign competitors of the United
Mr. Secretary, I cannot and will not let this happen on my watch.
I could detail some of the worst aspects of the Kyoto Protocol, but
I will leave that to my distinguished colleague, Senator Hagel. Senator
Hagel was in Kyoto during negotiations and I regard him as the Senate's
foremost expert on the defects and deficiencies of the Kyoto Protocol.
Let me conclude by saying this: The President ought to slow down
and take the time to read the tea leaves--scrap this defective Kyoto
Protocol and reject the whole Kyoto negotiating process. Clearly, the
developing world has no interest in the process except as a foreign aid
cash cow. The Protocol is premised on the faulty idea that global
changes can occur only when certain countries are asked to make
commitments. In any event, this Kyoto Protocol has practically no
chance of being ratified by the Senate, not on my watch.
If the Administration will come clean on its climate policy, and
submit specific changes in law it would propose for the United States,
it might possibly present an achievable plan to Congress. But not this
turkey that took flight at Kyoto.
Let me spell it out: If the Clinton Administration insists on
standing by this misguided treaty, then the Administration should
submit the Kyoto Protocol immediately to the Senate. We will debate it,
and vote up or down on it. Because we have a moral obligation to let
American businesses--and the workers whose jobs may hang in the
balance--know whether they will be required to take on these enormous
economic obligations in the next decade.
Prepared Statement of Senator Hagel
Today, we are conducting the first Senate hearing since the
conclusion of the U.N. global climate conference last December in
Kyoto, Japan, and we have with us the chief U.S. negotiator of this
treaty, Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat.
In the last session of Congress, a number of hearings were held in
the Senate in advance of the Kyoto conference, including three in the
Foreign Relations Subcommittee on International Economic Policy, Export
and Trade Promotion, which I chair. I expect that the focus of today's
hearing will be somewhat different, because we now have a finished
product: the Kyoto Protocol. This is a document of 27 pages, 24
Articles, and two Annexes. It is a treaty now awaiting the signature
and ratification of the participating countries, including the United
The Administration refers to the Kyoto Protocol as a ``work in
progress.'' This leaves people with the mistaken impression that the
treaty remains under negotiation and that objectionable parts of the
treaty can be negotiated away before it is submitted to the Senate for
Advice and Consent. That is not the case.
This treaty cannot be amended until it goes into force, and even
then, only by a three-quarters vote of all countries that have become
party to the Protocol. Developing countries, which are not bound by any
emissions limits, make up more than three-quarters of the world's
Certainly, later actions of subsequent U.N. conferences might add
to the Protocol. It might expand U.N. regulations and interpretations
of how the treaty would be carried out. Later actions might define
compliance measures and enact U.N. sanctions against countries that do
no meet their legally-binding commitments under the treaty. But what is
in the Protocol today, including its many objectionable provisions,
will not change prior to it coming into force--assuming it ever comes
This treaty requires a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of
seven percent below 1990 levels for the U.S. during the years 2008 to
2012. In real terms that would be a devastating 40 percent reduction in
projected emissions for the U.S.! It is inevitable that this extreme
cut in energy use would cause serious harm to our economy. Furthermore,
developing countries like China, Mexico, India, South Korea and 130
other nations are totally exempt from any of the new restrictions
placed on industrial countries. To later change the treaty requires a
three-fourths vote after the treaty has already gone into force.
Last July, the Senate provided its advice to the Administration
regarding this treaty and went clearly on the record by passing Senate
Resolution 98, the Byrd-Hagel resolution, on a vote of 95 to zero. It
is rare that a resolution critical of a major element of an
Administration's foreign policy would receive such unanimous support in
the United States Senate. Even more significant than the 95-0 vote is
that this bipartisan resolution had 65 cosponsors, including 18 of my
The Byrd-Hagel Resolution was very clear.
The resolution called on the President not to sign any Kyoto treaty
or agreement unless two minimum conditions were met.
First, the Byrd-Hagel Resolution directed the President not to sign
any treaty that placed legally-binding obligations on the United States
to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions ``. . . unless the protocol
or agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit
or reduce Greenhouse Gas emissions for Developing-Country Parties
within the same compliance period.'' Nowhere does the resolution
mention the Administration's nebulous standard of achieving
``meaningful commitments by key developing countries.'' The Byrd-Hagel
Resolution was very clear--the United States should not sign a any
global climate treaty that does not include binding commitments for the
developing countries, such as China, Mexico, India, Brazil and South
Korea, in the same time frame as the U.S. The Kyoto Protocol does not
include a single developing nation.
Second, the Byrd-Hagel Resolution said that the President should
not sign any treaty that ``. . . would result in serious harm to the
economy of the United States.'' The Kyoto Protocol would legally bind
the United States to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions to seven
percent below 1990 levels by the years 2008 to 2012. It goes much
further than President Clinton's own bottom line of last October, where
he pledged that he would accept nothing more than returning to a
baseline of 1990 levels in greenhouse gas emissions. Independent
economic studies of the President's position showed it would result in
the loss of up to 2 million U.S. jobs, the relocation of at least six
major U.S. industries to developing nations, a major slow down in
economic growth and much higher energy prices for the American people.
Yet, our negotiators agreed to a treaty that would have an even more
devastating impact on the U.S. economy.
As Senator Robert C. Byrd noted in his floor statement of two weeks
ago, the Kyoto Protocol fails to meet either of the requirements of
Senate Resolution 98. It fails to meet the minimum criteria set
unanimously by the United States Senate. Therefore, I join Senator Byrd
in calling on the President not to sign this treaty, a treaty that so
clearly runs against our country's national interests.
So what happened in Kyoto? How did we agree to such a bad deal for
the American people? Today, Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat
will be testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and
hopefully he will be able to provide some answers. Stuart Eizenstat
brings professionalism and seriousness of purpose to every task he
takes on. He was thrust into the position of being the chief U.S.
negotiator in Kyoto after the man who had guided this process for
years, Undersecretary of State Tim Wirth, abruptly resigned immediately
prior to the Kyoto conference.
Despite his abilities, Undersecretary Eizenstat was severely
hampered in his eleventh hour efforts to negotiate a treaty in Kyoto
that would actually advance U.S. interests. The U.N. climate change
negotiation process was critically restricted by the so-called ``Berlin
Mandate'' that prohibited the negotiations from even considering any
new commitments by developing countries. Under the guise of this
``Berlin Mandate,'' which was made part of the negotiating process by
Undersecretary Wirth in 1995, developing countries refused to even
consider language that would allow them to ``voluntarily opt-in'' to an
agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. While all of the
developing nations--especially China, Mexico, India, Brazil and
Argentina--were represented in force in Kyoto and took part in writing
and approving the language binding the U.S. and the other
industrialized nations, they had no intention of participating in the
treaty. And they got off without having to agree to anything, not even
voluntary commitments at a later date.
Again, I believe even the Administration's position, as laid out by
President Clinton last October, did not satisfy the basic minimum
requirements of economic harm and developing country participation set
by the U.S. Senate. However, at least the U.S. negotiators were holding
firm to the Administration's position during the first week of the
Kyoto conference, rather than caving to the European Union, the
developing nations, U.N. climate change bureaucrats and international
environmentalists who wanted the United States to agree to much larger
cuts. That resolve vanished after Vice President Gore made a whirlwind
visit to Kyoto for less than a day in the middle of the conference, and
publicly instructed U.S. negotiators to show ``increased flexibility.''
At this point, the United States lost any last vestige of leverage in
the negotiations. The U.S. negotiating position became ``get a deal at
any cost.'' Which our negotiators did, at a great cost to the American
people. As far as I can tell, the United States is the only country
that came out of Kyoto worse than we came in.
In my view, the Kyoto Protocol is so seriously flawed that its
problems go far beyond those specific criteria laid out in S. Res. 98.
These problems can be grouped in five general areas: (1) developing
country commitments, (2) economic harm, (3) fair treatment for U.S.
interests, (4) impact on national sovereignty, and (5) impact on
First, as already noted, the treaty fails to include new legally-
binding commitments on the developing nations. In fact, Article IO of
the treaty goes so far as to restate the so-called ``Berlin Mandate''
by emphasizing that the Protocol must be implemented ``without
introducing any new commitments for Parties not included in Annex I.''
The Administration has stated that it hopes to get ``meaningful
participation by key developing countries''--whatever that means--at
the next U.N. conference planned for Buenos Aires next November. But
the language of the Protocol itself clearly exempts developing nations
from the binding commitments it requires.
Second, every serious economic study I have found predicted serious
economic harm even if the Administration had held to its position of
last October. Those included independent studies, some commissioned by
the AFL-CIO, and some commissioned by business and consumer groups.
These studies found job losses in the rage of 2 million, large
increases in energy costs, a 50-cent increase in gas prices, and a drop
in economic growth rates of over 1% a year. These economic consequences
would be particularly severe for American agriculture. Dramatic
increases in energy costs would force production costs so high for many
farmers that it would drive them right out of business.
The Administration questions these economic findings, but we are
still awaiting the comprehensive economic model promised more than two
years ago by the Clinton Administration. The Administration struggled
with the model for a year and a half before finally abandoning the
effort last summer after receiving strong criticism through the peer
review process. In fact, the Chair of the Council for Economic Advisors
went so far as to call economic modeling in this area ``futile.'' Twice
now, the Administration has pulled witnesses that were to address the
economic consequences of this treaty in Senate hearings. At the hearing
today in the Foreign Relations Committee, Janet Yellen, Chair of the
Council for Economic Advisors, was scheduled to accompany
Undersecretary Eizenstat, but pulled out of the hearing two days ago. I
invited Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Larry Summers to testify on
economic issues before my subcommittee last October. I have been told
he was willing to appear but was prevented from doing so by the White
Third, this treaty is unfair to the United States. It gives the
European Union the ability to pool its supposed ``cuts'' under the
umbrella of the so-called ``European Bubble.'' This permits Europe to
avoid the kind of economic harm that will hit the American economy
because the EU benefits from two unique circumstances: the collapse of
dirty industry in eastern Germany and Britain's shift from coal to
North Sea natural gas for economic reasons. Throughout the treaty, one
finds provisions that protect developing country interests, require
increases in U.S. foreign aid, and shift trade advantages away from the
U.S. to our European and developing country trading partners.
Fourth, the treaty will undermine U.S. sovereignty. For the first
time, the United States would give control of our economy to an
international bureaucracy within the United Nations. Domestic energy
policy is a basic component fueling economic growth. The Kyoto Protocol
would give this new U.N. environmental bureaucracy the authority to
determine energy use in the United States by determining what energy
sources we could use and how much, effectively setting price controls
and the rationing of U.S. energy. I fear we would set up a process
where the United Nations could come in and shut down an American
business because they violate U.N. mandates, or where the U.N. would
place trade sanctions on the United States if we were to fail to comply
with its mandates.
Finally, the treaty will have a severe impact on U.S. national
security. We all know that our armed forces are the largest users of
fossil fuels in the U.S. government. Before Kyoto, the Department of
Defense asked for our negotiators to request a blanket exemption for
our armed forces. The White House reportedly refused to seek such an
exemption, afraid that other U.N. negotiators would not agree to such a
demand. The Administration has claimed that the Kyoto protocol does, in
fact, exempt our armed forces. It does not. All it does is exempt
multilateral operations approved by the United Nations. If America
should have to take military action alone, or without the approval of
the U.N., does that mean the use of the United States military will be
limited by the amount of greenhouse gases they would emit? Since when
do U.N. bureaucrats set our national security and national defense
policy? Clearly, the entire concept is ludicrous. But so is the Kyoto
This returns us to the question of whether the President will
choose to sign this treaty when it is opened for signature on March 16,
1998, and if he does whether he intends to send it to the Senate this
year. I hope Undersecretary Eizenstat will be able to give us a clear
answer to these questions.
The President claims that the treaty is ``a work in progress.'' If
so, it makes no sense to sign a flawed treaty, thereby giving away our
leverage and negotiating strength. That would only compound the
President and Vice President's past mistakes. These include agreeing to
the Berlin Mandate and publicly calling on our negotiators to show
``increased flexibility'' when the negotiators were trying to hold to
the President's own position of last October. The President's position
included insistence that emissions cuts not go below the 1990 levels
and the so-called ``meaningful participation'' of developing countries.
I will be very interested in understanding from Undersecretary
Eizenstat precisely what the Administration means by ``meaningful
participation'' of developing countries--since you gave it away in
If the President believes this treaty is good enough to sign, it
should be good enough to submit to the Senate for an honest and open
debate. The American people have a right to know exactly what
obligations the United States would have under this treaty. There is a
document known as the United States Constitution. This document gives
the Unites States Senate the responsibility to provide its advice and
consent for all treaties agreed to by the President. If President
Clinton signs this treaty, he should immediately submit it to the
Senate. To do anything else would be a deliberate attempt to bypass the
Constitutional authority of the United States Senate.
Unless and until this treaty is ratified by the Senate, there
should be no action taken by the Administration to implement
obligations under the treaty through executive order, regulation or
budgetary fiat. I look forward to receiving Undersecretary Eizenstat's
comments on this point as well.
Members of the Senate and the House will remain actively engaged in
this issue. Oversight hearings will be held this year to ensure that
the Administration is not attempting to implement this treaty prior to
ratification. The Administration should be put on notice that the
Congress will not allow this treaty to be forced piecemeal upon the
American people until it is given the proper debate and receives the
required 67 votes in support of ratification in the U.S. Senate. We
will continue to monitor the ongoing negotiations leading to the fourth
Conference of Parties in Buenos Aires in November.
The Senate's bottom line, as represented in the unanimous vote on
S. Res. 98, remains unchanged. The United States Senate will not
support the ratification of any treaty that does not include binding
commitments by the developing nations in the same compliance period, or
any treaty that will cause serious harm to the U.S. economy. That is
the very least we expect.
Prepared Statement of Senator Feingold
Thank you Mr. Chairman, I wanted to have an opportunity to make a
brief statement on the Kyoto Protocol and the subject of climate
In general, as do many other members of this Committee, I support
the objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions into the
environment. In fact, in part due to my interests in climate change, I
joined with my colleague from Wisconsin (Sen. Kohl) in introducing
legislation (S. 1375) on November 5, 1997, to create a federal energy
revolving fund or ``energy bank.''
When President Clinton announced his plan for meeting the challenge
of global climate change on October 22, 1997, in preparation for the
Bonn negotiating meetings on the Kyoto Protocol, among the items he
cited was the need to do more in the area of federal energy management.
Aggressive energy management can reduce carbon emissions from the
activities of the federal government, which, the President indicated,
has the Nation's largest energy bill at almost $8 billion per year. The
President specifically stated that there is a need to improve federal
procurement of energy efficient technologies, and the measure I
introduced with my colleague from Wisconsin (Sen. Kohl) is a positive,
proactive measure to ensure that federal agencies specifically set
aside funds to achieve this goal. I also view such legislation as
having the potential to benefit the country fiscally as we reap the
benefits of reduced federal energy bills.
However, I find myself, as do other Committee members who did not
have the benefit of accompanying the Administration to Kyoto, in a
position of not yet knowing the full details of the impact of the
Protocol on the country and, in particular, on Wisconsin.
This hearing, which will review for the Committee the evolution of
the United States' negotiating position from stabilizing its emissions
at 1990 levels to agreeing to a 7% reduction, is a first step in my
developing that understanding. Some of the predictions that have been
made regarding the impact of the Kyoto Protocol are very serious and
concerning and they need to be addressed.
I look forward to the Administration's testimony on this matter and
to future hearings on this topic. Thank you.
Prepared Statement of Hon. Stuart E. Eizenstat
Thank you, Mr. Chairman.
At the outset, let me thank those members of Congress, in this
chamber and in the House of Representatives, who participated with us
in the Kyoto Conference and who lent their advice and support to our
efforts there. In particular I wish to thank Senators Hagel, Baucus,
Chafee, Enzi, Kerry and Lieberman for taking the time to be present. I
must also thank Senator Byrd, who could not be with us in Kyoto, for
his interest and leadership. Rarely has there been an environmental
issue more important or complex than global warming, and rarely has
there been a greater need for the Executive Branch and the Congress to
work closely together.
It is with great pleasure that I appear here today to explain the
Administration's position on global warming. To this end, I will divide
my testimony into four parts: (1) a short discussion of the science--
the driving force for all the efforts we have taken to date to mitigate
a significant and growing global environmental problem; (2) a
discussion of the results of the recent Kyoto Conference and key
features of the Kyoto Protocol; (3) an effort to correct
misperceptions; and (4) a brief review of the President's Climate
Change Technology Initiative. I hope to leave you with a clear
understanding of why we believe that it is necessary to act, of how we
intend to proceed internationally, and of what the President plans to
do here at home.
Human beings are changing the climate by increasing the global
concentrations of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and
nitrous oxide. Burning coal, oil and natural gas to heat our homes,
power our cars and illuminate our cities produces carbon dioxide and
other greenhouse gases as by-products--more than 6 billion metric tons
worth of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide annually. Similarly,
deforestation and land clearing also release significant quantities of
such gases--another 1 to 2 billion tons a year. Over the last century,
greenhouse gases have been released to the atmosphere faster than
natural processes can remove them. There is no ambiguity in the data;
since 1860, concentrations of carbon dioxide have risen 30 percent,
from 280 parts per million (ppm) to 365 ppm.
In December 1995, the authoritative Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), representing the work of more than 2,000 of the
world's leading climate change scientists from more than 50 countries,
concluded that ``the balance of evidence suggests that there is a
discernible human influence on global climate.''
The IPCC Assessment represents the best synthesis of the science of
climate change. It concludes:
Concentrations of greenhouse gases could exceed 700 ppm by
2100 under ``business as usual''--levels not seen on the planet
for 50 million years. The projected temperature increase of 2
to 6.5 degrees Fahrenheit over the next 100 years, could exceed
rates of change for the last 10,000 years. For perspective,
while there is some uncertainty, tropical sea surface
temperatures in the last ice age were anywhere from 2 to 9
degrees Fahrenheit cooler than today.
Increased temperatures are expected to speed up the global
water cycle. Faster evaporation will lead to a drying of soils
and in some areas increased drought. Overall, however, due to
the faster global cycling of water, there will be an increase
Sea levels are expected to rise between 6 and 37 inches over
the next century. A 20 inch sea level rise could double the
global population at risk from storm surges--from roughly 45
million to over 90 million, even if coastal populations do not
increase. Low-lying areas are particularly vulnerable (e.g.,
much of coastal Louisiana and the Florida Everglades).
Human health is likely to be affected. Warmer temperatures
will increase the chances of heat waves (like the Chicago event
in 1995 that killed over 400 people) and can exacerbate air
quality problems such as smog, and lead to an increase in
allergic disorders. Diseases that thrive in warmer climates,
such as dengue fever, malaria, yellow fever, encephalitis, and
cholera are likely to spread due to the expansion of the range
of disease carrying organisms. By 2100, there could be an
additional 50-80 million cases of malaria each year.
Agriculture, forests, and natural ecosystems are also likely
to be affected. The poorest countries, already subject to food
production and distribution problems, will likely suffer the
greatest agricultural impacts. Doubling current carbon dioxide
concentrations could lead to a dramatic change in the
geographic distribution of one-third of the Earth's forests.
(For example, the ideal range of some North American forest
species would shift by as much as 300 miles to the north in the
next 100 years--far faster than their ability to migrate on
their own.) Such changes could have profound effects on parks
and wildlife refuges, and lead to a reduction in species
What Changes Have We Seen to Date?
The earth's temperature is increasing: Scientists from our National
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the U.K. Meteorological
Office and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) all
recently announced that 1997 was the warmest year on record. In fact,
nine of the last 11 years are among the warmest ever recorded.
The water cycle of the planet may be speeding up: Since the
beginning of the century, NOAA estimates that precipitation in the
United States has increased by about 5-10 percent, while the frequency
of heavy downpours (where more than 2 inches fall in a day) has
increased by about 20 percent. The United States has had many recent
reminders of how costly extreme events can be: the Mississippi flooding
of 1993 led to damages of between $10 and $20 billion; the Southern
Plains drought of 1996 was estimated to cost $4 billion; and the
Northwest floods of 1996-97 about $3 billion. We have yet to learn what
the current floods in California will cost. While no single event can
be attributed to global warming, increases in floods and droughts are
expected as global warming occurs.
Action Needed Now
Some have argued that we can wait to act until all the details of
the climate system have been fully understood. The science tells us
that this is a recipe for disaster. We will only fully confirm
predictions when we experience them. At that point it will be too late.
The concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to
rise each year, and because these gases will persist for many decades
to centuries, this problem is only slowly reversed. The earth will
continue to warm and the seas continue to rise as long as we continue
to load the entire atmosphere of the earth with greenhouse gases. The
problem has developed over the course of a century and it will take
many decades to solve. Already, we have another 1.0 degree Fahrenheit
of warming in the pipeline from emissions that have previously
occurred, so some impacts will happen no matter what actions we take.
Nevertheless, we can still forestall many others if we begin taking
cost-effective actions now.
We should look at the Kyoto Protocol as an insurance policy against
the potentially devastating and irreversible impacts of global warming.
This insurance policy is fully justified today, based solely on our
current understanding of the science. If we act now the premium will be
far more reasonable than if we delay and hope the problem created by
greenhouse gases will go away. It is like a life insurance policy whose
costs grow significantly if we delay year after year insuring
But there is a critical difference in the case of the climate
system. In most insurance policies, the loser can be made whole--
restitution is possible; the building can be rebuilt, the stolen car
replaced, the fire or flood damage repaired. In the case of global
warming, we will not have a second chance--failure to act will lead to
irreversible consequences. We will be committing ourselves, our
children and our grandchildren to a very different planet, and they
will never forgive us.
But the premium for this insurance policy must be reasonable. For
this reason we rejected unrealistic targets in Kyoto; we insisted on
full recourse to market-mechanisms; and we opposed mandatory policies
and measures--like carbon taxes.
The totality of our scientific information, including that on
vulnerability and impacts of global warming, provides a compelling
reason to act.
Let me now turn to the recent Kyoto Conference.
Last December in Kyoto, Japan, the nations of the world reached
agreement on an historic step to control greenhouse gas emissions which
cause global warming. No sooner had the negotiating session ended,
however, than some critics on both ends of the political spectrum,
without a full examination of the results achieved, denounced the
agreement as either too little too late or too much too soon. In fact,
the Kyoto Protocol, reached only through the exercise of vigorous
American leadership, represents an important achievement in the best
interests of the United States. But it is a framework for action, a
work in progress, not a finished product ready for Senate
U.S. Negotiating Objectives
In order to secure an effective agreement that is environmentally
strong and economically sound, while protecting the unique worldwide
interests of the U.S. military, President Clinton and Vice President
Gore established three major objectives. As a result of the Kyoto
negotiations, we achieved the first two--realistic targets and
timetables for reducing greenhouse gas emissions among the world's
major industrial nations, which fully protect the unique role of our
military in its global reach; and flexible market-based mechanisms for
achieving those targets. The third, meaningful participation of
developing countries, will be the focus of our work in the coming
months and years, but with the Kyoto Protocol we have made an important
Elements of the Kyoto Protocol and Related Decisions
Our first objective--realistic targets and timetables among
developed countries--had to be a credible step in reducing the
dangerous buildup of greenhouse gases, yet measured enough to safeguard
U.S. prosperity at home and competitiveness abroad. In the end, we
secured the key elements of the President's proposal on targets and
timetables, often over the initial objections of the European Union and
other developed countries. The agreement and related decisions include:
The U.S. concept of a multi-year time frame for emissions
reductions rather than a fixed, single-year target. The multi-
year time frame will allow the United States, other nations and
our industries greater flexibility in meeting our targets.
Averaging over five years, instead of requiring countries to
meet a specific target each year, can lower costs, especially
given an uncertain future. The averaging can smooth out the
effects of short-term events such as fluctuations in the
business cycle and energy demand, or hard winters and hot
summers that would increase energy use and emissions.
The U.S. specific time frame of 2008-2012, rather than
earlier periods preferred by the European Union and others,
giving us more time to phase in change gradually and deploy new
technologies cost-effectively, and thereby to cushion the
effects on our businesses and workers.
Differentiated targets for the key industrial powers ranging
from 6% to 8% below baseline levels (1990 and 1995) of
greenhouse gas emissions, with the United States agreeing to a
7% reduction. When changes in the accounting rules for certain
gases and offsets for activities that absorb carbon dioxide are
factored in, the level of effort required of the United States
is quite close to the President's original proposal to return
emissions to 1990 levels by 2008-2012, representing at most a 3
percent real reduction below that proposal, and perhaps less.
An innovative proposal shaped in part by the United States,
allowing certain activities, such as planting trees, that
absorb carbon dioxide--called ``sinks''--to be offset against
emissions targets. This will both promote cost-effective
solutions to climate change and encourage good forestry
practices. As a major forestry nation this will be of special
benefit to the United States.
As proposed by the United States, the Kyoto Protocol covers
all six significant greenhouse gases even though the E.U. and
Japan proposed and fought until the last moment to cover only
three. This was an important environmental victory-- also
supported by many in our own industry--because gases that other
countries wanted to omit and leave uncovered (including
substitutes for the now banned chloro-fluorocarbons that
endanger the ozone layer) are among the fastest growing and
longest lasting greenhouse gases.
Flexible Market Mechanisms
Our second broad Presidential objective was to make sure that
countries can use flexible market mechanisms to reach their targets
rather than the mandatory ``policies and measures,'' such as carbon
taxes, favored by the E.U. and many other developed countries.
The Kyoto Protocol enshrines a centerpiece of this U.S. market-
based approach--the opportunity for companies and countries to trade
emissions permits. In this way, companies or countries can purchase
less expensive emissions permits from companies or countries that have
more permits than they need (because they have met their targets with
room to spare). This is not only economically sensible, but
environmentally sound. By finding the least expensive way to reduce
emissions, we will be providing a strong incentive for achieving the
maximum level of emissions reductions at the least cost. The United
States has had a very positive experience with permit trading in the
acid rain program, reducing costs by 50 percent from what was expected,
yet fully serving our environmental goals.
This was a new concept for developed and developing countries
alike--some of whom fought it vigorously. But we have it firmly
enshrined in the Kyoto Protocol and it is a critical way of ensuring
cost-effective solutions. Its inclusion was a major victory for us.
We went even further by achieving a conceptual understanding with
several countries, including Australia, Canada, Japan, New Zealand,
Russia and Ukraine, to trade emissions rights with each other. This
`umbrella group' could further reduce compliance costs.
Ensuring that we can meet our target reductions cost-effectively
will depend significantly on access to the flexibility mechanisms we
fought hard to include in the Kyoto Protocol. Let me be very clear: The
commitment we made in Kyoto would not have been made--could not have
been made--were it not for the flexibility mechanisms that were also
agreed there. Until we are satisfied with the rules and procedures yet
to be established, the promise of Kyoto will never be realized.
Meaningful Participation of Developing Countries
Our third objective was to secure meaningful participation of key
developing countries, a concern that the Senate obviously shares, as
evidenced by last summer's Byrd-Hagel Resolution. Global warming is,
after all, a global problem which requires a global solution--not only
from the developed world but also from key developing countries.
Per capita emission rates are low in the developing world and will
remain so for some time, and over 70 percent of today's atmospheric
concentrations of greenhouse gases attributable to human activities are
the result of emissions by the industrialized world. At the same time,
it is also true that by around 2015 China will be the largest overall
emitter of greenhouse gases, and by 2025 the developing world will emit
more greenhouse gases in total than the developed world. So from an
environmental perspective, this problem cannot be solved unless
developing countries get on board.
We encountered significant resistance in Kyoto by some developing
countries to meaningful participation in solving the global warming
problem. For example, we had sought to include a specific process
through which advanced developing or newly developed countries could
take on quantified emission limitation commitments and thereby take
part in the international emissions trading regime. While a number of
developing countries expressed interest in our proposal and supported
it in Kyoto, others rejected it, and it was not possible to include
such a specific process in the Protocol. Still, developing countries
may nevertheless, as a prerequisite for engaging in emissions trading,
voluntarily assume binding emissions targets through amendment to the
annex of the Protocol that lists countries with targets.
Some developing countries believe--wrongly--that the developed
world is asking them to limit their capacity to industrialize, reduce
poverty and raise their standard of living. We have made clear that we
support an approach under which developing countries would continue to
grow--but in a more environmentally sound and economically sustainable
way, by taking advantage of technologies not available to countries
that industrialized at an earlier time.
The Kyoto agreement does not meet our requirements for developing
country participation. Nevertheless, a significant down payment was
made in the form of a provision advanced by Brazil and backed by the
United States and the Alliance of Small Island States. This provision
defines a ``Clean Development Mechanism,'' which embraces the U.S.-
backed concept of ``joint implementation with credit.'' The goal is to
build a bridge--with incentives--between developed, industrialized
countries, and developing nations. This new mechanism will allow
companies in the developed world to invest in projects in countries in
the developing world--such as the construction of high-tech,
environmentally sound power plants--for the benefit of the parties in
both worlds. The companies in the developed world will get emissions
credits at lower costs than they could achieve at home, while countries
in the developing world will share in those credits, and receive the
kind of technology that can allow them to grow without ruining their
The Clean Development Mechanism has great potential, but developing
countries will need to do more in order to participate meaningfully in
the effort to combat global warming. In determining what developing
countries ought to do, we should be aware that the circumstances of
developing countries vary widely, along a kind of continuum. Some today
are very poor; their greenhouse gas emissions are negligible and are
likely to remain so for the foreseeable future. Others, whose
greenhouse gas emissions are not substantial, are relatively well off.
Some are poor on a per capita basis, but their greenhouse gas emissions
today rival or surpass those of the most advanced industrialized
nations. Still others have already joined ranks with the industrialized
world in the OECD but have not yet fully accepted the added
responsibility for protection of the global environment that comes with
their new status.
Any `one-size-fits-all' approach to the `meaningful participation
of developing countries' and to satisfy the Byrd-Hagel Resolution is
thus unlikely to prevail. We found in Kyoto that even among the
industrialized countries it was necessary to recognize the individual
national circumstances faced by those differently situated in order to
reach agreement, notwithstanding our common purpose. Similarly, any
uniform, inflexible approach to the `meaningful participation of
developing countries' is unlikely to prevail.
As Senator Byrd said in his letter of December 15, 1997, to the
President, and recently restated on January 29 here in the Senate:
. . . binding commitments for developing nations should be
paced according to the ability of each country to achieve
greenhouse gas emission limitations appropriate to its national
circumstances and economic growth. These limitations could be
gradually implemented. Whether such commitments are in fact
appropriate and represent best effort by each nation, will not
be difficult to discern. As the saying goes, we will know it
when we see it.
Recognizing our ``common but differentiated responsibilities and
respective capabilities'' it will be necessary to develop an approach
that provides for a meaningful global response to the threat of global
warming, while acknowledging the legitimate aspirations of developing
countries to achieve a better life for their peoples. To succeed, we
will need to ensure that those responsible for a significant share of
global emissions accept their responsibility to protect the global
environment. We will also need to ensure that those who are able to do
so contribute according to their capacities and stage of development.
Before moving on, Mr. Chairman, let me address a few specific
points on which I believe there may be some misperceptions. The first
of these is that the Kyoto Protocol will damage our national security
or imperil the ability of our military to meet its worldwide
responsibilities--this is not true.
We took special pains working with the Defense Department and the
uniformed military before and in Kyoto to protect the unique position
of the United States as the world's only superpower with global
military responsibilities. We achieved everything they outlined as
necessary to protect military operations and our national security.
At the Kyoto Conference, the Parties took a decision to exempt key
overseas military activities from emissions targets, including
exemptions for ``bunker fuels'' (those used in international aviation
and maritime transport) and for emissions resulting from a wide range
of multilateral operations, such as peacekeeping and humanitarian
relief. This exempts from our national targets not only multilateral
operations expressly authorized by the U.N. Security Council (such as
Desert Storm or Bosnia), but also multilateral operations that the
United States initiates pursuant to the U.N. Charter without express
authorization (such as Grenada). Countries may also decide among
themselves how to account for emissions relating to multilateral
operations (e.g., U.S. training in another NATO country) without going
through emissions trading.
Second, it has been suggested that the Protocol will create a super
U.N. Secretariat that will threaten U.S. sovereignty and national
decision-making through alleged intrusive verification procedures and
prior approval of individual emissions trades. That is not so. The
review process contained in the Protocol largely codifies the existing
practice under the 1992 Framework Convention, to which the United
States is a Party. Under the Protocol, small expert review teams will
continue to visit Annex I countries for brief periods to review
implementation of the Convention and of the Protocol. The review
process is intergovernmental, in that experts are nominated by
governments. The review teams meet with government officials, and with
others by invitation. In reviews under the Convention, the teams have
met with Congressional staff, representatives of the private sector and
representatives of environmental organizations--but only with their
concurrence. Any other visits, such as site visits, would take place
only if approved by the host country and, if the private sector is
involved, the relevant interested persons. To date under the
Convention, no site visits have taken place.
In addition, let me be unmistakably clear--while trading rules must
be established internationally to have emissions trading work--as our
SEC must set rules for equity trading--we will not accept nor do we
anticipate an approach that would require prior approval of individual
emissions trades by an international body. Trading will be done between
interested nations and their companies, based on market principles.
Concerns have also been raised that the Protocol is flawed, on the
one hand because it will threaten U.S. sovereignty by dictating
national decisions on implementation and, on the other hand, because it
lacks mechanisms to verify compliance. In fact we believe that the
Protocol strikes an appropriate balance between these two extremes.
The United States firmly opposed mandatory, harmonized
policies and measures that would be imposed upon us in order to
reach our target. We prevailed. The Protocol leaves Parties
entirely free to decide how best to meet their targets based on
At the same time, we could not tolerate a free-for-all where
Parties might or might not meet their commitments, particularly
given the conscientious way the United States meets its
international obligations. As a result, the Protocol calls for
national measurement of emissions, detailed reporting, and in-
depth reviews --on an intergovernmental basis.
The one area where we believe more work needs to be done is
in identifying appropriate consequences for non-compliance; the
Protocol provides for elaborating such consequences, with any
binding consequences to be done in amendment form, so that the
Senate would have the opportunity to approve them.
Finally, some have suggested that the Protocol will result in a
huge government transfer of foreign aid to Russia in which we will give
away taxpayer money with no leverage on Russian policies with these
funds. This also is not true. Under the Protocol's emissions trading
provisions, we envision that U.S. private sector firms may choose to
purchase international emissions credits in order to meet their
emissions obligations. Indeed, the private purchase of emissions
credits is one of the crucial ways to achieve cost-effective emissions
reductions for U.S. firms.
As with any market transaction, purchases of these credits will
have to comply with all U.S. legal and regulatory requirements. In
addition, U.S. firms interested in international investment will have
an incentive to ensure that other countries meet the international
standards for adequate monitoring and reporting of their emissions of
greenhouse gases. At the same time, Russia will have significant
incentives to use the revenue generated to invest in the most modern,
climate-friendly plants and equipment so that, as its economy recovers,
it continues to produce emissions credits that it can sell on
Framework for Action
Where do we go from here? While historic, the Kyoto Protocol is
only one step in a long process. It is, in essence, a framework for
action, a work in progress, and a number of challenges still lie ahead.
Rules and procedures must be adopted to ensure that emissions
trading rights, joint implementation and the Clean Development
Mechanism operate efficiently and smoothly. The Kyoto Protocol
establishes emissions trading, but leaves open the specifics of
operations. We will work hard to ensure that the rules and procedures
adopted enable emissions trading, joint implementation and the Clean
Development Mechanism to work smoothly and efficiently, thereby
encouraging the private sector to engage.
We will also work closely with our industries to be sure they are
satisfied that the emissions trading system which is developed is as
efficient and effective as possible to meet their needs.
Most significant, we must work to secure the meaningful
participation of key developing countries. We must be creative in
initiating bilateral agreements. We have made a promising start with an
agreement we reached with China during last fall's Summit. We must also
use regional and multilateral fora to achieve our objectives--such as
the Summit of the Americas process, in the Asian Partnership for
Economic Cooperation (APEC) process, the President's forthcoming trip
to Africa, and the G-8 Summit in the United Kingdom. We will put on a
full court diplomatic press to bring developing nations into a
meaningful role in helping solve the global climate challenge. We will
accept nothing less, nor would we expect the United States Senate to do
so As the President has indicated, the United States should not assume
binding obligations under the Protocol until key developing countries
meaningfully participate in meeting the challenge of climate change.
Although the Kyoto Protocol was an historic step forward, more progress
is necessary with respect to participation of key developing countries.
It would be premature to submit the treaty to the Senate for its advice
and consent to ratification at this time.
The Administration also plans to continue to work with the
international financial institutions to promote market-based energy
sector policies in developing countries that will help reduce
developing country greenhouse gas emissions. Multilateral development
bank policies, including those of the Global Environment Facility,
strongly influence international lending and private capital flows for
energy, industrial and transportation investments. Policies that favor
market pricing, privatization, clean technologies and environmentally-
friendly approaches will make implementing the Kyoto Protocol easier
and will speed the growth of markets for new technologies that help
reduce emissions in developing countries. We will work with the
international financial institutions themselves--from the World Bank to
the regional development banks--and with other countries, especially
developed countries, to achieve these goals in the coming years.
The Kyoto agreement does not solve the problem of global warming,
but it represents an important step in dealing with a problem that we
cannot wish away. A premature decision to reject the Protocol would
deprive us of the opportunity to complete its unfinished business. If
we fail to take reasoned action now, our children and grandchildren
will pay the price.
Mr. Chairman, before turning briefly to our domestic efforts, let
me note two other key elements in this equation--the contributions that
the United States provides to carry out work under the U.N. Framework
Convention on Climate Change and in the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), as well as the contributions that we make to the
Global Environment Facility (GEF). For FY 1999, the President has
requested $314 million for the International Organizations and Programs
Account, a level that represents a 6.6 percent increase over FY 1998.
This amount includes $8 million for the Climate Stabilization Fund
which supports the Framework Convention and the IPCC. Parties to the
Convention have much work ahead of them, as I have already noted. In
addition, the IPCC has now embarked on its Third Assessment Report of
Climate Change, scheduled for completion in late 2000 or early 2001.
These funds are vital to ensuring U.S. leadership in both of these
organizations and to ensuring that our views and the work of our
scientists are taken fully into account.
In addition, the President has requested $300 million to meet our
past and current pledges to help fund the Global Environment Facility
(GEF). The GEF helps developing countries act to protect the global
environment in several key focal areas including international waters,
biodiversity, climate change and depletion of the stratospheric ozone
layer. If we want to bring developing countries on board with real
commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions, we need to demonstrate
that we are a reliable partner by supporting their concrete efforts
with reliable resources. At this point, our GEF shortfall damages U.S.
credibility in promising to help developing countries meet the climate
change obligations we are urging that they undertake. I would therefore
urge the Congress to fund fully our $300 million request, to meet our
current pledge and also clear our substantial shortfall of nearly $200
President's Climate Change Technology Initiative
In his State of the Union address, President Clinton said that
global warming is ``the gathering crisis that requires worldwide
action.'' We need to begin now to launch the sensible, cost-effective
efforts that will help us avoid the high future cost of inaction.
The President last October outlined a three-stage approach to
addressing climate change at home. The first stage consists of
immediate actions to stimulate development and use of technologies that
can minimize the cost of meeting U.S. goals in reducing greenhouse gas
emissions. Stage two will review options created through ongoing
technology development and lead to detailed plans for a domestic,
market-based permit trading system for carbon emissions. Stage three
will begin to implement a market-based emissions-trading system.
As a first installment on this plan, President Clinton announced in
his State of the Union message two weeks ago his proposal for a $6.3
billion Climate Change Technology Initiative over five years to cut
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions--$1.3 billion higher than the President
announced in his initial plan in October. This vigorous initiative
calls for tax cuts coupled with research and development (R&D) to take
cost-effective, practical steps that will position us well to meet the
challenge we face early in the next century.
This initiative consists of two parts--$3.6 billion in tax credits
for energy-efficient purchases and renewable energy, and $2.7 billion
in new R&D spending over five years.
The tax package includes tax credits of $3,000 to $4,000 for
consumers who purchase advanced technology, highly fuel efficient
vehicles. It provides a 15 percent credit (up to $2,000) for purchases
of rooftop solar electricity and hot water systems to provide
incentives for meeting the Million Solar Roofs goal. It also includes a
20 percent credit (subject to a cap) for purchasing energy-efficient
building equipment, a $2,000 credit for purchasing energy efficient new
homes, extension of the wind and biomass tax credit, and a 10 percent
investment credit for the purchase of combined heat and power systems.
The R&D component covers the four major carbon-emitting sectors of
the economy (buildings, industry, transportation and electricity), plus
carbon removal and sequestration, Federal facilities, and cross cutting
analysis and research. Examples of this R&D effort include the
Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV), a government-
industry effort to develop affordable cars that meet all applicable
safety and environmental standards and get up to three times the fuel
efficiency of today's cars. In 1999, the President's budget for PNGV is
$277 million, up from $227 million appropriated for 1998. Our PNGV
effort is clearly paying off--the developments about higher mileage
cars announced by the Big Three last month were assisted by research
supported under PNGV. It is exciting to see our U.S. auto makers
already planning for the cars of the future, not as pipe dreams but as
achievable greenhouse gas friendly products.
As General Motors Chair and CEO John F. Smith said recently in
announcing GM's plans to step up research spending and focus on
bringing new products to market, ``No car company will be able to
thrive in the 21st century if it relies solely on internal combustion
engines.'' And as William C. Ford, Jr., Chair of Ford's Finance
Committee, also said in announcing that Ford will join with Daimler-
Benz of Germany in developing cars with fuel-cell engines, ``There's a
compelling business case to be made.''
Similar government-industry efforts are proposed to develop
cleaner, more efficient diesel engines for both light trucks and heavy
trucks. The R&D effort also includes expanded research partnerships for
key renewable technologies such as wind, photovoltaics, geothermal,
biomass, and hydropower to accelerate price reductions and improve
performance. The President's 1999 budget proposes a $100 million
increase in appropriations for solar and renewable energy R&D--a 37
percent increase over 1998.
We hope that the Congress will view the President's initiative
favorably and appropriate the funds and enact the tax incentives that
he has requested. We look forward to working with you to put the
President's proposals into action.
The President and his Administration are committed to working with
you in the Congress, both to realize the potential of the Climate
Change Technology Initiative and to craft the ongoing U.S. approach to
climate change. The United States has the power to lead the global
effort, and Congress holds the key. What is done or not done today will
determine the kind of world we will leave to future generations and the
conditions of life they will face.
Sustained Effort Required
Mr. Chairman, I have mentioned that Kyoto produced a framework for
future action, and I have listed a number of the steps that await us.
Coming to grips with the threat of global warming is no small task.
We must tackle it in a vigorous, sober and determined manner,
understanding that it represents a challenge but also an opportunity.
And as we have always done in the face of global challenge, we must
assume the responsibilities of American leadership.
Responses to Questions Submitted by Chairman Helms
Question. Please provide the official U.S. global greenhouse gas
inventory used by negotiators in Kyoto, on a country-by-country
specific basis, for the six greenhouse gases listed in Annex A of the
Answer. There was no official inventory of greenhouse gases for all
countries used in Kyoto. The U.S. 1997 national communication ``Climate
Action Report'' to the Framework Convention on Climate Change contains
inventory figures used for the U.S. (Table 3-1). For other countries,
there were a number of sources we drew upon for national totals,
including individual countries' national communications, information
from the U.S. Country Studies Program, and International Energy Agency
analyses of carbon dioxide emissions derived from fuel use.
Question. Please provide the 1990 baseline and projections at least
through 2030 for carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide.
Answer. For the U.S., carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide
emissions through 2020 are reported in the 1997 U.S. national
communication ``Climate Action Report'' to the Framework Convention on
Climate Change (Table 3-1), which we have included as an attachment to
these answers. Estimates beyond 2020 are not reported in the national
communication, although IPCC long-term scenarios provide a set of
alternative projections beyond 2020. For other countries, there were a
number of sources we drew upon for national totals, including
individual countries' national communications, information from the
U.S. Country Studies Program, and analysis from the International
Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration.
Question. Please provide the 1995 baseline and projections at least
through 2030 for hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and sulfur
Answer. For the U.S., hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, and
sulfur hexafluoride emissions through 2020 are reported in the 1997
U.S. national communication ``Climate Action Report'' to the Framework
Convention on Climate Change (Table 3-1), which we have included as an
attachment to these answers. Estimates beyond 2020 are not reported in
the national communication, although IPCC long-term scenarios provide a
set of alternative projections beyond 2020. For other countries, there
were a number of sources we drew upon for national totals, including
individual countries' national communications, information from the
U.S. Country Studies Program, and analysis from the International
Energy Agency and the Energy Information Administration.
Question. Please provide the assumptions, data and calculation
methodology that support the Administration's assertion that the impact
of carbon sinks on the U.S. greenhouse gas reduction commitment will
reduce the actual reduction to 2 or 3 percent below 1990 levels, rather
than 7 percent.
Answer. The Administration's proposal for reducing greenhouse gas
emissions to 1990 levels between 2008-2012 included all sources and
sinks, in both the baseline and the commitment period. Subsequent
changes in baseline measurement and methodology explain the
Administration's assertion that ``the 7 percent target represents at
most a 3 percent real reduction below the President's initial proposal
of reducing greenhouse gases to 1990 levels by 2008-2012.''
First, at the initiative of the U.S., the Protocol allows parties
to apply their 1995 baselines for emissions of hydrofluorocarbons,
perfluorocarbons, and sulfur hexafluoride. This change accounts for
about 1 percent of the difference in stringency (see the 1997 U.S.
national communication, ``Climate Action Report,'' for data on these
three gases). Second, the Protocol does not include sinks in the
baseline--though it does include afforestation, reforestation and
deforestation in later years. Taken together, these changes in baseline
measurement and methodology account for about 4 percent of the
difference in stringency, leaving roughly a 3 percent real reduction
below the President's original proposal.
Question. The Kyoto Protocol establishes a Clean Development
Mechanism. What staffing and administrative costs do you anticipate
will be required to establish and run this ``Mechanism''?
Answer. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) provides a means
through which industrialized and developing countries can establish
partnerships to cut emissions in the developing world, to the benefit
of both parties. The intent is to have the CDM operate through existing
institutions, not to create new ones. The CDM begins with private
sector investments in developing countries. We anticipate that there
may be minor administrative costs associated with using the mechanism.
Any transaction fee collected would be much like the commission
collected by a stockbroker when buying or selling stock. Similar fees
exist in the highly successful SO2 permit trading system
implemented to control acid rain in the U.S. As with other markets,
participants in the CDM will have a built-in incentive to ensure that
administrative costs are kept to a minimum.
Question. What fee do you anticipate the U.N. will charge companies
for investing in developing countries through this ``Mechanism''?
Answer. It has not been determined that the United Nations would
play any role whatsoever in the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM). The
CDM allows companies to invest in projects or to purchase certified
emissions reductions outright. A small share of the proceeds will go to
cover administrative expenses and help countries that are particularly
vulnerable meet the costs of adaptation to climate change. We do not
anticipate that the United Nations pre se will receive any funds from
the CDM, unless a UN agency were to be selected as an operating entity.
Question. What criteria do you anticipate this ``Mechanism'' will
use to approve or reject investments?
Answer. Emissions reductions obtained through the CDM must be
verified as being real and additional, above reductions that would
otherwise have occurred. The exact rules and guidelines for the
acceptance, monitoring and verification of CDM projects will be worked
out with the other Parties over the next year or so. The U.S. will push
for a structure which ensures that reductions are real and additional,
while allowing as much flexibility as possible for participants in CDM
Question. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) has projected
that carbon emissions in the United States will increase from 1990
emissions levels by 34 percent by the year 2010. The Kyoto Protocol
would require the United States to reduce these emissions to 7 percent
below 1990 levels by 2010. In addition to your assertions of increased
energy efficiency, and international emissions trading, please detail
how the Administration intends to reach these enormous commitments
without constraining U.S. economic growth?
Answer. There are several ways in which U.S. energy efficiency will
be improved, and costs will be reduced without constraining U.S.
economic growth. These are discussed in detail in the attached
testimony of Dr. Janet Yellen, Chair of the Council of Economic
Advisors, on March 4, before the House Commerce Committee, and then
before the Senate Agriculture Committee. These include the following:
(1) international emissions trading among Annex I countries; (2)
innovation and technology, spurred by the President's tax cut and R&D
package; (3) in addition to increased energy efficiency and
international emissions trading among Annex I countries, substantial
cost reductions are possible if developing countries commit to
quantitative targets enabling them also to participate in international
emissions trading arrangements. Significant benefits should also accrue
from the Clean Development Mechanism. A number of additional factors
can also play a role in enabling the United States to meet its target
without constraining economic grow? These include the use of carbon
absorbing sinks to offset greenhouse gas emissions and the flexibility
allowed by the Kyoto Protocol to meet the U.S. target through
reductions in all six greenhouse gases and not just CO2
alone. The President has also indicated his support for legislation to
unleash competition in the electricity industry. Such legislation could
lower electricity prices significantly for American consumers and also
reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Question. Regarding amendments to the Kyoto Protocol, while the
Administration is calling the Kyoto protocol a ``work in progress,''
isn't it true that the Kyoto Protocol is a final document that must be
considered by all nations as is? Can the Protocol be amended or changed
in any way before it enters into force? If so, how would this be done?
Answer. The President has made clear that the Protocol is a work in
progress and that without more developing country involvement, he will
not submit it to the Senate for advise and consent to ratification.
Accordingly, we intend to take steps to ensure that our objectives are
met, including meaningful participation by key developing countries.
One method for achieving such progress is for the Conference of the
Parties to adopt a further instrument, such as a supplementary
protocol, which would be an integral part of the Kyoto Protocol and
would enter into force at the same time as the Protocol. Further review
and consultations with other governments would be necessary to
determine what form and content of additional steps and documents would
be feasible and desirable.
Question. Procedurally, how does the Administration intend to act
on any proposals in Buenos Aires? For example, how would an emissions
trading regime be considered and adopted? What about enforcement and
compliance rules? What about new scheduled emissions reduction
commitments by developing countries in the same compliance period as
Answer. Most of the decisions called for in the Protocol must be
made by the Protocol Parties, which can only happen once the Protocol
has entered into force. With respect to such decisions, the meeting of
the Convention's Conference of the Parties in Buenos Aires will be
preparing such decisions, rather than making them. However, with
respect to emissions trading rules, the Protocol assigns the taking of
decisions to the Conference of the Parties; thus, decisions related to
emissions trading could be taken at Buenos Aires (although they would
become effective only upon entry into force of the Protocol).
Question. Please answer the following questions regarding the
creation and implementation of a domestic emissions trading program:
Is the Administration considering the creation and implementation
of a domestic emissions trading program?
Answer. The Administration supports emissions trading as one
element in the implementation of a binding target once the Kyoto
Protocol is ratified and enters into force. The Administration's
approach to domestic emissions trading will, of course, reflect our
concern for the Senate's constitutional role in advising and consenting
to international treaties.
Question. Does the Administration believe that a domestic emissions
trading program could be implemented absent legislation? Would
legislation be required for any aspect of a domestic emission trading
program under consideration? If you do not believe that legislation is
required, under what statutory authority, specifically, would the
Administration intend to proceed? What would be the basis for such an
Answer. The Administration believes that new domestic legislation
would be required to establish a comprehensive greenhouse gas emissions
trading regime in order to meet our Kyoto Protocol commitments and
looks forward to working with the appropriate committees in Congress
shaping legislation at the appropriate time.
Question. Would a domestic emissions trading program be implemented
without ratification of the Kyoto Protocol? If so, on what basis? How
would such a program relate to the proposed, yet thus far undefined,
international emissions trading regime?
Answer. The Kyoto Protocol does not limit national programs to
mitigate climate change such as a domestic emissions trading
initiative. The President has stated his support for a ``cap and
trade'' system that would come at the end of a three-stage approach and
not become effective before 2008. This strategy allows ample time for
Senate advice and consent to ratification. In this process, we
anticipate that any domestic emissions trading program would be crafted
to facilitate participation in international emissions trading.
Question. Would a domestic emissions trading program be voluntary?
If so, what incentives would be offered to induce companies and other
entities to participate? Who would run such a program? Under what
Answer. Under the acid rain program, firms are not required to
participate in emissions trading, but may do so, on a voluntary basis,
as a means of reducing their costs of compliance. We anticipate that
any emissions trading for greenhouse gas would be designed in a similar
manner. Operational aspects of an emissions trading program, including
the administrative structure, presumably would be determined through
Question. By its very nature, an emissions trading program would
require an emissions ``cap'' that would make an emissions unit tradable
commodity. Would adherence to the cap be voluntary or mandatory? How
would a cap be established? Has any Administration official or entity
examined in any way whether a mandatory cap could be placed on carbon
emissions? If so, would it be the Administration's view that
legislation would be required to proceed? If not, under what authority
would the Administration act?
Answer. Both theoretical models and previous experience suggest
that a mandatory cap is required for emissions trading. Specific design
issues would be worked out in the context of legislation which the
Administration believes would be required for implementing any
comprehensive emissions trading regime for greenhouse gases. Our goals
would include designing a flexible trading system, in close
consultation with Congress, the private sector and interested others.
Question. Could international emissions trading proceed today on
the basis of the Kyoto Protocol? If so, how? If not, what would the
Administration deem necessary for an international emissions trading
program to proceed?
Answer. The concept of emissions trading is enshrined in Article 17
of the Protocol and our legal reading of the text leads us to believe
that emissions trading can proceed. However, details to improve
comparability and transparency and to guarantee flexibility and
credibility remain to be worked out by the Parties.
Question. If the United States, or any other nation, sought to
amend the Kyoto Protocol, wouldn't it need to follow the amendment
process to the Protocol? To participate in that process, wouldn't the
United States, or any other nation, have to be a party to the Protocol?
If this is the case, how does the Administration intend to change
anything that is now included in the Protocol or add anything to the
Protocol--which is deemed a work in progress--until after U.S.
ratification? If it is your belief that the United States does not have
to be a party to the Protocol to amend the agreement, how could this be
Answer. After entry into force of the Protocol, Parties seeking to
amend the Protocol would have to follow the amendment procedure set
forth in Article 20. Participation in that process would require being
a Party to the Protocol. As noted above, the considerations for adding
elements to the Protocol prior to entry into force are different, and
we are exploring the modalities for doing so.
Question. Would the Administration consider submitting the Kyoto
Protocol to the Senate for its advice and consent before formal
adoption of amendments to the Protocol? If not, is it the
Administration's intention to forgo submitting a global climate treaty
to the Senate? If so, how specifically would the Administration go
about making the Protocol acceptable to the American people?
Answer. As noted above, we are exploring possible modalities for
adding new elements to those contained in the Kyoto Protocol. The
President has said that he will submit the Protocol to the Senate only
after meaningful participation of key developing countries has been
Question. Is it the intention of the Administration to seek to
negotiate a new Protocol and send both Protocols together to the Senate
for advice and consent? If so, what would a new Protocol look like
specifically? Have any other countries expressed an interest in such an
approach? If so, which countries?
Answer. At this time, we do not have a proposal for a new
Responses to Questions Submitted by Senator Hagel
Question 1. When the Congressional delegation met with Vice
President Gore in Kyoto, I asked the Vice President exactly what he
meant when he called on you and the rest of the U.S. delegation to show
more flexibility. The Vice President said that he would defer that
question to you, but you were not at that meeting. Can you tell us
exactly what instruction you received from the Vice President and what
he meant when he instructed you to be more flexible in the
Answer. The Vice President's visit advanced the negotiations by
prompting all Parties to renew their efforts to find common ground.
Earlier in the meeting, the U.S. signaled its openness to consider
differentiated targets for developed countries. This move helped bring
on board a number of critical countries and demonstrated that we were
serious about obtaining a successful outcome in Kyoto. It would be
inappropriate to discuss internal deliberations that led to
modification of the U.S. position, but the Vice President's call for
greater flexibility furthered the trust building process among our
negotiating partners. We were able to convince them to focus on
realistic targets and to include all six major greenhouse gases and
carbon ``sinks''--elements which they had previously opposed. In the
end, the U.S. level of a 7% reduction in emissions actually represents
at most a 3% real reduction below the President's initial proposal for
stabilization of emissions at 1990 levels by 2008-2012 when different
methods of accounting for the sinks and all six gases are factored in.
Question 2. Please define for me: ``meaningful participation from
key developing countries?''
Answer. Climate change is a global problem that requires a global
solution. Current projections show that developing country emissions
will surpass those from industrialized countries by 2030 or sooner. The
problem of climate change cannot be solved unless developing countries
take measures themselves to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
In determining what developing countries ought to do, we should be
aware that the circumstances of developing countries vary widely, along
a kind of continuum. Some today are very poor; their greenhouse gas
emissions are negligible and are likely to remain so for the
foreseeable future. Others, whose greenhouse gas emissions are not
substantial, are relatively well off. Some are poor on a per capita
basis, but their greenhouse gas emissions today rival or surpass those
of the advanced industrialized nations. Still others have already
joined ranks with the industrialized world in the OECD but have not yet
fully accepted the added responsibility for protection of the global
environment that comes with their new status.
We found in Kyoto that even among the industrialized countries it
was necessary to recognize the individual national circumstances faced
by those differently situated in order to reach agreement,
notwithstanding our common purpose. Similarly, any uniform, inflexible
approach to the `meaningful participation of developing countries' is
unlikely to prevail.
The U.S. will be working bilaterally, regionally, and
multilaterally in the coming months and years to promote more active
efforts by developing countries to limit their emissions. We will
concentrate on key developing countries and on approaches that are
consistent with the economic growth and development of these countries
and with other environmental objectives. We will not submit the Kyoto
Protocol to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification until we
believe we also have achieved meaningful participation from key players
in the developing world.
Question 2.1. What countries do you define as ``key?'' Do you
consider China a ``key'' developing country? Do you consider India a
``key'' developing country?
Answer. The term ``developing country'' encompasses a wide range of
nations which are at various stages of industrialization and contribute
differently to global emissions. Accordingly, there is no one-size-
fits-all approach to measuring developing country participation.
Clearly, a country with per capita high GNP or one that emits a
proportionally large share of global emissions should be expected to do
more than one that is poor or whose emissions are negligible. China and
India, in terms of their contributions to global emissions, the size of
their populations and their rates of economic growth, are clearly key
countries in the effort to control global greenhouse gas emissions.
Question 3. The Administration's position on the issue of
developing country participation has been much weaker than that
unanimously urged by the Senate in Senate Resolution 98. The President
has called for ``key'' developing countries to participate in a
``meaningful'' way, while the unanimous view of the Senate was that
``the United States should not be a signatory to any protocol which
would mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas
emissions for the Annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other
agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or
reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Developing County Parties
within the same compliance period.'' Why did the Administration use a
different standard than that voted unanimously by the Senate?
Answer. The Administration has sought to move forward
internationally to deal with the threat of global warming. In this
regard, the Kyoto Protocol represents an important achievement--for the
first time, industrialized countries have agreed to legally binding
commitments to limit or reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, and
the Kyoto Protocol contains important provisions that will enable them
to do so cost-effectively, including emissions trading and joint
implementation. In addition, the Protocol contains provisions that are
pertinent to developing countries. For example, it requires all
Parties, including developing country Parties, to advance the
implementation of their existing commitments under the Framework
Convention. The Protocol's Clean Development Mechanism will also
promote cooperative projects between industrialized and developing
countries designed to limit emissions in developing countries. And
developing countries may take on quantified emissions limitations
commitments under the protocol's amendment procedure that will enable
them to participate in emissions trading with industrialized countries.
But these elements alone do not amount to the meaningful participation
that the President has called for as a prerequisite for submission of
the Protocol to the Senate for approval. More must be done to bring key
developing countries more fully into the global response to climate
Question 3.1. Does the Administration intend to adhere to the
letter of S. Res. 98 that is to negotiate legally-binding, specific new
scheduled commitments within the same compliance period for the
Developing Country Parties currently left out of the Kyoto Protocol?
Answer. The Administration will not submit the Protocol to the
Senate for ratification until there is meaningful participation by key
developing countries. Requiring such participation by developing
countries was the intention of Senate Resolution 98--an intention the
Question 3.2. At what point, specifically, will the Administration
reconsider the viability of the Kyoto Protocol if emission reduction
commitments cannot be secured from the Developing Country Parties?
Answer. Many issues concerning the Kyoto Protocol remain to be
worked out, and these include the participation of the developing
countries. The U.S. will continue to work bilaterally, regionally, and
multilaterally in the coming months and years to promote more active
efforts by developing countries to limit their emissions. We must
recognize that the term ``developing country'' encompasses a wide range
of nations which are at various stages of industrialization and make
varied contributions to global emissions. We are developing a
diplomatic strategy which will concentrate on key countries and on
approaches that are consistent with the economic growth and development
of these countries and with other health and environmental objectives.
The President has made clear that without the participation of these
countries, whose emissions will pass those of the industrialized
nations within several decades, it is impossible to develop a
successful global solution to climate change. We will not submit the
Kyoto Protocol to the Senate for advice and consent to ratification
until there is meaningful participation from key players in the
Question 3.3. Does the President intend to honor the unanimous
request of the Senate not to be a signatory--that is not to sign the
Protocol--until we have met both objectives of the Byrd-Hagel
resolution test: emission reduction commitments from the Developing
Country Parties and a demonstration that the Protocol will not
seriously harm the U.S. economy?
Answer. The Administration intends to sign the Kyoto Protocol
within the one-year period beginning on March 16, 1998, that it will
remain open for signature. The specific timing will depend on an
assessment of when it is most opportune to do so based on tactical
considerations. The Protocol would not become binding on the United
States, however, until it is ratified and proclaimed by the President
following advice and consent by the Senate. The President has indicated
that he will not submit the Protocol to the Senate for its advice and
consent until we have achieved more meaningful participation from key
Question 4. Does the FY 99 budget contain any programs or budget
requests that could have the effect of implementing portions of the
Kyoto Protocol? Please provide the Committee with a list of all climate
change programs in the Executive Branch, with a description of each
program and how they relate to the Kyoto Protocol
Answer. The FY 1999 budget does not contain any programs or budget
requests to implement the Kyoto Protocol. The FY 1999 budget is
consistent with the policies announced by the President on October 22,
1997, to address climate change through immediate actions to stimulate
the development and use of energy efficient and low-carbon
technologies. Many of the programs in the FY 1999 budget initiative
were established to carry out responsibilities under the Energy Policy
Act of 1992 and other major statutes, not the Kyoto Protocol. There are
additional voluntary programs under the Climate Change Action Plan that
have been in place since 1993 or 1994. Besides reducing greenhouse
gases, these programs produce substantial benefits for the Nation--both
now and in the future--in terms of greater energy efficiency, economic
growth, increased national security, a cleaner environment, and more
job opportunities for American workers.
Attached is a Report to Congress on Federal Climate Change
Expenditures pursuant to Section 580 of Public Law 105-118, Foreign
Operations, Export Financing, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act
of FY 1998. The programs discussed in this report are most directly
related to global climate change. Also attached are briefing materials
on the climate change initiative included in the FY 1999 budget. The
Administration will not seek to impose binding restrictions on U.S.
business before the U.S. Senate ratifies the Kyoto Protocol.
Question 5. Article 3 calls for the U.N. Subsidiary Body for
Scientific and Technological Advice to report within a year on which
additional activities should be regulated by the treaty. What specific
additional domestic U.S. economic activities do you believe should be
brought under the jurisdiction of the Kyoto Protocol?
Question 6. Article 5 calls on countries to enhance their
monitoring systems of greenhouse gas emissions. Will the Administration
make any changes in our existing monitoring systems prior to Senate
ratification of the treaty?
Answer. We already maintain a continuous emissions monitoring
system for carbon dioxide emissions from utility boilers, as required
under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. To meet our existing
commitments under the Framework Convention on Climate Change, the U.S.
maintains a thorough and comprehensive system for monitoring emissions
and sequestration of greenhouse gases. The U.S. has also led efforts to
improve the guidelines for international reporting of greenhouse gas
inventory information. We will continue to further refine and develop
our methodologies and data and to press other countries to improve
their methods, data, and inventory estimates as well.
Question 7. Article 6 delays the implementation of any
international emissions trading system among industrial countries until
some later U.N. conference establishes procedures for verification and
reporting. Do you believe that a fully functioning trading system will,
in fact, be adopted next November in Buenos Aries?
Answer. The Kyoto Protocol established a right to trade, and we
believe parties can begin to trade at anytime. However, for a trading
system to function well, rules and guidelines will need to be
established. In the coming months leading to Buenos Aires, the Parties
to the FCCC will continue their work to define the ``relevant
principles, modalities, rules and guidelines'' for emissions trading.
We anticipate this process to be complex, but the Administration will
build upon and share with other Parties our experience with the
successful domestic SO2 (acid rain) emissions trading
program in developing verifiable domestic and international trading
regimes. We are optimistic that significant progress on the structure
of a functioning trading system can be made by Buenos Aires.
Question 8. Article 11 requires the industrial countries to
``provide new and additional financial resources'' to developing
countries. What exactly does this mean, in terms of the U.S. budget?
Answer. Article 11 simply restates the preexisting obligation of
Annex II Parties (which includes the United States) under Article 4.3
of the Framework Convention. Under Article 4.3, Annex II Parties are to
provide new and additional financial resources:
to meet the agreed full costs incurred by developing country
Parties of complying with reporting-related obligations; and
to meet the agreed full incremental costs of implementing
measures that are covered under Article 4.1 of the Convention
and that are agreed to by the international entity operating
the financial mechanism (i.e., the GEF).
Article 11 of the Protocol identifies which commitments in that
Article are reporting-related (and thus qualify for full funding) and
which implement other aspects of Article 4.1 of the Convention (and
thus qualify for incremental cost funding).
The U.S. already fulfills these obligations through its
participation in and contribution to the Global Environmental Facility
(GEF), which helps developing countries act to protect the global
environment, and through the U.S. Country Studies Program, which
assists developing countries to inventory their greenhouse gas
emissions, assess their vulnerabilities to climate change, and develop
policies and measures to mitigate and adapt to climate change, and
through various other programs, including those of the U.S. Agency for
Because Article 11 of the Kyoto Protocol only restates an existing
obligation, it is not expected to have any increased impact on the U.S.
Question 8.1. Does the Administration plan to implement this
requirement of the Kyoto Protocol before Senate ratification?
Answer. The Administration will implement its obligations under the
Convention, which already exist and pre-date the Kyoto Protocol. This
does not circumvent the Senate's constitutional authority to ratify
Kyoto before its binding requirements can come into force.
Question 9. Article 12 creates a new U.N. foreign aid fund on the
climate change issue. This is the ``Clean Development
Mechanism.'' This Article creates a new U.N. structure for the transfer
funds from industrial to developing nations. It would permit industrial
countries or companies to pay into a fund that would, in turn, pay for
projects in developing nations to achieve ``sustainable development''
and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions beyond what they would otherwise
be. Article 12 also contains language that would permit the U.N. Clean
Development Mechanism to retain a portion of the funds it receives for
its own administrative purposes. Early versions of this Brazilian
proposal forthrightly referred to this as ``user fee'' authority, a
form of U.N. taxation authority. Does the Administration have any
concerns about granting this kind of fee retention authority to a U.N.
Answer. The Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) is not part of the
UN, nor is it a ``structure'', nor is it a ``fund''. The CDM builds on
a U.S. proposal called joint implementation--designed in coordination
with U.S. businesses, allowing cost-effective emissions reductions by
facilitating private sector investment in clean technologies. The CDM
begins with private sector investments in developing countries. We
anticipate that there may be minor administrative transaction costs
associated with using the mechanism. Any transaction fee collected
would be much like the commission collected by a stockbroker when
buying or selling stock. Private brokers charge similar fees for the
transactions they facilitate under the highly successful S02
permit trading system implemented to control acid rain in the U.S.
Beyond covering the costs of administrative expenses, which we expect
to be minor, and assisting particularly vulnerable countries with costs
of adaptation, the Kyoto Protocol proposes no other assessment of costs
with respect to the CDM. The CDM is expected to provide attractive new
opportunities for U.S. firms by enabling them to share in the
greenhouse gas emissions reductions achieved as a result of energy
efficiency, clean technology or carbon sequestration projects in
Question 10. Last year, the Administration abandoned a year and a
half-long effort to develop an economic model that would show that we
could make major cuts in energy use in this country without harming our
economy. The Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors went so far as
to call economic modeling ``futile.'' On February 4, 1998 the Chair of
the Council on Environmental Quality, Kathleen McGinty said before the
House Science Committee, ``The Administration is working on a more
detailed economic analysis of the impact of the targets reached in
Kyoto. Council of Economic Advisers Chair Janet Yellen will be prepared
to discuss the analysis at a hearing next week before the Senate
Foreign Relations Committee.'' Can you tell me why the Administration
did not produce either Janet Yellen as a witness or the promised
detailed economic model or analysis?
Answer. Dr. Yellen was unable to complete preparation of testimony
by the Committee's hearing deadline because of her obligations
associated with the release of the 1998 Economic Report of the
President. Dr. Yellen did testify before the House Commerce Committee
on Wednesday, March 4 and the Senate Agriculture Committee on Thursday,
March 5 on the Administration's economic analysis.
Question 11. Were you involved in developing the statement of the
Administration's climate change policies announced by the President in
his October 22, 1997 speech at the National Geographic Society, and, if
you were, will you please describe for us the role you played?
Answer. I was not directly involved in the drafting. However, I was
heavily involved in policy discussions at the White House and the State
Department regarding development of the Administration's position on
global climate change.
Question 11.1. When were you told that you would be head of the
U.S. delegation at the third session of the Conference of the Parties
to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change; and who
Answer. I was a regular participant in high-level discussions at
the White House and the State Department regarding our preparations for
Kyoto. I was asked by senior Administration officials about three weeks
before I left for Kyoto to lead the U.S. delegation, building upon my
regular participation in interagency discussions on this issue.
Question 11.2. Will you please describe for us the role you played
in developing the Administration's policy approach to, and strategies
concerning, the international climate change negotiations during the
period between the President's October 22 speech and the first day you
arrived at the Kyoto Conference?
Answer. I was for part of this period a regular Department of State
representative to interagency discussions. Of course, given my
position, I contributed to the foreign policy aspects of the U.S.
climate change strategy, including the diplomatic strategy.
Question 11.3. At the Kyoto Conference, you were the head of the
U.S. delegation. Will you please describe the role you played in
developing the Administration's policy approach to, and strategies
concerning, the international climate change negotiations in Kyoto;
and, in doing so, will you please describe on a comparative basis the
decision making authority within the delegation of you, Ms. Kathleen
McGinty, and Mr. Todd Stern?
Answer. I served as head of the U.S. delegation and relied heavily
on the advice and counsel of all members of the delegation including
Mr. Stem and Ms. McGinty. As you know from your own time in Kyoto,
negotiating this Protocol required an extraordinary amount of work, and
I relied on Mr. Stem and Ms. McGinty, with support from an excellent
interagency technical team, to help me pull together all of the
diplomatic, public affairs, and outreach aspects of our work. I
deployed our team to deal with discrete issues, like sinks and
emissions trading; briefed our Congressional delegation on a regular
basis; helped develop our negotiating strategy; negotiated directly
with representatives from the European Union and Japan on targets,
timetables, trading rights and other issues; helped organize the non-EU
umbrella group of countries and dealt with representatives of the G-77
Question 12. In his testimony last fall before the House Commerce
Committee, former Under Secretary of State Wirth referred to the
Administration's ``economics team'' in response to Committee questions
about economics issues relevant to the international climate change
negotiations. Prior to your appointment as head of the U.S. delegation
for the Kyoto Conference, did you regard yourself as part of the
Administration's ``economics team'' with respect to the international
Answer. As a regular participant in interagency discussions on
various aspects of climate change and Kyoto, I represented the
Department of State's perspective, including international economic and
Question 12.1. From and after the time you were appointed head of
the U.S. delegation, was there an ``economics team'' concerning the
international climate-change negotiations, and, if there was, who were
its members and who headed the ``economics team?''
Answer. The delegation relied heavily on the economic expertise of
the various economic agencies in the Executive Branch. Rather than
being a single ``team'', various agencies have participated in these
internal deliberations--the Council of Economic Advisers, the National
Economic Council, Treasury, Commerce Department, Energy Department,
etc. Agency representatives included Deputy Treasury Secretary Larry
Sunimers, and Dr. Janet Yellen and Jeff Frankel of the Council of
Question 12.2. Is there currently in place any interagency body
within the Executive Branch that has the responsibility to analyze the
economic implications to the nation of the emissions-reduction
requirements specified in the Kyoto Protocol for the United States and
of alternative domestic policies to achieve those reduction
Answer. As I have said, there is not a single agency, but rather
several competent departments that work together on analysis, depending
on the issue. The Council of Economic Advisors has done the
Administration's major economic analysis, presented to the Congress on
Question 12.3. If yes, what is the name of that interagency body?
Who is the chair of that body? Are you a member of that body?
Answer. The National Economic Council regularly convened various
agencies to consider the economic implications to Kyoto and to arrive
at major policy decisions.
Question 13. You were appointed head of the U.S. delegation at the
Kyoto Conference after former Under Secretary of State Wirth announced
his intention to resign as Under Secretary for Global Affairs. The
President has not yet sent to the Senate his nomination of a successor
to Mr. Wirth. Are you currently proceeding on the assumption that,
unless and until you are informed by the Secretary of State or the
White House to the contrary, you are the senior State Department
official who has immediate responsibility for the Administration's
policy approach to, and strategies concerning, international climate-
Answer. I continue to play a leading role within the Department and
in the formulation of our climate change policy, relying on the fine
expertise of our professionals in the environmental and economic areas.
It has not been determined who will take the lead if a new Under
Secretary for Global Affairs is confirmed.
Question 13.1. What is your current assumption about whether you or
Mr. Wirth's successor, if and when confirmed by the Senate, will head
the U.S. delegation at the fourth session of the Conference of the
Parties when it meets in Buenos Aires in November?
Answer. Please see previous answer.
I expect to continue to play a significant role for the foreseeable
future. The Department will review the composition of our team for the
Conference of the Parties meeting in Buenos Aires this November, as
that time approaches.
Question 14. In his October 22, 1997 speech at the National
Geographic Society, the President said: ``First, the United States
proposes at Kyoto that we commit to the binding and realistic target of
returning to emissions of 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012. And we
should not stop there. We should commit to reduce emissions below 1990
levels in the five-year period thereafter, and we must work toward
further reductions in the years ahead.'' As of the time you arrived at
the Kyoto Conference, or at any time during the Kyoto Conference, were
you informed of:
Question 14.1. What the President's October proposal would require
of the United States in terms of the tons of carbon-equivalent
Answer. Yes, in a general sense.
Question 14.1.1. What domestic laws and regulations likely would be
required to enable the United States to abide by the President's
Answer. No. We did not get to this level of detail. The President
indicated in October that he favored an emissions trading system
between 2008-2012 as a key element of his proposal, but the details of
that system have not yet been elaborated. Of course, as we seek to
build the rules and guidelines for an effective international trading
system and as we work to secure the meaningful participation of key
developing countries, we are also looking forward to working with the
Congress on measures we can take at home, including full funding of the
President's Climate Change Technology Initiative and enactment of the
tax incentives included in the FY 1999 budget.
Question 14.1.2. What the economic consequences to the nation
likely would be if the President's October proposal were the basis for
Answer. Yes. Our proposals for emissions trading and joint
implementation will help ensure that emissions can be reduced in the
most cost-effective manner, consistent with the President's commitment
to economic growth and environmental protection.
Question 14.2. For any affirmative response to any of the above
Question 14.2.1. Who gave you that information, and when?
Answer. The inter-agency process and groups convened on a regular
basis in various fora in which I participated before and during the
Question 14.2.2. Please tell us what portions of the information
were in written form, by way of briefing papers or otherwise, including
any notes you made of information that was given to you?
Answer. As part of the interagency process, I received oral
briefings, reviewed written memoranda, and participated in meetings
that addressed the projected level of effort that would be required to
meet the President's proposal and the likely economic consequences. It
is impossible to reconstruct what portions were in written form.
Question 14.2.3. To the extent the information to which I have
referred was not given to you in written form or reflected in any notes
you made of the information given to you, would you please tell the
Question 184.108.40.206. What the President's October proposal would
require of the United States in terms of the tons of carbon-equivalent
Answer. At numerous meetings and policy discussions, we established
a notional level of effort that would be required to meet the
President's proposal, representing significant reductions below the
business-as-usual projections for emissions. We anticipated that
reductions in greenhouse gas emissions roughly equivalent to 30 percent
from business-as-usual projections would be necessary to meet our
targets on the Kyoto Protocol. However, some of these reductions could
be achieved through international emissions trading, carbon sinks,
joint implementation projects, and the Clean Development Mechanism.
Question 220.127.116.11. What domestic laws and regulations likely would
be required to enable the United States to abide by the President's
October proposal; and
Answer. To the best of my knowledge, we do not have a specific
analysis of laws and regulations required to meet the President's
objectives. We are prepared to work intensively with Congress to
formulate them at the appropriate time.
Question 18.104.22.168. What the economic consequences to the nation
likely would be if the President's October proposal were the basis for
Answer. I was not provided with a full-blown economic analysis but
received indications that flexible, market-based mechanisms would
ensure that the Protocol would be implemented in the most cost-
effective manner if elements of the President's proposal (e.g.,
emissions trading and joint implementation) were included in the final
Question 14.3. Prior to your leaving for the Kyoto Conference was
it your understanding that the President's October proposal for
emissions ``targets and timetables'' presupposed that a protocol would
provide for emissions trading among Annex I Parties and for ``joint
implementation'' among and between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties?
Answer. Yes. The emissions targets in the President's Climate
Change Initiative announced in October, and our participation in the
Kyoto agreement, were dependent on the inclusion of international
emissions trading and the joint implementation concept in the Kyoto
Question 14.4. Prior to your leaving for the Kyoto Conference, what
was your belief as to how difficult it would be for the United States
to achieve the emissions limitation that was proposed in the
President's October speech, assuming a protocol provided for emissions
trading among Annex I Parties and for ``joint implementation'' among
and between Annex I and non-Annex I Parties?
Answer. We believed this goal would take real effort, but that
these flexible market-based mechanisms would be critical in allowing
the most cost-effective reductions and creating incentives for
investment in clean technologies, ensuring sustainable development and
continued economic prosperity.
Question 15. As you know, the Kyoto Protocol, if it ever were to
become binding on the United States, would require our nation to reduce
its emissions of greenhouse gases by 7 percent below their 1990 levels
during the period 2008 through 2012, all in accordance with the
specific provisions of the Protocol concerning the list of greenhouse
gases, sinks, baseline dates, and so forth. I refer you to a document
entitled ``Fact Sheet: The Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change,'' dated
January 23, 1998. It states that it was prepared by the Department of
State's Bureau of Oceans and International Environmental and Scientific
Affairs. Did you, personally, approve issuance of that ``Fact Sheet''
and, if you did not, who was the highest ranking official of the State
Department who approved its issuance?
Answer. As Under Secretary of State, I stand behind the material
produced for the public and by the Department, whether or not I have
personally approved every detail. The fact sheet you mention, while it
may have been prepared by a particular bureau, is a publication of the
Department. I do not specifically recall whether I approved this, but I
am confident of the customary diligent work of our career
Question 15.1. The State Department's ``Fact Sheet'' states: ``The
7 percent target represents at most a 3 percent real reduction below
the President's initial proposal of reducing greenhouse gases to 1990
levels by 2008-12. The remaining 4 percentage points result from
certain changes in the way gases and sinks are calculated and do not
reflect any increase in effort as compared to the Presidents original
proposal.'' The document then goes on to attribute one percentage point
of the 4 percentage points to changing the baseline from 1990 to 1995
for the three synthetic gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol (``FCs,
PFCs, and SF6). It further attributes ``about 3'' percentage
points of the 4 percentage points to not including in the 1990 baseline
U.S. sinks, but including certain changes in sinks during the period
2008 through 2012. Was an analysis, which showed that the Kyoto
Protocol involves ``at most a 3 percent real reduction'' of U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels furnished to you while you
were in Kyoto and before you agreed to the 7 percent reduction figure;
and, if so:
Who prepared the analysis?
Who furnished you the analysis, and when?
Were you given or shown any such analysis in writing?
Answer. Yes. Analyses of the effects of the various proposals on
sinks and the three synthetic gases were undertaken during negotiations
by the U.S. delegation, with assistance from the Administration's
economic experts in Washington. The negotiations on sinks and the
basket of gases were particularly complex, as numerous proposals were
considered. These analyses were done in real time, as negotiations were
The elimination of the requirement of a 1990 sinks base in
factoring in changes in the ``net changes in sinks'' in the budget
period was less restrictive and allowed us to be more flexible in
establishing an emissions reduction target. Likewise, the move of the
synthetic gases baseline to 1995 also gave us increased flexibility.
Question 15.2. Please tell us which other nations--at the time of
the Kyoto Conference, but before actual adoption of the Kyoto
Protocol--were informed, either by you or by any other member of the
U.S. delegation, that the Kyoto Protocol, as finally proposed to be
adopted by the Kyoto Conference, would entail at most a 3 percent real
reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions below 1990 levels?
Was Chairman Estrada of the Committee of the Whole informed
of that; and, if so, when?
Were any member nations of the European Union informed of
that; and, if so, which ones and when?
Were any developing nations, including, but not limited to,
China, India, Argentina. Brazil, or any member nation of the
Alliance of Small Island States informed of that; and, if so,
which ones and when?
Answer. The Chairman of the Committee of the Whole and other
nations fully recognized that differences in accounting procedures for
sinks and the inclusion of the synthetic gases would mean different
results for the U.S. target, as well as the targets of other countries.
Indeed, the different accounting procedures affected many of these
countries' own targets. These effects were widely known, and were
factored into other countries' decisions as we prepared to agree on
differentiated targets. During my negotiations with the European Union
and Japan this was explained.
Question 16. Article 3.1 of the Kyoto Protocol states that the
emissions reduction requirements of the Annex I Parties set forth in
Annex B to the Protocol, in accordance with the provisions of Article
3, are ``with a view to reducing their overall emissions of such gases
by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008
to 2012.'' My recollection is that Ambassador Estrada, who chaired the
AGBM and the Committee of the Whole, stated that the reduction of the
Annex I Parties would amount to about 5.2 percent below 1990 levels. If
the ``real'' reductions or limitations of the Annex I Parties are
calculated in the same manner as the proposed U.S. reduction is
calculated in the State Department's ``Fact Sheet''--in other words,
taking into account the 1995 baseline for the three synthetic gases and
the provisions regarding sinks--shouldn't we conclude that the ``real''
reductions of the Annex I Parties below 1990 emissions levels will be
less than 5 percent?
Question 16.1. Putting it another way, if the U.S. reduction is
``at most a 3 percent real reduction'' below 1990 levels, that would be
less than one-half of the 7 percent proposed reduction for our nation
set forth in Annex B to the Kyoto Protocol. I understand that the
United States accounted for perhaps as much as one-third or more of the
Annex I Parties' gross emissions in 1990; Russia (the next largest
Annex I emitter of greenhouse gases), as well as New Zealand and
Ukraine, refused to agree to any reductions below their respective 1990
emissions levels; and Australia would be allowed to increase its
emissions by 8 percent over its 1990 level. In these circumstances, can
you explain how the aggregate reductions of the Annex I Parties during
the period 2012 through 2018 will achieve the 5 percent reduction level
referred to in Article 3.1 of the Kyoto Protocol?
Answer. The 5 percent reduction below 1990 levels is real. The
inclusion of sinks and the three synthetic gases in the emissions
accounting produced a different accounting structure for national
reduction targets. The structure used in the Kyoto Protocol is that
proposed by the U.S., and is more environmentally comprehensive because
it covers six instead of three gases and provides for the protection of
forest sinks. Each nation's target in the Kyoto Protocol is based on
the calculation structure adopted in the Protocol. The U.S. target, for
example, is seven percent below the 1990 level under that calculation,
while the European Union's target is eight percent below 1990 levels.
What the State Department fact sheet accurately states is that the U.S.
reduction is ``at most a three percent real reduction below the
President's initial proposal.'' The point is that the U.S. dropped no
more than three percent in real terms below what the President
announced. Though Australia is allowed to increase its greenhouse gas
emissions, due to its particular demographic and economic growth
projections, Australia only generates about 1.2% of the world's total
carbon emissions. The overall reduction goal for Annex B Parties is 5.2
percent below 1990 levels.
Question 16.2. As far as the Administration is concerned, is the
phrase ``with a view to reducing their overall emissions of such gases
by at least 5 per cent below 1990 levels in the commitment period 2008
to 2012,'' as set forth in Article 3.1 of the Kyoto Protocol, anything
more than a purely political statement; or, could it in any manner be
interpreted as placing on the United States a legal obligation over and
above the 7 percent reduction set forth in Annex B, when interpreted in
accordance with the balance of Article 3 without regard to that phrase?
Answer. The United States ensured that the phrase was not written
in mandatory terms, because, inter alia, the figure of 5% below 1990
levels does not take account of the ability of Annex I Parties to
increase their allowed emissions through the Clean Development
Question 17. The fact sheets and related documents that were
distributed by the White House, along with the text of the President's
October speech, stated with respect to the emissions target and
timetable he had announced: ``And it is meaningful. Achieving 1990
levels in the period 2008-12 would amount to almost a 30 percent
reduction off a business-as-usual approach.'' Even assuming, for the
sake of our discussion, that the 7 percent reduction referred to in
Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol amounts to ``at most a 3 percent real
reduction'' below 1990 levels, would. you please:
Question 17.1. Tell the Committee how many millions of tons of
reduction will have to occur in 2012 (the last year of the first
commitment period) compared to the baseline emissions projections for
Answer. We do not have specific estimates of emissions for 2012.
One could compare the 1990/1995 baseline to business-as-usual
projections for 2010 (see, for example, the U.S. National Communication
for 1997 and other USG publications), to generate an estimate of
potential reductions, but this would misstate the effects of the
Protocol on U.S. emissions. First, U.S. firms can gain credit for
actions taken overseas through international emissions trading, joint
implementation and the Clean Development Mechanism. Second, the
Protocol provides opportunities for offsets, through afforestation and
reforestation. Third, the Protocol provides opportunities for
``smoothing'' variations in annual emissions over a multi-year
commitment period (2008-2012).
Question 17.1.1. Explain why the Administration agreed in Kyoto to
a legally binding obligation to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions by
such amount below 1990 levels during the period 2008 through 2012?
Answer. Global climate change threatens the economic and
environmental security of all countries. The severity of this threat,
and the global nature of greenhouse gases, necessitate international
action. The clear commitments being undertaken by other members of the
international community presented an unprecedented opportunity to
address climate change cooperatively that we did not wish to discard.
Accordingly, after close consultation with the President and Vice
President, the U.S. delegation reached agreement with other Parties on
the package of elements that formed the Kyoto Protocol. The combination
of these elements allowed us to take on a target more ambitious than
the one initially elaborated in the President's October 22nd proposal.
Of course, this target does not become legally binding on the United
States until the Protocol enters into force. Ultimately, a serious
international effort to address climate change will limit costs to the
Question 17.2. Given the provisions in the Kyoto Protocol
concerning the baseline for the three synthetic gases and the
provisions regarding sinks, if the U.S. delegation had insisted at the
Kyoto Conference on percentage figures in Annex B to the Protocol that
would have resulted, in reality, in a U.S. commitment only to return
its greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 level, rather than the 3
percent reduction claimed in the State Department's ``Fact Sheet,''
please tell us, based on your discussions with other nations, which of
them, if any, would have formally objected to adoption of such a
Answer. The text that became the Kyoto Protocol was a package that
reflected the day-to-day progress of the negotiations. As countries
neared consensus on various elements of this package, negotiations on
other elements were affected. Within this dynamic, inter-related series
of negotiations, it is impossible to predict with any certainty which,
if any, nations might have objected to such a U.S. stance. The final
agreement reflected significant mutual compromise by many delegations,
including the U.S., Japan, and the EU, the latter of which assumed a
more stringent target than the United States.
Question 18. Article 3.2 of the Kyoto Protocol states: ``Each Party
included in Annex I shall, by 2005, have made demonstrable progress in
achieving its commitments under this Protocol'' Does this constitute a
Answer. Yes, when the Protocol enters into force.
Question 18.1. Will you please tell us what that provision means in
terms of the relationship between U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 2005
The baseline projection of U.S. emissions for 2005 and
U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in 1990?
Answer. The provision does not mean anything in particular
concerning the relationship between U.S. emissions in 2005 and
projected emissions for 2005 or emissions in 1990. Rather, with respect
to this provision, the United States made clear that it would be in
compliance with such a provision if it had the necessary implementing
legislation in place to meet its target during the 2008-2012 commitment
period. The United States would only become a Party to the Protocol
with the necessary domestic legislation in place.
Question 18.2. Does the Conference of the Parties to the Kyoto
Protocol have the authority to determine whether the United States is
in compliance with Article 3.2; and, if it does, would our nation be
exposed to risk of enforcement provisions that might be established
pursuant to Article 17 of the Protocol?
Answer. The Parties have yet to establish procedures for
determining when a Party is not in compliance or consequences for such
non-compliance. However, any enforcement or compliance procedures
entailing binding consequences can only, as provided in Article 18, be
adopted by means of an amendment to the Protocol, and the United States
would only be bound to those consequences if it agreed to such an
Question 19. In his October speech, the President said there should
be reductions below 1990 levels during the five-year period after 2012.
Either before or during the Kyoto Conference, did you or any other
member of the Executive Branch ever propose to, or discuss with another
nation what the percentage reduction should be during the five-year
period after 2012? If yes----
What percentage reduction was proposed or discussed for that
second commitment period;
Who expressed the view of the United States on that issue;
When such further reduction was proposed or discussed;
Who the other nations were; and
What their reaction was?
Answer. A variety of nations had proposals for commitments during a
second budget period, and these were discussed with the U.S. delegation
in bilateral and multilateral fora during the Kyoto Conference. The
U.S. did not propose any specific longer-term numerical reductions to
take place during a second five-year budget period or beyond. However,
the President said in the October 22nd announcement of his Climate
Change Policy that the U.S. will undertake additional reductions in a
second five-year budget period.
Question 19.1. As nearly as I can determine, there are two places
in the Kyoto Protocol that define the first ``commitment period.''
Article 3.1 uses the expression ``the commitment period 2008 to 2012,''
and Article 3.7 uses the identical expression. I am concerned that the
word ``to'' could be interpreted by some to mean ``up to,'' rather than
``through'', so that the language in the Kyoto Protocol would be
interpreted to refer to the years 2008, 2009, 2010, and 2011--that is,
``up to'' 2012. Such interpretation would mean that the first
commitment period has a duration of only four years. Was it the
intention and understanding of the U.S. delegation at the Kyoto
Conference that the phrase ``the commitment period 2008 to 2012,'' as
used in the Kyoto Protocol, was meant to include the full year 2012?
Answer. Yes, the phrase ``the commitment period 2008 to 2012''
includes the full year 2012. Indeed, Article 3.7, which defines the
initial assigned amount for a Party, provides for the baseline level of
emissions to be multiplied by the percentage in Annex B, and then
multiplied by five. This would not make sense if the commitment period
only included four years.
Question 20. Even if one assumes that the Kyoto Protocol provides
for at most a real 3 percent reduction of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions
below their 1990 levels during the period 2008 through 2012, would you
agree that, all other things being equal, the level of effort required
to enable U.S. compliance with that commitment would have to be greater
or more far-reaching than would be the case if the Protocol only
required, under its provisions, returning the nation's emissions to
their 1990 level, and, also, that the economic consequences would be
Question 20.1. During the decision-making process as to whether the
U.S. delegation should agree to the Kyoto Protocol, as it finally was
to be proposed to the Kyoto Conference, did you participate in any
discussions, or receive any information, concerning whether, or how, or
the extent to which, domestic laws and regulations that would be
required, and the economic consequences to the nation, would or could
differ from those contemplated at the time of the President's October
Answer. I received information regarding the relationship between
the Kyoto Protocol and the U.S. economy but was not informed regarding
the role of domestic laws and regulation. We consulted with our
economic experts in determining the soundness of our negotiating
position in Kyoto. We have not yet conducted an assessment of domestic
laws and regulations but we look forward to working with the Congress
at the appropriate time.
Question 20.1.1. If you answered yes to the above, was any such
information furnished to you in written form; and, if so, who prepared
the information, and who furnished it to you?
Answer. No, except for quick analyses done on the spot of the
economic impact of various options we were considering, I received oral
briefings from members of the U.S. delegation.
Question 20.1.2. Would you please describe for the Committee what
was said during any discussions you had on that issue?
Answer. It would be inappropriate to characterize specific
positions taken by specific officials in the Executive Branch as part
of the deliberative process. However, CEA Chairman Yellen gave
extensive answers to numerous questions regarding the Administration's
economic analysis at the March 4 and March 5 hearings. I refer you to
her testimony and the transcripts from these hearings.
Question 20.1.3. Would you please tell us whether the President or
the Vice President, or both, were provided the information that you
Answer. While we consulted closely with the White House during the
Kyoto negotiations, I have no specific knowledge as to whether they
were provided with exactly the same information that I was given.
Question 21. As you know, Senate Resolution 98, the Byrd-Hagel
Sense of the Senate Resolution, provided, in part, that ``the United
States should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement
regarding, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change of
1992, at negotiations in Kyoto in December 1997, or thereafter, which
would--(A) mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas
emissions for the annex I Parties, unless the protocol or other
agreement also mandates new specified scheduled commitments to limit or
reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing country Parties within
the same compliance period. . . .'' Please tell the Committee what
efforts were made by the United States, from and after the time you
were told you would head the U.S. delegation at the Kyoto Conference,
to obtain language in the Kyoto Protocol that met the specific
requirements of Senate Resolution 98, namely, that ``mandates new
specified scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas
emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance
period'' as would apply to our nation?
Answer. In negotiations and numerous bilateral meetings throughout
the eleven days of the Kyoto Conference, we, in coordination with our
allies, vigorously attempted to persuade developing countries to take
on additional commitments within the Kyoto Protocol. Our bilateral
discussions with developing countries included, for example, meetings
with China, Mexico, India and Brazil. We frequently consulted with
other Annex I countries to develop a coordinated approach to developing
country participation. In the closing days of the negotiations, these
discussions took place around the clock. The foundations for our work
in Kyoto on developing country participation were laid in numerous
bilateral meetings with developing and industrialized countries, and in
various multilateral fora, including the OECD and the G-8, in which we
extensively pursued cooperation with other Annex I countries on this
issue. These efforts, while not achieving all of our goals, bore fruit
in the form of developing country support for essential elements of the
U.S. position in Kyoto, including their advocacy for the Clean
Development Mechanism. As I have said repeatedly, this is a down
payment only, and we continue to seek meaningful participation by key
developing countries. I worked the Hagel-Byrd resolution frequently in
Question 21.1. In the President's October speech, he stated: ``The
United States will not assume binding obligations unless key developing
nations meaningfully participate in this effort'' In his December 8
speech to the Kyoto Conference, one of the specific conditions stated
by the Vice President to show ``increased negotiating flexibility''
also was ``the meaningful participation of key developing countries.''
At any time, were you under the impression that such language met the
requirements set forth in the Senate Resolution that was adopted by a
vote of 95 to zero? If yes----
Answer. Yes, we believe such participation would meet the spirit of
the commitments set forth in the Resolution. Developing countries vary
in many characteristics which affect their ability to participate in
global action on climate change. We did not expect that Chad, for
example, would be able to participate in the same way as, say,
Singapore or Israel. The actions taken by developing countries will to
a large extent determine the long-term success of our efforts to
mitigate global climate change. Building on the commitments made by
developed and developing countries at Kyoto, the U.S. will continue to
work bilaterally, regionally, and multilaterally in the coming months
and years to promote more active efforts by developing countries to
limit their emissions.
Question 21.1.1. What, if anything, made you think that Senate
Resolution 98 was only concerned with ``key'' developing nations, as
distinguished from all, or substantially all, of them?
Answer. The Senate in Resolution 98 made clear that an effective
solution to climate change must involve more than just the
industrialized countries, and this Administration has devoted its full
efforts to achieving that goal. The intention always has been that
developing countries should take on binding commitments to limit their
greenhouse gas emissions. Our efforts to effect this and other actions
by developing countries support the spirit of Senate Resolution 98.
Moreover, meaningful participation by key developing countries
would capture, by far, the vast majority of future greenhouse gas
emissions in the developed world. Surely we should not hold-up the
prospect of commitments by such countries to participation by countries
that have minuscule effects on the climate change problem.
Question 21.1.2. What, if anything, made you think that the
expression ``meaningful participation'' was exactly the same thing as
the requirement of Senate Resolution 98 that referred to ``new
specified scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas
emissions for the Developing country Parties within the same compliance
Answer. They are not exactly the same thing. The interpretation
meets the spirit of Senate Resolution 98, that developing countries
play a meaningful and important role in combating the serious problem
of climate change. We are actively seeking explicit mechanisms by which
developing nations will be able to fulfill that key role.
The recent economic crisis in Asia has highlighted one of the
difficulties of establishing scheduled emissions reductions commitments
for developing countries. Not only do these countries vary considerably
in their emissions growth projections, but these projections are highly
sensitive to unpredictable economic events.
Question 21.2. Do you agree that the Kyoto Protocol, as written,
does not meet the requirements of the Senate, as set forth in Senate
Answer. Yes, in and of itself.
Question 22. As of, or around, the time you were designated to head
the U.S. delegation to the Kyoto Conference, what was your
understanding of the intention and meaning of the following words, as
used in the Presidents October speech:
``key''--Please name all of the developing nations that were
``participation''--did it include quantitative commitments,
in the Protocol or in a simultaneously adopted, but separate,
protocol, to limit the growth of developing nations' greenhouse
``meaningful''--what did that mean?
Answer. At the time I was designated to head the U.S. delegation,
we had not specifically identified a list of key developing countries.
Obviously, developing countries vary greatly in their stages of
industrialization, their greenhouse gas emissions profiles and other
characteristics relating to their ability to mitigate global climate
change. Thus, some countries may be found to be more critical than
others in participating in a global effort to combat climate change. We
are now in the process of developing a diplomatic strategy of next
steps, one of which will be to identify those countries who are most
critical to our efforts to control global climate change. Meaningful
participation by these countries could include quantitative
commitments. The U.S. worked hard to ensure that developing countries
would have the opportunity to take on such commitments within the
structure of the Kyoto Protocol, and we will continue to work
bilaterally and multilaterally to involve developing countries.
Question 22.1. My understanding is that the Annex I nations and the
developing nations knew of the terms of Senate Resolution 98 at least
by the summer of 1997, when the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate met
in Bonn. Is that your understanding also?
Answer. Yes. Other nations knew about this Resolution, and in some
cases, had the opportunity to hear about it directly from Senate staff
members who attended the Ad Hoc Group on the Berlin Mandate meetings in
Bonn last summer.
Question 23. At any time during the Kyoto Conference, did the
Administration's intent and understanding of the phrase ``meaningful
participation of key developing nations'' change from the intent and
understanding that existed as of the President's October speech? If so,
would you please tell us what the changes were?
Answer. All of the fundamental precepts of our position remained
consistent throughout the negotiations.
Question 24. Does the Kyoto Protocol, as written, provide for
``meaningful participation of key developing countries'' within the
meaning of the President's October 1997 speech?
Question 24.1. The following is from a document, dated December 11,
1997, which is entitled ``Transcript: Eizenstat Briefing on Results of
Climate Talks'' and which bears a legend at the top stating ``The
United States Mission to Italy.'' The document purports to be a
transcript of your news conference on December 11 in Kyoto. The
following statement is attributed to you:
Second is the question of eventual ratification by the U.S.
Senate. The President has indicated that the United States
would not take on legally binding targets until there was
meaningful participation by developing countries. Clearly,
despite the very important step taken through the Brazilian
process of creating a Clean Development Mechanism for Credit,
that meaningful participation has not yet been taken as a
result of the steps that were done here. We hope, over time,
Did that transcript accurately set forth what you said at your news
Question 24.2. If anybody in the Administration, or anybody else,
ever tries to tell or suggest to this Committee that the Kyoto
Protocol, as written, provides for ``meaningful participation by key
developing countries,'' can we count on you to deny that?
Answer. We have stated clearly that the Protocol does not, at this
time, meet the President's requirement for meaningful participation by
key developing countries. In our view, we expect additional engagement
by developing countries to meet the objectives of the Framework
Convention on Climate Change and to satisfy the Administration's
desires for meaningful participation on the part of developing
countries. We are working actively to find ways to encourage such
engagement, which we think is fully consistent with sustainable growth
and development. One of our biggest challenges in attaining developing
countries' participation is that developing countries, here simply
defined in the Kyoto Protocol context as those countries not included
in Annex B, encompass a wide range of national circumstances. These
countries vary tremendously in their wealth; population; stage and
pattern of development; geographical characteristics; political, legal,
economic, and industrial structures; energy consumption patterns; and
environmental policies, as well as a wide range of cultural factors
that affect and are affected by all of the above. It is important for
us to recognize that not all developing countries are uniform; some may
be acting more aggressively than others to combat global climate
Question 25. The State Department's ``Fact Sheet: The Kyoto
Protocol on Climate Change,'' dated January 23, 1998 states (beginning
at the bottom of page 4): ``While the conference rejected a proposal to
create a new category of nations that would voluntarily assume binding
emissions targets, developing countries may as a prerequisite for
engaging in emission trading still do so through an amendment to the
annex of the protocol that lists countries with targets.'' Does that
statement mean that there is a mechanism for developing nations to opt
into the Kyoto Protocol by means of amendment to Annex B?
Question 25.1. Was the United States, before and during the Kyoto
Conference, a proponent of what had been called Article 10, which was
called Article 9 in a subsequent draft because of renumbering of the
Articles, and that Article 10 was intended to set forth the rules by
which a non-Annex I Party (that is, a developing nation) could ``opt
in'' to a quantitative commitment to limit reduce its greenhouse gas
Question 25.2. Is it true that the developing nations, as a group,
refused to go along with this ``Article 10,'' and that, in your press
conference immediately after adoption of the Protocol, you stated that
the defeat of the opt-in provisions of Article 10 ``was I think our
single greatest disappointment?''
Answer. Yes, we were disappointed that the broader provision on
voluntary participation was not adopted. We were able to get a
significant down-payment from developing countries in their support for
the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), and their support for other
essential parts of the U.S. position. More specifically, the Protocol
promotes investment in projects in developing countries which can
offset emissions in developed countries (through the CDM) The Protocol
also strengthens all Parties' national communications requirements and
gives advanced developing countries the option of adopting an emissions
budget and trading under the Protocol--potentially providing even more
direct investment and technology transfer than the project-based CDM.
More work, of course, remains, particularly on gaining the meaningful
participation of developing countries, and we will make bilateral and
multilateral efforts to this end.
We are now vigorously pursuing a diplomatic strategy to do exactly
Question 25.3. Who came up with the idea that Annex B could be
amended so as to add a developing nation and a related emissions-
limitation commitment, or when such idea first entered into a draft of
Answer. Mexico proposed that the phrase ``Annex I'' in the
emissions trading article be changed to ``Annex B'', and this proposal
was supported by other countries.
Question 25.4. Do you believe that a majority of the developing
nations wanted to include Article 10 in the Kyoto Protocol?
Question 25.5. If a ``developing'' nation wanted to undertake an
emissions-limitation commitment for itself and that it proposed to
amend Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol by stating what its commitment was,
do you agree that, by reason of Articles 20.7 and 19.3 of the Protocol,
such amendment would first have to be approved by at least a three-
fourths majority vote of the Parties to the Protocol?
Question 25.6. Do you believe that the Government of the United
States, under our Constitution, could not deposit an instrument of
acceptance to any amendment of Annex B pursuant to Article 19.4 of the
Kyoto Protocol without the advice and consent of the U.S. Senate?
Answer. Seeking Senate advice and consent is the route that is
currently anticipated for amendments to Annex B pursuant to Article
20.4 (the former Article 19.4), given the provisions of the Kyoto
Question 25.7. If a developing nation were added to Annex B, would
it automatically become an Annex I Party to the Convention?
Answer. No. The term ``Party included in Annex I'' is defined in
Article 1.7 of the Protocol and provides the exclusive basis upon which
a Party may become an Annex I Party to the Convention.
Question 25.8. Would a developing nation that is added to Annex B
also undertake the commitments of Annex I Parties set forth in Article
2 (concerning policies and measures), Article 5 (concerning a national
system for estimation of its emissions and sinks), Article 7
(concerning its national emissions inventory and national
communications), and Article 8 (concerning expert review of its reports
filed pursuant to Article 7)? If yes----
Answer. No, not automatically. Developing countries, however, like
other Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change, do have
requirements under the Convention to publish greenhouse gas emissions
inventories and programs containing measures to mitigate climate
Question 25.8.1. Will you please look at those Articles in the
Kyoto Protocol and tell me what language in them would make them
applicable to a developing nation that became listed in Annex B?
Answer. Not applicable in light of answer above.
Question 26. In her written testimony before the House Science
Committee on February 4, Ms. Kathleen McGinty said: ``The President has
made it clear that he does not intend to send the Kyoto Protocol to the
Senate for ratification until we have achieved meaningful participation
by key developing countries.'' Is that also your understanding of the
President's position; and, if it is, who told you that?
Answer. Yes. I have been informed of that position by the
President's policy advisors.
Question 27. I am told that various Administration officials have
referred to efforts to obtain, on a bilateral or multilateral basis,
the agreement of certain developing nations to quantitative limitations
on the growth of their greenhouse gas emissions. For example, I
understand that Ms. McGinty indicated that in her oral testimony before
the House Science Committee. Is it the Administration's position that
any such bilateral or multilateral agreements would constitute
``meaningful participation by developing nations?''
Answer. Bilateral or multilateral agreements that support the
objectives of the Framework Convention and the Kyoto Protocol are
highly desirable. Whether any such agreements would contribute to a
determination of ``meaningful participation by developing nations''
would depend on which nations were Party to these agreements and on the
specific provisions of such agreements.
Question 27.1. How could the Administration contend that bilateral
or multilateral agreements with developing nations would justify the
Senate's ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, in the absence of
amendments to the Kyoto Protocol that made it certain the developing
nations added to Annex B also were subject to Articles 2, 3, 5, 7, and
8, and that all such commitments, including those undertaken by means
of joining Annex B, were subject to such enforcement provisions as
might be adopted to elaborate Article 17?
Answer. There are a variety of different agreements or arrangements
that could, in principle, play a part in a determination that a given
country was participating meaningfully in the global effort to reduce
greenhouse gases. It would not be productive at this time to rule out
any particular form of agreement. The most important thing would be the
substantive commitments undertaken by the parties in question.
Question 27.2. Is the Administration contemplating proposals to
amend the Kyoto Protocol to make certain that, if developing nations
were added to Annex B, they also will be subject to Articles 2, 3, 5,
7, and 8?
Answer. The Administration is still evaluating what steps to take
with respect to the Protocol. Among the options we are exploring are
the legal possibilities of amending the Protocol before it enters into
Question 28. What do you believe the chances are that the Kyoto
Protocol will enter into force by the fourth session of the Conference
of the Parties in November if the Senate has not ratified it more than
90 days before that session?
Question 29. If the Kyoto Protocol does not enter into force by the
November session of the Conference of the Parties, do you believe that
the Protocol's provisions concerning amendment of the Protocol are
irrelevant and that, in the absence of adoption of the Rules of
Procedure of the Conference of the Parties that provide for amendment
of the Kyoto Protocol by something other than ``consensus,'' any
amendments to that Protocol would require ``consensus?''
Answer. The Protocol's provisions concerning amendment of the
Protocol would not apply before the Protocol enters into force. While
the Protocol cannot, strictly speaking, be ``amended'' before it enters
into force, it may be possible for the Conference of the Parties to
adopt a further instrument, such as a supplementary protocol, which
would be an integral part of the Kyoto Protocol and would enter into
force at the same time as the Protocol. Further review and
consultations with other governments would be necessary to determine if
such a route were desirable and, if so, what form and content would be
Question 30. Would you please describe for us all of the ways,
including procedure, that the State Department is considering to
accommodate the requirements of Senate Resolution 98?
Answer. Climate change is a global problem that requires a global
solution. Current projections show that developing country emissions
will surpass those from industrialized countries by 2025 or sooner. The
problem of climate change cannot be solved unless developing countries
take measures themselves to limit greenhouse gas emissions.
The U.S. will be working bilaterally, regionally, and
multilaterally in the coming months and years to promote more active
efforts by developing countries to limit their emissions. We will
concentrate on key countries and on approaches that are consistent with
the economic growth and development of these countries and with other
environmental objectives. We will not submit the Kyoto Protocol to the
Senate for advice and consent to ratification until there is meaningful
participation from key players in the developing world.
Question 31. Did the President, personally, authorize the U.S.
delegation at the Kyoto Conference to vote for adoption of the Kyoto
Answer. As chief of delegation, I frequently consulted with the
White House as to the degree of my negotiating authority and I joined
the consensus to adopt the Kyoto Protocol on that basis. I was told
that my actions had the President's approval.
Question 31.1. Will you please explain to the Committee why the
President authorized the U.S. delegation to vote for adoption of the
Kyoto Protocol at the Kyoto Conference, but no decision has been made
as to when it will be signed in behalf of the United States?
Answer. We would expect to sign during the year the Protocol
remains open for signature. Given that many issues remain in
negotiation, we would plan to sign when it is tactically advantageous
for us to do so.
Question 32. Will you please identify and describe any oral or
written understandings with, or commitments to, other nations--of any
kind other than those specifically set forth in the Protocol--which
were made by the President, by the Vice President, or by any member of
the U.S. delegation to the Kyoto Conference, including, but not limited
to, any understandings or commitments regarding:
Implementation or the interpretation of the Protocol;
The substance of future decisions by the Conference of the
Parties, which the United States would support, regarding rules
or guidelines elaborating the Protocol; or concerning the
timing of any Party's signature or ratification of the
Answer. As you know, the Vice President came to Kyoto not to
negotiate, but to demonstrate U.S. support for the Kyoto Conference,
and to explain to other governments the strength of the U.S. proposal.
Neither the President nor the Vice President nor I entered into any
understandings or made any commitments with other countries regarding
implementation of the Protocol, future decisions by the Conference of
the Parties, or the timing of any Party's signature or ratification of
Question 33. Article 16 bis. Will you please tell us what
``modalities'' would be, as distinguished from the ``principles,''
``rules,'' and ``guidelines'' referred to in that Article?
Answer. The term ``modalities'' is generally used to refer to the
mechanics of how a regime will work, as opposed to the substantive
``rules'' that will apply.
Question 33.1. Do you believe that, until the Conference of the
Parties makes all of the decisions that it is empowered to make under
those Articles of the Kyoto Protocol, it will be impossible for either
the Administration or the Congress to know the extent to which those
Articles--in reality--would or could reduce the nation's cost of
complying with the emissions-reduction requirement set forth in the
Answer. The Kyoto Protocol establishes international trading of
emissions rights among Annex I countries. The Administration's policy
is to secure rules that ensure an effective international market for
emissions rights. It is impossible to know exactly the magnitude of the
cost reduction associated with international trading, because of many
uncertainties. Some of these uncertainties will be addressed in
subsequent negotiations; however, many uncertainties are associated
with the inability precisely to predict the state of the U.S. and
global economies a decade or more from now. It is possible to draw from
the economic literature on trading, and descriptive statistics of Annex
I economies, and to use the results from modeling exercises to
illustrate the substantial gains possible through international
trading. The finding that effective international trading can
significantly reduce compliance costs is quite robust--and consistent
with actual experience in our domestic SO2 trading regime.
Question 34. Do you believe that under Article 16 bis, Annex B
Parties can begin engaging in emissions trading now?
Answer. The Kyoto Protocol established a right to trade, and we
believe Parties can begin to trade at anytime. In order to ensure that
emissions trading is fully and effectively utilized, however, rules and
guidelines will be needed as they are to facilitate the integrity of
any market. In the coming months leading to Buenos Aires, the Parties
to the FCCC will continue their work to define the ``relevant
principles, modalities, rules and guidelines'' for emissions trading.
We anticipate this process to be complex, but the Administration will
build upon and share with other Parties our experience with the
successful SO2 emissions trading program in developing
verifiable domestic and international trading regimes. We are hopeful
that significant progress on the structure of a functioning trading
system can be made by Buenos Aires.
Question 34.1. Do you have any reason to believe that other Parties
to the Convention, specifically including the European Union, agree
that, under Article 16 bis, Annex B Parties can begin engaging in
emissions trading before the Conference of the Parties defines what it
regards as the ``relevant principles, modalities, rules and
guidelines'' for emissions trading, as provided for in the first
sentence of Article 16 bis?
Answer. Yes. Other parties, however, generally share our view that
rules and guidelines are needed to facilitate a comprehensive and
effective market for emissions trading.
Question 34.2. Will you please explain to the Committee, in summary
form at this time, all of the issues that will have to be decided by
the Conference of the Parties in order to enable emissions trading
under Article 16 bis be a viable and effective mechanism for reducing
the costs of complying with the emissions-reduction commitment of the
United States under the Kyoto Protocol?
Answer. We are currently working on a strategy to address the as-
yet undefined issues in the design of the emissions trading system.
Among the issues likely to be addressed are questions of who can trade;
systems for monitoring and verification; rules for compliance and
enforcement; and coordination with domestic trading regimes. The rules
and procedures for the international emissions trading regime are to be
considered at the Fourth Conference of the Parties (COP-4) in Buenos
Aires, Argentina this coming November. Until COP-4, we will work hard
to build a consensus on the structure of an emissions trading regime
which provides the greatest flexibility for our private sector and
Question 35. Regarding the Clean Development Mechanism,
particularly Article 12.8, which states: ``The Conference of the
Parties serving as the meeting of the Parties to this Protocol shall
ensure that a share of the proceeds from certified project activities
is used to cover administrative expenses as well as to assist
developing country Parties that are particularly vulnerable to the
adverse effects of climate change to meet the costs of adaptation.''
Who are those countries that will be entitled to receive funding to
meet the costs of adaptation?
Are they limited to the groups of countries referred to in
Article 4.8 of the Convention?
Will the share of proceeds to be used to meet the costs of
adaptation be allocated among deserving nations in accordance
with some currently unknown, decision making process to be
established by the Conference of the Parties?
Please identify all countries that would be excluded from
receiving any portion of such funding.
Answer. The Conference of Parties will determine which countries
are particularly vulnerable to the adverse effects of climate change.
The U.S. believes that this category should be limited to countries
which are vulnerable to changes in climate, and that it should not
include countries demanding compensation for loss of income resulting
from international efforts to mitigate climate change (e.g., through
reductions in oil exports). This definition will be one of the details
worked out in the development of rules for the Clean Development
Mechanism (CDM). The Protocol does not specify that this provision
refer only to the groups of countries referred to in Article 4.8,
though that Article does describe some of the vulnerabilities faced by
nations who might be eligible for adaptation assistance. Nor does the
Protocol specify any countries that would be excluded from receiving
any portion of such funding. As with other decisions regarding rules
for the CDM, any proposals to specify vulnerable countries who would be
entitled to assistance in meeting their costs of adaptation would have
to meet the approval of all the Parties.
Question 35.1. Does the United States have an understanding with
Brazil, or with any other nations, as to a limit, or potential limit,
on the amount of money derived from projects under the Clean
Development Mechanism that will be diverted to developing nations for
Question 36. My understanding is that the fourth session of the
Conference of the Parties in November will review the adequacy of
Articles 4.2(a) and (b) of the Convention. Given that the Conference of
the Parties adopted the Kyoto Protocol and that Articles 4.2(a) and (b)
of the Convention have nothing to do with commitments of developing
nations, will you assure this Committee that the position of the United
States at the November session will be that Articles 4.2(a) and (b) of
the Convention are ``adequate?''
Answer. We agree that the objectives of the Framework Convention on
Climate Change cannot be fully met unless developing countries assume
some of the commitments assigned only to developed countries in the
Convention. In that respect, Articles 4.2(a) and (b) are inadequate
because they do not include developing countries.
Question 37. The Kyoto Protocol contains no provisions that
describe what the procedures and consequences will be if a Party is not
in compliance with its commitments under the Protocol. Article 17 of
the Protocol does not itself provide deterrence to non-compliance; yet
we know that, for any number of reasons, the United States would comply
with its commitments if the Protocol ever received the advice and
consent of the Senate. What specific proposals did the U.S. delegation
make during the negotiations that concluded with the Kyoto Protocol
that detailed the procedures to determine whether a Party was in non-
compliance, and, in case of non-compliance, what specific consequences
would ensue in different situations?
Answer. U.S. proposals regarding non-compliance procedures and
consequences are contained in the January 1997 protocol framework
submitted to the Secretariat, as elaborated in June 1997. U.S.
proposals did not detail procedures to determine non-compliance; this
was to be left to the Parties for elaboration. U.S. proposals did,
however, specify consequences for certain situations. For example, in
the U.S. proposal, a Party would not have been able to participate in
emissions trading if it was not in compliance with its obligations
related to measurement of emissions or its obligations to report
resulting data. A Party would also not have been able to participate in
trading if it did not have in place a national mechanism for
certification and verification of trades. Finally, a Party that
exceeded its budget would also not be permitted to sell its allowances
in that budget period.
Although it did not, strictly speaking, address the issue of ``non-
compliance,'' the U.S. proposal also included a provision that would
have set forth the consequences for a Party that exceeded its emissions
budget in a budget period, namely it would have had to reduce, by a
specified ratio (at a penalty rate) of greater than 1:1, the amount of
its budget for the subsequent budget period. The proposal assumed
acceptance of the principle of ``borrowing'' from a later period for
use in an earlier period--a concept that was not included in the final
Protocol--but which may nevertheless be relevant to drafting rules for
operation of the future regime.
Question 37.1. Does the Administration favor use of trade
sanctions, such as embargoes, in case of certain types of non-
compliance; and, if so, please tell us what the Administration is
considering in that regard?
Answer. The Administration does not currently have a position on
the use of trade sanctions in case of certain types of non-compliance.
Question 38. Is the Administration contemplating submitting to
Congress any other legislative proposals, or is it contemplating
proposing any new or amended regulations, any of which are intended to
reduce U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, prior to the President's signing
the Kyoto Protocol and submitting it to the Senate for its advice and
consent? If so, will you please describe the substance of any such
legislative or regulatory proposals that are being contemplated?
Answer. President Clinton has chosen to emphasize those domestic
measures that are more voluntary and incentive-based in nature. The
President has laid out a comprehensive plan for cutting U.S. emissions
of greenhouse gases that will enhance, not diminish, our economic
growth and competitiveness. The President's plan includes $6.3 billion
in tax incentives and R&D spending over five years on energy efficient
and low carbon-emitting technologies, restructuring of the electricity
industry that will both cut emissions and save taxpayer dollars,
overhauling of Federal energy use and procurement practices, and
industry-by-industry consultations to develop specific voluntary plans
for reducing emissions. Such actions have other benefits not directly
related to climate change, including definition of clean, efficient
technologies; higher energy efficiency; cleaner air; and reduced health
costs. Some of these initiatives will require legislative approval and
we look to the Congress for support in these endeavors. In the
President's October 22nd policy speech, he stated that the
Administration would pursue these initiatives whether or not any
agreement was reached in Kyoto.
Question 39. Has any Department or agency of the Executive Branch,
or any interagency body, been given the responsibility to develop
potential proposals for legislation or regulations that would be
intended to facilitate compliance by the United States with the Kyoto
Protocol if the Protocol ever were to become binding on this nation? If
so, will you please identify the Departments, agencies, or interagency
body; and, if it is an interagency body, who is the head of it?
Answer. To date, no agency or interagency body has been given
responsibility to develop potential proposals for legislation or
regulation that would be intended to comply with the Kyoto Protocol if
it were to become binding on the U.S. There is a great deal of work to
be done between now and then to flesh out some of the mechanisms and
methodologies in the Protocol, and to ensure that we have greater
developing country participation in the global solution. If we are
successful in getting the additional elements we need and the Kyoto
Protocol is ratified by the Senate and enters into force, the
Administration will work closely with Congress to consider and develop
means by which the U.S. can comply with our resulting commitments.
Report to Congress on Federal Climate Change Expenditures
Prepared by the Office of Management and Budget, March 1998 Pursuant to
Section 580 of Public Law 105-118
The State Department supports the work of the UN Framework
Convention on Climate Change Secretariat and the Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)--the single, most authoritative,
international scientific and technical assessment body with respect to
climate change. Many nations rely on the IPCC for information and
assessment advice on climate change.
Indirectly Related Programs
Several Federal agencies conduct programs that are indirectly
related to global climate change. For example, the Department of
Defense conducts research to improve energy efficiency of military
aircraft as a means of improving defense capability. The Department of
Transportation conducts research that can lead to improved vehicular
traffic flow and reduced fuel consumption. By promoting energy
efficiency, these programs can also help reduce the Nation's emissions
of greenhouse gases. Nevertheless, since the primary focus of these
programs is not on climate change, the Administration does not consider
them to be ``climate change programs and activities,'' as stipulated in
Section 580 of the Foreign Operations bill.
Climate Change Technology Initiative 1999 Budget Briefing Materials
February 2, 1998
. . . So while we recognize that the challenge we take on
today is larger than any environmental mission we have accepted
in the past, climate change can bring us together around what
America does best--we innovate, we compete, we find solutions
to problems, and we do it in a way that promotes
entrepreneurship and strengthens the American economy.
If we do it right, protecting the climate will yield not
costs, but profits; not burdens, but benefits; not sacrifice,
but a higher standard of living.
President Clinton, October 22, 1997
Climate Change Technology Initiative
Last October the President outlined the three-stage approach the
U.S. will take in addressing climate change. The first stage consists
of immediate actions to stimulate development and use of technologies
that can minimize the cost of meeting U.S. goals in reducing greenhouse
gas emissions. Stage two will review options created through ongoing
technology development and lead to detailed plans for a market-based
permit trading system for carbon emissions. Stage three will begin to
implement a market-based emissions-trading system.
The President's 1999 budget includes $2.7 billion over five years
for increased R&D and deployment of energy efficiency, renewable
energy, and carbon-reduction technologies, and an additional $3.6
billion over five years in tax incentives. These provide a total
initiative of $6.3 billion in new funding and tax expenditures over
five years to stimulate adoption of more efficient technologies in
buildings, industrial processes, vehicles, and power generation.
During the coming year, federal agencies will supplement these
activities with three other actions outlined in the President's plan:
Active support for industry-by-industry consultations with
all major business sectors.
Changes in federal procurement policy to ensure that Federal
agencies make all cost-effective energy investments and take
advantage of energy savings performance contracts and other
service available from private investors.
Introduction of utility restructuring proposals that will
reduce carbon emissions while saving customers billions of
dollars in electric bills.
Section 1 below shows several summary tables that provide a variety
of views or perspectives on the Climate Change Technology Initiative
(CCTI)--by agency, by type of activity, direct spending, and tax
incentives. Following that, in Section 2, are programmatic details
organized by the sector or technical topic on which they are focused.
Section 1.--Summary Tables
Table 1.--Climate Change Technology Initiative (Agencies)
(Direct programs and tax incentives, millions of dollars)
Selected agencies 1997 1998 1999 1998 to Increase 5-
actual estimate proposed 1999 year total
Energy......................................... 657 729 1,060 331 1,899
Environmental Protection Agency................ 86 90 205 115 677
Housing and Urban Development.................. -- -- 10 10 10
Commerce....................................... -- -- 7 7 38
Agriculture.................................... -- -- 10 10 86
Appropriations Sub-Total..................... 743 819 1,292 473 2,710
Tax Incentives................................. -- -- 421 421 3,635
Total Initiative........................... 743 819 1,713 894 6,345
Table 2.--Two Views of the Climate Change Technology Initiative
Principal Technical Areas Major Types of Federal Activity
Efficient buildings, heating and Cost-shared R&D partnerships with
cooling, and appliances industry.
Efficient transportation Supporting research n materials,
(automobiles, trucks, and combustion, and biotechnology.
Efficient industrial processes and Limited-duration tax incentives to
technologies promote adoption of major
Low-carbon generation of electricity Labeling and information programs
using renewable energy, and to stimulate markets for highly
Techniques for permanently capturing Policy studies and market
and sequestering greenhouse gases incentives.
The Climate Change Technology Initiative encompasses programs in
five agencies, and most of the participating agencies are expected to
make contributions in several sectors, so coordination is important.
Table 3 shows the total multi-agency funding applied to climate change
issues in the key end-use sectors and technical topics that form the
basis for interagency coordination in the CCTI.
Table 3.--Climate Change Technology Initiative (Sectors)
(Direct programs and tax incentives, millions of dollars)
1998 ------------------------------------------ Total Total Tax
Key Sectors and Topics estimate Tax increase Incentives
Appropriations incentives Total 1998-1999 1999-2003
Buildings...................... 146 264 136 400 254 1,696
Industry....................... 156 216 276 492 336 1,004
Transportation................. 246 356 4 360 114 744
Electricity.................... 220 312 5 317 97 191
Carbon Sequestration and Cross-
Cutting Research.............. 0 42 -- 42 42 --
Policy Analysis, Market
Incentives.................... 6 26 -- 26 20 --
Program Direction.............. 45 57 -- 57 12 --
Total.................... 819 1,292 421 1,713 894 3,635
The budget provides tax incentives to accelerate the adoption of
new technologies, which complements the direct Federal R&D and
deployment spending. Incentives are provided in each of the major
sectors that the CCTI addresses, as shown in Table 4.
Table 4.--Climate Change Technology Initiative Tax Incentives
(Tax Expenditures, millions of dollars)
Provide tax credit for energy-efficient
building equipment......................... 123 1,379
Provide tax credit for new energy-efficient
homes...................................... 7 197
Provide tax credit for rooftop solar systems 6 120
Provide tax credits for highly fuel
efficient vehicles (begins in year 2000)... -- 660
Equalize tax treatment of parking, transit,
and vanpool benefits....................... 4 84
Provide tax credit for combined heat and
power systems.............................. 270 942
Provide tax credit for certain circuit
breaker equipment.......................... 3 36
Provide tax credit for PFC/HFC recycling
equipment.................................. 3 26
Extend production tax credit for electricity
produced from wind and biomass............. 5 191
Total................................... 421 3,635
Section 2.--Programmatic Details
Buildings produce 35% of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Much of
this is the indirect result of producing electricity since more than
two thirds of electricity produced is consumed in buildings. The energy
used in the typical home causes significantly more greenhouse gas
emissions that does a typical car.
Building shells last a long time and the bulk of greenhouse gas
emissions in 2010 will come from buildings standing today. Appliances
and building equipment, such as heating, ventilation, and air
conditioning (HVAC) equipment, are replaced much more frequently. The
budget includes several programs designed to develop highly efficient
new appliances and HVAC systems and to create incentives for their use.
Over the long-term, it is essential that new buildings be designed and
built with the same kinds of technology that have permitted most
successful U.S. businesses to improve quality--including lowering
energy demand and emissions--while reducing costs. Overall, Federal
appropriations for buildings technology are proposed to increase $118
million (81 percent) in 1999 to a total of $264 million.
1. Efficient Building Equipment and Appliances
DOE proposes to expand research partnerships for building
equipment and appliances by $19.7 million to increase the
efficiency of lighting, refrigerators, air-conditioning systems
and other building equipment. By 2000, for example, the program
hopes to help industry develop a prototype refrigerator using
half the electricity of today's equipment and to complete field
tests of advanced absorption chillers and natural-gas heat-
EPA and DOE will expand their partnerships that are helping
consumers and businesses reduce their energy bills and their
greenhouse gas pollution by up to one-third or more. The EPA
and DOE Energy Star appliance labeling program is helping
consumers save significantly on their energy bills. EPA and DOE
will work with manufacturers to expand the Energy Star label to
new product lines, building on recent partnerships with
consumer electronics manufacturers.
Markets for a new generation of building equipment will be
encouraged through $1.4 billion in tax credits over five years.
The credits would equal 20 percent of qualified investments in
fuel cells, electric heat pump water heaters, natural gas heat
pumps, residential size advanced electric heat pumps, natural
gas water heaters and advanced central air conditioners.
2. Efficient Building Design and Construction
Over the long-term, it is possible to achieve 30-50 percent or
greater reductions in building energy use by using modern engineering
methods to improve product quality and lower production costs. A
partnership with builders, suppliers, insurance companies and state and
local governments will undertake a program to accelerate development
and demonstration of inexpensive, highly efficient, attractive housing,
and to streamline federal, state, and local building and utility
regulations in ways that encourage innovation in construction. These
energy efficiency innovations will be combined with design improvements
that increase resistance to wind and seismic damage (thereby reducing
insurance costs), reduce construction injuries, and reduce maintenance.
The program includes:
$13.4 million increase in DOE's program to improve whole
building designs, which expands the highly successful Build
America partnerships. By the end of 1998, the program will
complete 300 attractive homes that cost less to build than
conventional units and simultaneously reduce energy use by 30
percent or more.
$200 million in tax credits over five years for a new
program designed to encourage builders to develop and introduce
innovative housing designs and production methods that result
in high-quality, affordable, highly efficient new homes. The
credit would equal one percent of the purchase price of the
home, up to a maximum of $2,000.
Expansion of EPA's Energy Star Buildings and Energy Star
Homes programs to provide reliable information and technical
assistance to help businesses and homeowners reduce their
energy use while saving money.
$10 million for HUD to manage the new Partnership for
Advanced Technology in Housing (PATH) program in conjunction
with DOE and EPA. PATH will link the efforts of builders,
suppliers, insurance firms, financial institutions, as well as
the numerous Federal, state, and local agencies with programs
affecting the housing industry. This partnership will identify
and seek to remove barriers that have reduced incentives for
innovation in housing design and construction.
3. Million Solar Roofs
Since the President challenged the Nation to have a million rooftop
solar units installed and operating in a decade last fall, utilities,
States, and Federal agencies have already set goals to place about
500,000 solar energy systems on U.S. roofs. A new DOE program will
continue this momentum through R&D and deployment partnerships with
state and local governments, energy service providers, the solar
industry, developers, and builders. Funds will also be used to train
builders and inspectors. The budget request for this program in 1999
totals $12 million, with $10.5 million for photovoltaic units and $1.5
million for solar water and space heating equipment.
The budget also proposes a new tax credit available for purchasers
of rooftop photovoltaic systems and solar water heating systems located
on or adjacent to buildings for purposes other than heating swimming
pools. The credit would be 15 percent of qualified investments up to a
maximum of $1,000 for solar hot water heaters and $2,000 for
photovoltaic systems. The credits are estimated to provide $120 million
for five years.
Cars, trucks, aircraft, and other parts of the Nation's
transportation system are responsible for about a third of U.S.
greenhouse gas emissions. Emissions in transportation are growing
rapidly, both because Americans are driving more and because of the
growing popularity of sport-utility and other larger vehicles. A range
of new technologies make it possible for Americans to continue to enjoy
the best personal transportation in the world while emissions of
greenhouse gases are reduced by factors of two or three. The budget
also provides increased support for truck technologies, since the
amount of fuel used in trucks (including trucks used largely for
personal transportation) now exceeds fuel use in cars. The budget calls
for a $110 million (45 percent) increase in appropriations for
transportation R&D over 1998, providing a total of $356 million in
1999. This would be supplemented by tax credits to stimulate key early
1. New Generation Automobiles
The Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV) is on
schedule for meeting its ambitious goal of building a production
prototype of an attractive, affordable automobile which can achieve up
to three times the fuel efficiency (and on third the greenhouse gas
emissions) of comparable vehicles sold today. All three U.S. auto
makers demonstrated concept cars capable of approaching the PNGV fuel
efficiency goal in this year's Detroit Auto Show. An enormous amount of
work remains to be done, however, to convert these concept vehicles
into practical production vehicles. The bulk of the vehicle development
investment will be made by the industry, but Federal cost-sharing is
essential to address key research needs.
Federal research funding for advanced automobiles will be increased
and a new tax credit will be provided to encourage a shift to advanced
technology vehicles. Following a program plan developed in close
partnership with industry, the program will focus on propulsion
technology and lightweight materials, with significant increases
planned in the following areas:
A $50 million (22 percent) increase in funding for all
agencies for PNGV-related work (a total of $277 million) which
A $21 million increase to develop fuel cells that
can be practical substitutes for today's internal combustion
A $10.4 million increase in funding for advanced
direct injection diesel cycle engines that can provide
attractive power systems for hybrid vehicles if emission
problems can be overcome. Federal funding will focus on
particulate and NOX emissions, and will include
analysis of alternative fuels for direct-injection diesels.
An accelerated EPA program to develop a low-NOX
methanol-fueled diesel engine that can simultaneously achieve
high efficiency and low carbon, particulate, and nitrogen oxide
Tax credits to stimulate early introduction of new
generation automobiles and light trucks. In the year 2000, a
credit of up to $3,000 would be provided for vehicles achieving
two times the efficiency of today's comparable vehicles (2X),
and in 2003 a credit of up to $4,000 would be provided for cars
that achieve three times today's efficiency (3X). The 2X credit
would be phased out by 2003 and the 3X credit by 2010. These
credits would total$660 million for the five years between 1999
and 2003, but would continue after that date. The credits are
designed to encourage early introduction of major innovations
in vehicle technology, not to encourage consumers to shift to
smaller vehicles or vehicles offering reduced amenities.
In 1996 the energy used in trucks (including light trucks used
principally for personal transportation) exceeded the energy used by
automobiles. Two new programs will be launched to develop technologies
that will both improve truck efficiency and reduce emissions:
Heavy Truck Partnerships. A new partnership linking the
Department of Energy, the EPA, the Department of Defense,and
manufacturers will be supported to increase the fuel efficiency
of today's heavy, diesel-powered trucks. Heavy vehicle systems
R&D will increase by $20 million. The research should make it
possible to increase the fuel efficiency of heavy diesel
engines from their current levels of 44 percent to 55 percent,
and to increase fuel efficiency of heavy trucks (class 7-8)
from 7 mpg to 10 mpg. The research focuses on direct-injection
diesel engines, and is aimed at improvements in both fuel
economy and meeting future particulate and NOX
(nitrogen oxides) emissions standards.
Light Truck Partnerships. A second new partnership, led by
the Department of Energy, will focus on developing improved
diesel engines for use on light trucks and sport-utility
vehicles. These are the fastest-growing segment of the
passenger vehicle market, but they are also the least fuel-
efficient. Fuel efficiency in these vehicles could be increased
by as much as 35 percent if they used diesel engines instead of
normal gasoline engines. However, if diesel engines are to be
substituted for gasoline engines on a large scale, the must be
clean diesels, with particulate and NOX emissions
comparable to gasoline engines. Making diesel engines that
clean poses a major technical challenge, which is shared by the
PNGV program in their diesel-hybrid designs. The 1999 budget
includes a new initiative to develop medium-sized diesel
engines for light trucks, with a focus on the necessary
environmental technology, and coordinated with similar efforts
being made within PNGV.
3. Encouraging Sustainable Communities and Use of Mass Transit
Many communities are developing innovative ways to reduce
congestion and transportation energy needs by improving highway designs
and urban planning and by encouraging mass transit.
Tax credits to encourage us of mass transit. Present tax
laws exclude parking benefits from income taxes even if
employer offer these benefits in lieu of other compensation.
The proposed new credit would apply the same rule to employees
whose employers offer transit and van pool benefits in lieu of
compensation. The new proposal would also correct a defect in
current law, which allows employees to exclude up to $155 (in
1993 dollars) in parking benefits from income, but only $60 (in
1993 dollars) for employer-provided transit and van pool
benefits. The change would increase the exclusion for transit
and van pool benefits to $155, the same as for parking
Expanded EPA and DOE partnerships with state and local
decision-makers to develop and implement ``sustainable
transportation'' plans. These will promote alternatives to
single-occupancy vehicle travel, modeled after the approach
adopted by Portland, Oregon. They will also promote compact,
walkable, and mixed-use development--while reducing the growth
in vehicle travel, emissions, and congestion. Programs in EPA
and DOE will be coordinated with existing and planned DOT
The initiative expands Federal research efforts to develop
innovative technologies and production methods which can help
businesses achieve productivity gains and prosper in a competitive
marketplace while leading to major reductions in emissions of
greenhouse gases. Manufacturing, materials, and process industries
produce over 80 percent of hazardous wastes and 95 percent of toxic
wastes. Most of these greenhouse-gas emissions technologies will also
lead to a sharp reduction in the production of toxic wastes.
The expanded program builds on visionary research plans jointly
developed by DOE and EPA with a number of major industries over the
past three years. The total appropriated funding for industrial
research is proposed to increase by $60 million (38 percent), to $216
million in 1999. This will be supplemented by tax credits worth over $1
billion over a five year period.
1. Expanding the DOE Industries of the Future and Other Industrial
Funding will increase $29 million (22 percent) to $166 million in
this DOE program to support research priorities identified by industry
teams over the past few years. Partnerships currently exist with the
aluminum, steel, glass, paper and forest products, metal casting, and
chemicals industries, which have all completed or will soon complete
industry vision statements and technology road maps. For example, the
1999 budget proposes to:
Start a new $19 million competitive grant program, open to
any industrial production technology that can lead to major
cost-effective reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. The
program is expected to support about 40 new technologies
Provide an increase of $2.8 million dollars for developing
advanced technologies in bulk chemical production, which can
allow these industries to substitute clean, efficient
production bio-chemical processes that imitate the efficient
processes of living cells.
Increase funding for the Motor Challenge program by $4.8
million to support high-technology controls and other systems
that can cut electric use by as much as 50 percent in systems
running pumps, fans, chillers, and other mechanical equipment
2. Expanding EPA's Industrial Partnership Program
EPA will expand its partnership programs with key industries by
$29.2 million, complementing DOE's Industries of the Future program.
EPA will also lead a multi-agency effort (including DOE) to develop
voluntary by aggressive agreements for cost-effective reductions of
greenhouse gas emissions and credit early action. These agreements will
be designed to catalyze the ingenuity of American business and double
the rate of energy efficiency improvements in key industries over the
next decade, while enhancing the productivity of American industry.
These agreements will build upon EPA's success at forming partnerships
with industries such as aluminum and metal finishing. EPA will further
consult with industry to identify cross-cutting national goals for
efficient, low-pollution technologies and processes, such as the use of
combined heat and power systems that reduce energy waste from power
3. Tax Credits
Tax credits proposed in the budget will stimulate rapid
introduction of a set of technologies which can lead to major
reductions in industrial greenhouse gas emissions during the next few
years. A tax credit for combined heat and power (CHP) systems is
particularly important in order to encourage investments in systems
that produce both electricity and process heat and/or mechanical power
from the same primary energy source. Two-thirds of the energy used to
generate electricity in conventional systems is exhausted as ``waste
A 10 percent investment tax credit for highly-efficient CHP
systems that have depreciation recovery periods of 15 years or
more. the proposed credits would total $942 million over five
A 10 percent tax credit for replacement of circuit breaker
equipment which uses sulfur hexaflouride, an extremely powerful
greenhouse gas, would encourage utilities and other owners of
these devices to replace them with modern equipment. This
credit would total $36 million over five years.
A 10 percent tax credit for the installation of qualified
recycling equipment to recover certain perflourocompound and
hydroflurocompound gases used in the production of
semiconductors. This credit would total $26 million over five
Generation of electricity in the U.S. is responsible for more than
a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions; 77 percent of these emissions
come from coal burning plants. The budget emphasizes research on
renewable energy technologies, which produce virtually no net
greenhouse gases. (Hydroelectric and other renewable energy sources
produce about 9 percent of U.S. electricity today.) Increases are also
provided for R&D to extend the life of nuclear plants, which produce
nearly 22 percent of U.S. electricity, and to improve the efficiency of
coal combustion, which could reduce carbon emissions from coal-fired
DOE and EPA will work with States and utilities on the
restructuring of the electricity sector, to ensure that the
restructuring does not create barriers to the adoption of renewable and
low-carbon generating technologies.
1. Renewable Energy
The FY 99 budget proposes funding for research partnerships in
wind, photovoltaics, biomass, solar thermal, geothermal, and other
renewable energy resources that can lead to competitively priced
sources of electricity, heat, and chemicals with little or no
greenhouse gas production. The total DOE budget for renewable energy,
hydrogen, and energy storage research is proposed to increase $117
million (43 percent), to $389 million. Funding for renewable energy
crop research in USDA is proposed to increase by $10 million. The
program increases include:
An increase of $13.3 million (to $78.8 million) for
photovoltaics. A major goal is increasing the efficiency of
commercial units, such as improving solar shingles, which can
be used to support the million solar roof initiative, from 7
percent efficiency in converting solar energy to electricity to
Renewable Energy Production Tax Credit. A 5-year extension
is proposed for the tax credit for electricity produced from
wind and biomass.
An increase of $10.5 million (to $43.5 million) for wind
energy systems. In regions with good wind resources (average
wind speed = 15 mph), new wind machines can produce electricity
at 4 cents per kWh. With the planned research, costs can be
reduced to 2.5 cents per kWh by 2002 in areas with good wind
An increase of $39.1 million in research on conversion of
wood and crop wastes and energy crops to fuels and electricity.
This includes a $29.1 million increase in DOE and $10 million
in USDA. These two agencies will work closely to support
efforts that can lead to new sources of income for farm
communities, produce rural jobs in value-added processing, and
produce fuels and electricity at competitive prices.
2. Nuclear Power-Plant Life Extension
DOE will initiate an R&D effort addressing the critical technology
needs to allow currently-operating nuclear power plants to safely
extend their operating lifetimes by 10 to 20 years. Under current NRC
licenses, approximately 60 gigawatts of electric generating capacity
would have to be retired between now and 2015. (Most of that comes
between 2005 and 2015.) NRC has indicated that they would probably not
grant any plant more than one life extension. This initiative would:
Support development of technologies necessary to safely
operate these plants for another 10 to 20 years will make the
transition to other low-carbon sources, such as solar and
renewable energy, much easier.
3. Innovative Coal Combustion Technologies
In FY 99, DOE will initiate a research program on innovative new
approaches to coal combustion that offer the possibility of much lower
carbon emissions than existing technologies.
Carbon Removal and Sequestration
Sequestration R&D. $42 million in new research is proposed
in the budget to find ways to remove carbon dioxide
(CO2) from combustion gases and sequester (store)
the carbon so that it does not enter the atmosphere.
DOE's basic science office will engage in biochemical and
DOE's fossil energy office will conduct an applied
sequestration R&D program, jointly managed with the basic
USDA will initiate research on enhancing the carbon-
sequestering capabilities of agricultural species. NIST will
support complementary biotechnology work on plant metabolism
and carbon use.
EPA is requesting an increase of $3.4 million for work with
forest products industries to achieve greater reliance on
biomass fuels as an energy source and to sequester carbon in
Cross-cutting Analysis and Research
Emissions credits, incentives, and trading. EPA will lead an
effort, assisted by DOE, to evaluate options for a domestic
trading system and early reduction program in industry. The
Federal government will work with stakeholders to understand
their views and interests, and to build the institutional
capacity needed to implement a carbon emissions credit and
Program and science assessments. DOE will lead efforts to
assess the implications of new research results produced by the
Global Change Research Program in order to determine what
geographic and technological responses may be appropriate.
U.S. National Communication to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate
Climate Action Report
[This document is on file as part of the Committee's permanent hearing
record. It can also be accessed on the Internet at: http://
Prepared Testimony of Dr. Janet Yellen, Chair, Council of Economic
Advisers, Before the House Commerce Committee, March 4, 1998
Thank you, Mr. Chairman. The President has said that we can work to
avert the grave dangers of climate change, while at the same time
maintaining the strength of our economy. I agree and am pleased to have
this opportunity to appear before the Committee to elaborate on the
Administration's views on these issues.
The international agreement that was reached in Kyoto this past
December is a crucial step forward in addressing global climate change.
But it is only one step in a journey. Since the international effort to
reduce greenhouse gas emissions is still in some respects a work-in-
progress, it is not yet possible to provide a full authoritative
analysis of it. Many of the specifics in several crucial areas are not
completely resolved in the diplomatic arena, forcing analysts to make a
variety of assumptions about the ultimate form of the international
regime. In my testimony today, I will attempt to identify key elements
of the agreement and the Administration's policy, such as international
emissions trading, meaningful developing country participation,
inclusion of land-use activities that absorb carbon (``sinks'') and six
categories of gases, as well as domestic initiatives, that together can
ensure that reductions in global greenhouse gas emissions are
consistent with continued strong economic growth. I will explain the
reasoning underlying our conclusion that, under these conditions,
economic impacts are likely to be modest.
The Administration is strongly committed to ensuring that these key
elements are reflected in our domestic and international climate change
policies. We are firmly committed to meaningful developing country
participation, the use of sinks to offset emissions requirements, and
emissions trading both domestically and internationally. And as you
know, the President's FY 1999 budget includes a $6.3 billion package of
tax cuts and R&D investments over the next five years; this package
makes good sense in terms of energy policy and will jump start our
efforts. A final component of the President's climate change policy is
his support for electricity restructuring in a manner that will offer
approximately $20 billion in cost savings to electricity consumers,
while reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Basic Economic Rationale of the Kyoto Treaty
To begin our analysis, it may be worth stepping back and examining
the larger question of the basic rationale, from an economist's
perspective, for the Kyoto Protocol.
The earth's surface appears to be warming from the accumulation of
greenhouse gases from myriad sources worldwide. None of these emitters
presently pays the cost to others of warming's adverse effects--a
classic externality in the language of economists. As a result of these
distorted incentives, disruption of the Earth's climate is likely to
proceed at an excessive pace and if left uncontrolled may pose
substantial costs in terms of harm to commerce and the environment
alike. The fundamental economic logic of the Kyoto Protocol is thus
that without such an international agreement, individual nations will
not have the proper incentives to address the threats from global
Costs of Climate Change
In evaluating efforts to mitigate global warming, the first step is
to consider the costs of inaction. These costs--and they are
significant--provide the primary motivation for actions to reduce
greenhouse gas emissions.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), jointly
established by the World Meteorological Organization and the United
Nations Environment Programme, concluded in 1995 that ``the balance of
evidence suggests that there is a discernible human influence on global
climate.'' Current concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous
oxide, and the other so-called greenhouse gases have reached levels
well above those of preindustrial times. Of these, carbon dioxide
(CO2) is the most important: net cumulative CO2
emissions resulting from the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation
account for about two-thirds of potential warming from changes in
greenhouse gas concentrations related to human activity.
If growth in global emissions continues unabated, the atmospheric
concentration of CO2 will likely double relative to its
preindustrial level by midway through the next century and continue to
rise thereafter. As a result of the increased concentration of
CO2, the IPCC estimates that global temperatures will
increase by between 2 to 6 degrees Fahrenheit in the next 100 years,
with a best guess of about 3.5 degrees Fahrenheit. While scientists
believe that human activities are leading to a gradual warming of the
average temperature of the earth, the change in temperature in a given
region at a given time may differ substantially from this average.
Indeed, models predict warming will be greater in high latitudes than
in the tropics, and greater over land than ocean.
Potential consequences associated with this shift in climate
include a rise in sea levels, greater frequency of severe weather
events, shifts in agricultural growing conditions from changing weather
patterns, threats to human health from increased range and incidence of
diseases, changes in availability of freshwater supplies, and damage to
ecosystems and biodiversity.
Economic and Monetary Damages
The derivation of quantitative or monetary estimates of the damages
from such a change in the climate is extremely difficult given the
capacity of today's models. Estimates of the economic damages from
climate change fall into the following broad areas: agriculture, sea-
level rise, air conditioning and heating, water supply, human life and
health, air pollution, and other costs (hurricanes, relocation costs,
human amenity, construction, leisure activities, urban infrastructure,
and ecological damages such as forest loss and species loss). Although
the quantification of these effects is quite demanding, researchers
have developed estimates that prompt substantial concern. The IPCC
reports that a doubling of carbon dioxide levels would lead to
approximately 10,000 estimated additional deaths per year for the
current U.S. population from higher summer temperatures, even after
netting out the effects of warmer winters and assuming acclimatization.
Other researchers have predicted sea level increases of about 20 inches
by 2100, with greater increases in subsequent years.
Despite the difficulties, respected researchers have developed
estimates of the monetary damages expected from an average worldwide
temperature increase. For example, William Cline, then of the Institute
for International Economics, estimated that a temperature change of 4.5
degrees Fahrenheit would impose annual damages of about 1.1 percent of
GDP per year on the U.S. economy. That amounts to $89 billion in
today's terms. (Cline's original estimate is quoted in 1990 dollars.
The figure given above translates this number into 1997 terms by
scaling it to current GDP.) William Nordhaus of Yale University has
likewise computed estimates of the dollar loss attributable to a
doubling of greenhouse gas concentrations. Although he uses methods
that differ from Cline's in several respects, Nordhuas estimates that a
slightly larger temperature change of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit would
impose losses equal to about 1 percent of GDP. A third independent
estimate reported by Nordhaus is close to Cline's. It must be noted,
however, that this similarity among aggregated estimates masks the true
uncertainty associated with forecasts of the damages from given
increases in global warming--the estimates are all fundamentally based
on extrapolations from current and past experience, and may not fully
incorporate effects that will unfortunately become apparent only with
One key difficulty in interpreting and monetizing these estimates
of damages is uncertainty over the extent that they should be
discounted because they occur in the distant future. Since the benefits
of stemming future climate change accrue over not only decades but
centuries, small changes in the discount rate can produce substantial
changes in the results. But the precise discount rate that should be
used to evaluate questions as important as the future climate of the
planet remains a subject of intense debate. It is safe to say that
there is, as yet, no professional consensus on the issue. Indeed there
can be no technical answer to the ethical question how we should value
the welfare of future generations.
A similar difficulty with such estimates is that they do not
include potential non-linearities in the relationships between
greenhouse gas concentrations and temperature, between temperature and
economic damages, or in the various other complicated relationships
governing interactions between greenhouse gas emissions, the climate,
and the economy. Current estimates of damages do not, and cannot,
accurately reflect the value of reducing the unknown risk of large-
scale and potentially irreversible discrete events with potentially
Two such possibilities serve as illustrations. Warming of Northern
tundra may release huge amounts of methane from the permafrost, thereby
leading to accelerated warming. We do not know at what point, if any,
such potentially unstable activity would be triggered. Second, evidence
from climate models suggests that some types of climate change may lead
to changes in ocean currents, including weakening of the Gulf Stream
that warms Western Europe. Scientific evidence suggests that abrupt
seawater temperature shifts have occurred over periods as short as
To what extent are we willing to take such chances with our planet?
There is a strong argument for the Kyoto Protocol as a form of planet
insurance. But what numerical weight should one assign to these
catastrophic risks? In other words, what is the value of the insurance
policy? Although it is difficult for an economist, or anyone, to know,
reductions in the risk of such catastrophic outcomes must be considered
in addition to the costs and benefits that can be reasonably
quantified. Since human beings are typically averse to risk, such
catastrophic risks are especially important in evaluating whether the
benefits of a particular climate control policy justify the costs. One
must have at least some sympathy with those who criticize economists on
the grounds that the effects of climate change are extremely difficult
to quantify in a single monetary number.
Addressing Global Climate Change in an Efficient Manner
The costs of unabated climate change may thus be difficult to
quantify, but they are nonetheless real and provide the motivation for
reducing greenhouse gas emissions. In taking action to reduce those
emissions, economic analysis suggests that two elements are absolutely
The effort must be global, to address the global externality
inherent in the nature of the problem.
The effort must be flexible and market-based, to ensure that
we achieve our objectives in the most efficient manner
Need for Global Action
Climate change is a global problem requiring a global solution. As
I mentioned earlier, no single country has an incentive to reduce
emissions sufficiently to protect the global environment against
climate change. Each has an economic incentive to ``free ride'' on the
efforts of others. Even if the United States sharply reduced its
emissions unilaterally without an international agreement limiting
emissions abroad, greenhouse gas emissions from all other countries
would continue to grow, and the risks posed by climate change would not
be significantly reduced. It is important to emphasize that emissions
of different gases anyplace in the world have very similar effects on
The threat of disruptive climate change has led to coordinated
international efforts to reduce the risks of global warming by reducing
emissions of greenhouse gases. A landmark international agreement to
address global warming was the Framework Convention on Climate Change
signed during the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. This
convention established an objective of limiting greenhouse gas
concentrations and called upon industrial countries to return their
emissions to 1990 levels by 2000. Since then, it has become clear that
the United States and many other participating countries will not meet
this voluntary goal; quite the contrary, emission levels have continued
to rise not fall among both developed and developing countries.
To address the lack of progress among many industrialized countries
toward meeting the Rio objective, the United States and approximately
160 other nations agreed in negotiations held in Kyoto, Japan, last
December, to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases. The Kyoto Protocol,
which requires the advice and consent of the Senate, would place
binding limits on each industrial country's combined emissions of the
six principal categories of greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide
(CO2), nitrous oxide (N2O), methane, sulfur
hexafluoride, pefluorocarbons, and hydrofluorocarbons. These limits
apply to the 38 so-called Annex I countries, which are the
industrialized countries, defined to include Russia, Ukraine, and most
Eastern European countries.
Under the Kyoto Protocol, each industrial country's baseline is its
1990 emissions of CO2, methane, and N2O and its
choice of 1990 or 1995 levels of the other three categories of gases.
The United States agreed to a target of 7 percent below this baseline
by the period between 2008 and 2012. Given the changes in the
definition of the baseline for the three long-lived chemical compounds
(HECs, PFCs and SF6) from 1990 to 1995 combined with a
change in the way sinks are accounted for in the baseline, the actual
reduction required in the U.S. is no more than 2-3 percent more than
the President originally proposed as the U.S. negotiating position. The
targets for the European Union and Japan are 8 percent and 6 percent
below 1990 levels, respectively. Australia, New Zealand, Norway,
Russia, and Ukraine all have limits somewhat less ambitious when
phrased as cuts relative to their 1990 levels. In sum, over the period
from 2008 to 2012, the industrial countries are expected to reduce
their average emissions of greenhouse gases to about 5 percent below
their 1990 levels.
The President has made clear that he will not submit the Kyoto
Protocol to the Senate without meaningful participation from key
developing countries (who are not included in Annex I).
There are several reasons why meaningful participation from
developing countries is essential. First, developing countries are
projected to contribute a majority of world emissions around 2030 under
a continuation of business-as-usual. Without the participation of
developing economies, efforts by the industrialized countries to limit
emissions will therefore not provide adequate protection from climate
Second, developing country participation is crucial because it
would permit relatively low-cost emissions reductions to be
internationally recognized as a substitute for more expensive emissions
reductions that might otherwise be achieved domestically by U.S.
companies and those in other industrialized countries. Since greenhouse
gas emissions have the same basic impact on the climate regardless of
where they occur, emission reductions in developing countries have the
same environmental benefit as reductions in the U.S. But these
reductions are much less costly than reductions in the U.S. or in other
developed nations, because of the very inefficient and carbon-intensive
uses of energy in these countries today. It thus makes sense, from both
an environmental and an economic perspective, to incorporate emissions
reductions in developing countries into the international system.
Third, principles of basic fairness suggest all countries should do
their part, depending, in part, on their ability to contribute to the
solution. Thus even poor countries should participate, although the
lack of resources in such countries may limit the extent of their
Some have expressed fears that the Kyoto Protocol might adversely
affect the competitive position of American industry. Evaluating how
the Kyoto Protocol could affect competitiveness of a few specific
manufacturing industries--especially those that are especially energy-
intensive, such as aluminum and chemicals--is complex. The answer
depends, in part, on the impact of the agreement on energy prices,
which we will shortly address. In general it is difficult to undergo a
structural change in the economy without having the effect of expanding
some sectors and contracting others. But to provide some perspective on
this issue, consider the following facts. First, on average, energy
constitutes only 2.2 percent of total costs to U.S. industry. Second,
energy prices already vary significantly across countries. According to
the 1997 Statistical Abstract, for example, in 1996 premium gasoline
cost $1.28 per gallon in the United States but only 8 cents per gallon
in Venezuela. Similarly, gas prices were $3.71 per gallon in
Switzerland and $4.41 per gallon in France. Electricity prices also
vary significantly: in the U.S. they were 5 cents per kilowatt hour in
1995, a fraction of prices in Switzerland of 13 cents per kilowatt
hour. Yet U.S. industry is not moving en masse to Venezuela, nor is
Swiss industry moving to the United States. Third, roughly two-thirds
of all emissions are not in manufacturing at all, but in transportation
and buildings, sectors which, by their very nature, are severely
limited in their ability to relocate to other countries. We therefore
believe we need developing country participation because the problem is
global and cost-effective solutions are essential, than to avoid
adverse effects on competitiveness.
Flexibility and Marker Mechanisms
A global solution is thus critical to the global problem of climate
change. Globalizing the solution is not, however, enough by itself. We
must also ensure that our efforts to reduce global greenhouse gas
emissions in the most efficient manner possible. The nature of the
climate change problem suggests three basic methods to lower costs of
achieving given levels of environmental protection. They can be
characterized in terms of three categories of flexibility: (1) ``when''
flexibility; (2) ``what'' flexibility; and (3) ``where'' flexibility,
which may be the most important of all. Such methods have long been
championed by economists interested in increasing the efficiency of
protection. Indeed, over 2,500 economists from academia, industry, and
government alike urged such approaches in a letter they signed last
year advocating action on climate change:
Economic studies have found that there are many potential
policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions for which the total
benefits outweigh the total costs . . . The most efficient
approach to slowing climate change is through market-based
1. ``When flexibility'' (timing)
First is ``when flexibility'' or timing. Since climate change is a
long-term problem, the exact timing of emissions reductions is, within
some range, not of primary importance. Thus the freedom to delay or
accelerate reductions within an agreed upon time frame--while ensuring
credibility of emissions reductions--lowers costs.
As a result of U.S. leadership, the Kyoto Protocol incorporates
this principle of ``when flexibility'' in four ways:
First, the initial emissions reductions are less severe, and
the period over which they occur ends much later than what had
been proposed by many other countries. By adopting a gradual
and credible path of reductions in the early years, we can
greatly reduce costs such as those from prematurely scrapping
coal-fired electricity plants, while attaining the same
ultimate environmental goals.
Second, under the Kyoto Protocol, the emissions target is
not specified in terms of a specific year, but rather in terms
of an average over a five-year period (2008-2012). Averaging
over five years, instead of requiring countries to meet a
specific target each year, can lower costs, especially given an
uncertain future. The averaging can smooth out the effects of
short-term events such as fluctuations in the business cycle
and energy demand, or hard winters and hot summers that would
increase energy use and emissions.
Third, there is allowance for ``banking'' emission
reductions within the 2008-2012 commitment period, for use in a
subsequent commitment period (although the emission targets of
the subsequent periods have not yet been specified),
Fourth, CDM credits achieved between 2000 and 2008 may be
banked until 2008 to 2012.
2. ``What flexibility'' (gases and sinks)
The second type of flexibility is ``what flexibility'', along two
dimensions. The first is the inclusion in the agreement of all six
greenhouse gases. Emissions of different kinds of gases, not just
carbon dioxide, contribute to the greenhouse effect. Since the IPCC has
developed conversion factors for all greenhouse gases by estimating
their global warming potentials, reductions in emissions of one gas can
be used to substitute for increases in emissions of another by an
amount that has equivalent environmental effects. Again at U.S. urging,
all six gases are included, while Japan and the EU had insisted until
the end on covering only three. Thus the U.S. succeeded in having the
Kyoto Protocol stipulate that countries with binding targets are to
reduce their total greenhouse gas emissions by certain percentages, but
does not require specific reductions for specific gases. Since a
molecule of sulfur hexafluoride is 23,900 times more potent over 100
years than a molecule of CO2, it may be cheaper to achieve
the same, environmental benefit by eliminating one molecular unit of
SF6 than nearly 24,000 units of CO2.
Some initial analysis indicates that a strategy of reducing non-
CO2 greenhouse gas emissions by a greater percent than
CO2 emissions could lower prices by as much as 10 percent.
Thus allowing countries flexibility in what gases they reduce--
essentially trading emissions reductions across gases--can help lower
significantly the costs of meeting their targets.
The second source of ``what flexibility'' is the treatment of
sinks, i.e., land use activities that promote the removal of carbon
from the atmosphere through the growth of plants. At the urging of the
U.S. delegation, sinks can be used to offset emissions targets.
Promoting such sinks through afforestation and reforestation may reduce
atmospheric concentrations of CO2 at much lower costs than
reducing emissions of greenhouse gases.
3. ``Where flexibility'' (international)
The third type of flexibility, and perhaps the most important, is
``where flexibility'' (international). As I have already emphasized,
emissions have the same environmental consequences regardless of where
in the world they occur. Therefore, the least-cost approach to
controlling climate change is to reduce emissions wherever such
reductions are cheapest. The Kyoto protocol, because of U.S. insistence
and persistence, includes three important cost-saving provisions of
First, it provides the opportunity for countries that take
on binding targets to trade rights to emit greenhouse gases
with each other. This market in emissions permits could ensure
that emissions reductions occur where they are least expensive
within the industrial countries. In particular, U.S. companies
could purchase emissions reductions in other participating
countries when doing so would reduce their costs--thus lowering
costs without affecting the level of environmental protection.
While currently only industrialized countries have emissions
caps, this mechanism also offers an incentive for developing
countries to take on emissions targets.
Second, the agreement provides for Joint Implementation by
Annex I countries. Thus if some countries do not develop
programs to trade permits internationally, U.S. firms could
nonetheless implement projects in those countries for which
they could receive emissions reductions credits in the U.S.
Third, the agreement allows industrial countries to invest
in ``clean development'' projects in the developing world and
use these projects' certified emissions reductions toward
meeting their targets. Many such clean development projects may
be quite cheap in terms of the cost per ton of emissions
avoided, as has been illustrated by the Joint Implementation
pilot program that is already in place in the U.S.
Details of how these provisions will operate will be discussed in
future negotiations such as the one in Buenos Aires later this year.
Nonetheless, effective international trading of emission credits, Joint
Implementation, and the Clean Development Mechanism can lead to
substantial reductions in costs relative to alternative policies that
do not exploit the power of market incentives. To illustrate briefly
the ability of U.S. industry to perform beyond expectations when given
appropriate economic incentives, consider further EPA's highly
acclaimed sulfur dioxide (SO2) program, which relies, among
other things, on a system of tradable permits to reduce emissions of
SO2 from electric utilities. The SO2 program has
been successful in several ways: a large number of utilities
participate, SO2 emissions and ambient concentrations have
fallen and the costs of reducing emissions are considerably lower than
As has been frequently noted, the average cost of SO2
emissions reductions has recently been significantly lower than was
originally forecast, in part due to the role of incentives in fostering
innovation. Emission permit prices, currently at approximately $100 per
ton of SO2, are well below earlier estimates of around $250
to $400 per ton.
Trading programs may not always bring cost savings as large as
those achieved by the SO2 program; trading programs will not
always be accompanied by the discovery of much cheaper control
strategies. However, the SO2 experience demonstrates clearly how
programs like international permit trading, Joint Implementation, and
the Clean Development Mechanism will lead firms to find cheaper ways of
reducing emissions that can lead to unexpectedly low costs.
Difficulties of Economic Analysis of the Kyoto Protocol
Now that we have a Protocol--even if it is not yet fully complete
nor ready for the President's submission to the Senate--it is possible
to examine it in somewhat more detail from an economic perspective.
But, once again the inherent limitations of any such estimates deserve
emphasis. Such limitations should not be surprising to you: economists
have a difficult enough time projecting the behavior of the economy
over the next quarter or year, let alone over the next two decades. The
scale of the forecasting exercise is therefore daunting, and any
specific results should be treated with substantial caution.
The difficulties associated with economic analysis of climate
change fall into three broad categories. First are the uncertainties
that still remain over the terms of the ultimate treaty, necessitating
assumptions on which the analysis is predicated. Second are the
inherent limitations of available models to analyze even short-term
costs and benefits. And finally is a topic discussed earlier: the
impossibility of putting a single monetary number on the long-term
benefits of climate change mitigation, although there will clearly be
economic benefits of emission reductions
Uncertainties in the International Effort to Combat Climate Change
The Kyoto Protocol was an historic accomplishment, delineating the
broad terms of the international effort to address climate change. But
although we know a lot more than we did before Kyoto about how that
international system can work, and that informs our analysis, there is
still much that we do not know.
First, some provisions raise complex implementation issues. At
issue here is the treatment of so-called sinks--activities that affect
the rate at which carbon is removed from the atmosphere and
``sequestered,'' e.g., by the planting of trees.
Second, the details of a number of items--primarily concerning
international trading, the Clean Development Mechanism, and developing
countries--are the subject of further discussions including future
negotiations in Buenos Aires next fall, because they had not been
definitively settled by the end of the Kyoto talks.
Finally, and most importantly, we have not yet negotiated
international agreements to limit emissions beyond the 2012 window. The
emission cuts agreed upon at Kyoto are only a first step on a long
journey. The first step that we propose to take over the next 15 years
is critical. But the reason it is critical is not that, by itself, it
will solve the climate change problem--emissions during any given
decade are small compared to the cumulative concentrations in the
atmosphere. Rather, the first step is critical because we can not take
the second and third steps until we have taken the first. At the same
time, any analysis is complicated by the lack of knowledge over what
the subsequent steps will be.
Inherent Limitations of Models
In addition to these uncertainties about the details of the
international effort to address climate change, are the inherent
limitations of the models used to evaluate that effort. Even within a
given model, answers depend critically on the precise nature of the
question asked. For example, the costs of emissions reductions depend
critically on the extent of global participation and international
trading that a treaty is assumed to feature. But in addition to the
dependence of the results from a given model on the precise
assumptions, different models can give different answers even when all
the assumptions are specified to be the same--a concrete illustration
of the range of uncertainty to which we must assign the predictions of
any one individual model.
One area in which the uncertainty is particularly large is the pace
of technological progress--especially the diffusion of existing energy-
efficient technologies, but also the development of new technologies--
and the extent to which the pace will accelerate in response to
government programs. Models and experts on climate change policy tend
to have a wider range of disagreement on the scope for speeding the
diffusion of existing energy-efficient technologies than on any other
Furthermore, each model has strengths and weaknesses; each has
questions to which it is better or worse suited to answer. Some, for
example, model the energy sector in detail. Some allow for the fact
that a coal-fired power plant cannot costlessly be converted to one
that runs on natural gas. Some show the effects of hypothetical tax
cuts made possible by the new revenues earned through the auction of
emissions permits. Some are capable of showing recessions and booms.
Others include a long-term ``carbon cycle'' model that can keep track
of the accumulation of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere
and their climatological effects. Some break down the rest of the world
into regions and so can model international trade. No one model does
everything, and therefore we must not rely blindly on the results of
any one model or set of models. Professional judgment and economic
intuition, along with diplomatic assessments, are also crucial.
Benefits of Averting Climate Change
As discussed above, it is evident that the benefits of averting
climate change are potentially immense. But we have chosen not to try
to quantify them in monetary terms, in light of the difficulties we
have enumerated. These include the uncertainty of these benefits, their
timing and therefore the extreme sensitivity of the results to the
chosen discount rate, and the dependence of benefits on emissions paths
after the 2008 to 2012 budget period specified in Kyoto.
Assessing the Kyoto Protocol
In order to evaluate the likely net economic impact of the Kyoto
Protocol, excluding the benefits of mitigating climate change itself,
we have drawn upon a variety of tools to assess the various possible
costs and non-climate benefits of the Administration's emissions
reduction policy. To give away the punch line, our conclusion is as
follows: the net costs of our policies to reduce emissions are likely
to be small, assuming those reductions are undertaken in an efficient
manner and we are successful in securing meaningful developing county
participation as well as effective international trading, and the Clean
Development Mechanism in future negotiations. That potential small net
premium, even excluding the benefits of mitigating climate change, in
effect, purchases a partial insurance policy against a serious
Because the results from any model must be treated with caution,
the Administration has employed a broad set of economic tools to assess
the Kyoto Protocol. We have drawn on the insights of a wide range of
models of the energy sector and economy over the next 25 years,
including but not limited to the results of the Stanford Energy
Modeling Forum exercises, the IPCC's review of the economic and social
dimensions of climate change, the work of the OECD on Economic
Dimensions and Policy Responses to Global Warming, and the staff-level
Interagency Analytical Team analysis produced last year. Other tools
include simple relevant statistics, ``meta-analyses'' such as work by
the World Resources Institute, models, and basic economic reasoning.
Drawing on this broad array of analytical tools is crucial to an
intelligent evaluation of the policy alternatives.
To our knowledge, no model--whether used inside the government or
not--has yet been set up to analyze the implications of the Kyoto
Protocol, since this agreement is only a few months old and remains
unfinished. In particular, no model is currently designed to assess
Kyoto's treatment of sinks, or all six greenhouse gases. Some model-
builders outside the government tend to take as long as several years
to incorporate changes in policy parameters into their models.
Our thinking has been informed, however, by simulations conducted
with the Second Generation Model of Battelle Laboratories, one of the
leading models in the field. The SGM is one of the models best
positioned to analyze the role of international trade in emission
permits, which we consider to be a critical clement of the Kyoto
Treaty. However, the SGM does not cover all six gases included in the
Kyoto Protocol or include a role for sinks. We have used the SGM model
as one input into our overall assessment of the Kyoto treaty, but have
attempted to supplement its results with additional analysis to account
for such special features of the agreement as the inclusion of six
gases, a possible trading arrangement that could include a subset of
the Annex I countries and the Clean Development Mechanism. We will
share with you today some preliminary results of this analysis. To the
extent possible, we have compared results obtained with the SGM model
with those of other modelling efforts.
Mindful of the limitations of any single model, we are eager to see
features of the Kyoto Protocol assessed by other models to obtain a
better feel for the range of possible effects. This work is just
beginning and much of it will continue to go on outside the government.
For example, the Energy Modeling Forum, based at Stanford University,
is a long-running model comparison exercise involving many of the
leading climate models. EMF is currently studying how features of the
Kyoto legal language can be translated into terms recognizable to
economic modelers. We expect that the group will conduct a full scale
analysis of the Kyoto Protocol. The Energy Modeling Forum believes that
its members will need at least until mid-year to update their results.
Assessing the Potential Costs of Emissions Reductions
I said in Congressional testimony last July that we can do this
smart or we can do this dumb. I was referring to the point that the
costs of cutting emissions can be much reduced if flexible, market-
based mechanisms are used. Our economic analysis highlighted the
importance of such flexible, market-based mechanisms--which are
therefore reflected, at the President's insistence, in the Kyoto
Protocol and our ongoing diplomatic strategy.
Within the Kyoto Protocol, this means an insistence on
international trading, Joint Implementation, the Clean Development
Mechanism, and, ultimately, on meaningful developing country
participation. Domestically, this means that we implement any emissions
reductions through a market-based system of tradable emissions permits,
which ensures that we achieve reductions wherever they are least
expensive. But this also means taking serious and responsible steps in
the short run to prepare us to meet our obligations in the longer term.
The first such step is the inclusion in this year's budget of an
aggressive, $6.3 billion program of tax cuts and R&D investments--$1.3
billion more than the $5 billion package the President promised in his
October 22 speech on this issue. The goal is both to stimulate the
development of new energy-saving and carbon-saving technologies and to
encourage the dissemination of those that exist already. The proposed
package contains $3.6 billion over the next 5 years in tax cuts for
energy efficient purchases and renewable energy, including tax credits
of $3,000 to $4,000 for consumers who purchase highly fuel efficient
vehicles, a 15 percent credit (up to $2,000) for purchases of rooftop
solar equipment, a 20 percent credit (subject to a cap) for purchasing
energy-efficient building equipment, a credit up to $2,000 for
purchasing energy-efficient new homes, an extension of the wind and
biomass tax credit, and a 10 percent investment credit for the purchase
of combined heat and power systems. The package also contains $2.1
billion over the next 3 years in additional research and development
investments--covering the four major carbon-emitting sectors of the
economy (buildings, industry, transportation, and electricity), plus
carbon removal and sequestration, Federal facilities, and cross-cutting
analyses and research. One example of the R&D effort is the Partnership
for a New Generation of Vehicles (PNGV). PNGV is a government-industry
effort to develop attractive, affordable cars that meet all applicable
safety and environmental standards and get up to three times the fuel
efficiency of today's cars. In FY 99, the combined proposal for PNGV is
$277 million, up from $227 million appropriated in FY 98. Similar
government-industry efforts are proposed to develop more efficient
diesel engines for both light trucks and heavy trucks.
A second responsible step entails industry-by-industry
consultations to prepare emission reduction plans in key industrial
sectors. The Administration will work in partnership with industry to
identify ways in which the Federal government might remove regulatory
hurdles that discourage energy efficiency. In addition, DOE will
spearhead a comprehensive effort to improve the energy efficiency of
the Federal government's own operations and purchases.
The third step is the promotion of an environmentally-responsible
electricity restructuring bill, which the President identified as part
of his domestic climate change package in his address to the National
Geographic Society on October 22. An electricity sector freed from
government regulation would be a more efficient energy sector. Costs to
consumers would fall. In addition, stronger incentives for improved
generation efficiency in conjunction with appropriate market based
provisions could achieve modest reductions in emissions. A reasonable
overall estimate of the contribution of federal electricity
restructuring to the rest of the President's program to address climate
change is that it would make further progress to the same emission
reduction goals at a cost saving of roughly $20 billion per year. These
steps should be taken regardless of Kyoto, because they make sense in
terms of energy efficiency. But they have the added benefit of
preparing us for Kyoto.
Estimated Reduction in Costs from Annex I Trading
In the language of the treaty, ``Annex I,'' is the set of countries
that have agreed to take on binding limitations in emissions of
greenhouse gases. Even without meaningful developing country
participation--which, again, the President has emphasized is essential
before the treaty would be submitted for ratification--costs could be
reduced substantially by emission trading among the Annex I countries.
To provide some indication of the possible efficiency improvements,
Russia and Ukraine consume six times as much energy per dollar of
output as does the United States. Such large international differences
in energy efficiency suggest that adoption of existing U.S. technology
would yield very large emissions reductions in these countries.
Estimates derived from the SGM model confirm that emissions trading
among Annex I countries can reduce the cost to the United States of
achieving its targets for 2008-2012 emissions by about half relative to
a situation in which such trading was not available. This concept of
costs is meant to capture aggregate resource costs to the US economy,
including the cost to domestic firms of purchasing emission permits
from other countries where emission reductions may be cheaper than in
the United States. Although these estimates reflect idealized
international trading in efficient markets, the overall conclusion is
clear. The dramatic reduction in costs potentially available from Annex
I trading within the SGM model--cutting the costs involved by half--
highlights why the President insisted that international trading be
part of the Kyoto Protocol; and why its achievement by our negotiators
in Kyoto was such an important accomplishment.
Estimated Reduction in Costs From Umbrella Trading
One possibility that emerged in Kyoto, which none of us foresaw,
was the idea developed there by the U.S. delegation that the United
States might undertake trading with a subset of Annex I countries,
dubbed the ``umbrella''. Countries that have expressed interest in the
umbrella include the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and
Russia, with strong indications of interest from some others. This
subset of Annex I countries shares a common interest in promoting
market-based mechanisms, most specifically, fully flexible rules for
international trading of emissions permits.
It is too early to state the precise form the umbrella will take.
But we can envision a number of potential benefits. The umbrella could,
for example greatly reduce costs to the U.S. Results that we have
derived from various SGM simulations of efficient international trading
suggest that, relative to the situation in which there is no trading at
all, the umbrella can reduce costs by an estimated 60-73 percent,
depending on whether the former Warsaw Pact countries fall within the
umbrella. The Kyoto Protocol classifies these countries outside of the
EU bubble for the first budget period 2008-2012.
Estimated Reduction in Costs From Developing Country Participation
The next consideration is participation by developing countries.
The President has said that he will not submit the treaty for
ratification without meaningful participation by key developing
countries. Such participation would further reduce the costs involved.
The substantial potential gains from meaningful developing country
participation are highlighted by the significant benefits that will
likely accrue from the limited role that the developing countries have
already agreed to: the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM), modeled after
the U.S. joint implementation concept. The CDM cannot realistically be
expected to yield all the gains of binding targets for developing
countries, but it might shave costs by roughly another 20 to 23 percent
from the reduced costs that result from trading among Annex I
Another possibility is that we persuade some of the key developing
countries that are the largest emitters to commit to targets, and allow
us to buy emission reductions from those paths. Simulations with the
SGM model suggest that full participation by non-Annex I countries
could cut roughly 55 percent off the reduced costs that result from
Annex I trading. The actual cost reduction would depend on the extent
of developing country participation that is ultimately obtained as well
as the effectiveness of international trading arrangements. The more
developing countries that take on modest binding targets and trade in
international permit markets, the lower will be costs.
These cost-saving opportunities are fundamental tenets of the U.S.
position. The promise of Kyoto cannot be achieved without effective
emissions trading. Moreover, if we do not get meaningful participation
by key developing countries, we won't submit the treaty for
ratification to the Senate. So, while our analysis may be predicated on
some ambitious conditions concerning trading and developing country
participation, it is exactly those conditions that form the foundation
of the U.S. position in international negotiations including those at
Accounting for Carbon Sinks
The preceding discussion has emphasized the importance of trading
arrangements and the CDM. In reaching an overall economic assessment,
it is also important to factor in the potential role of carbon sinks.
Again, the U.S. delegation obtained a novel concept, that carbon
absorbing activities called sinks could be used to offset emissions.
The arrangements concerning carbon sinks in the Kyoto Protocol have
received less attention than they merit. The Kyoto Protocol specifies
that removals of CO2 by sinks count toward meeting the
target. The Kyoto Protocol counts the net emissions effects of three
sink activities--afforestation, reforestation, and deforestation. Very
preliminary estimates of the implications for the United States of the
Kyoto provision on sinks indicate that carbon sinks could comprise a
significant portion of the total required emissions reductions.
Moreover, decreasing the required emissions reduction by, for example,
10% would likely result in cost-savings greater than 10%.
Even this estimate of the effect of sinks is conservative in one
respect: it is based on an assumption for sink activity in the U.S.
over the 2008-2012 period, and no assumed benefits from sinks elsewhere
in the world. Very preliminary estimates suggest that incorporating the
gains from sinks throughout the world can substantially reduce the
costs of meeting the Kyoto target, on top of the gains from trading
among Annex I countries. (Furthermore, no model has yet even tried to
take into account that government policies can help increase the
activities qualifying as allowable sinks, like some tree-planting.)
Because the quantitative uncertainty is so large, we do not yet have an
estimate with which we are comfortable. But we expect that complete
modelling of the Kyoto provision pertaining to sinks will likely have
favorable and potentially large effects on projected costs.
Accounting for the Role of Improvements in Energy Efficiency
Another issue in analyzing the Kyoto protocol concerns future
improvements in energy efficiency due to innovation and diffusion of
existing technology. The parameter that figures most prominently in
analysis of energy efficiency is the rate of improvement in the so-
called Autonomous Energy Efficiency Index (AEEI), that is the rate at
which the total use of energy falls relative to GDP. A plausible
assumption on the AEEI is an improvement of 1.0 percent per year.
Reflecting a conservative interpretation of the 15-year impact of
various climate change initiatives, this is only a small increase above
the 0.9 percent number in the Energy Information Administration's
Annual Energy Outlook. That assumption is not the most optimistic
outcome that might occur. Some authorities in the field of energy
policy forecast more rapid technological progress. Experts at five
national laboratories managed by the Department of Energy, using an
engineering approach rather than an economic paradigm, found that a
third of the emissions reductions necessary to return to 1990 levels by
2010 could be achieved through the adoption of existing energy-
efficient technologies at no net resource cost, or even some savings.
The National Academy of Sciences reached qualitatively similar
conclusions in a 1992 report.
The President's FY 1999 budget, as I have noted, includes a $6.3
billion package of tax cuts and R&D investments intended to spur the
discovery and adoption of new technologies. If the Administration is
successful in this effort, the rate of improvement in energy efficiency
could rise and such improvements would lower the cost of meeting our
Kyoto target. For example, published results based on SGM model
simulations with different assumed rates of AEEI suggest that an
increase in the AEEI of 25 percent could lead to declines in the permit
price of approximately 40 percent.
Our justification for incorporating into our assessment a small
assumed impact of Administration technology policies is somewhat
analogous to the Administration's rationale for employing mainstream
economic assumptions in our budget forecasts: in the presence of
uncertainty, we are conservative in our estimates of the speed with
which the economy will grow, tax receipts will rise, and the budget
will improve. That way, any revisions or surprises that occur are
likely to be in the pleasant direction. In this instance, we prudently
and conservatively assume that there will be substantial delays between
investments in new technology or the diffusion of existing technology,
and the returns to such investments.
Moreover, at the recent automobile show in Detroit, General Motors
announced that it has developed a hybrid-based vehicle that can achieve
fuel efficiency of 80 miles per gallon, and that this car could be in
commercial production within a few years. Ford also exhibited a
prototype of a light-weight highly fuel efficient sedan that could be
in commercial production by the middle of the next decade. These
announcements followed an earlier breakthrough announced by DOE and its
partners of a fuel cell that could run on gasoline and double current
fuel economy while reducing conventional air pollution emissions by 90
percent, These technological advances have been made possible through
the efforts of the Partnership for a New Generation of Vehicles between
the Administration and the U.S. auto companies and their suppliers.
Such progress may be replicated in other sectors. VCRs and TVs,
while switched off, consume about $1 billion worth of electricity
annually. EPA has established a partnership with major manufacturers
that has a goal of achieving up to a 70 percent reduction in energy use
by VCRs and TVs while they are switched off, without sacrificing
product quality, usefulness, or increasing costs. This partnership
offers promise of substantial improvements in energy efficiency.
A final factor that should be included in any comprehensive
assessment of the economic implications of the Kyoto protocol are the
benefits of the agreement. The literature has emphasized that any
relative price shifts that prove necessary to reduce emissions should
produce non-climate benefits in three areas: traffic congestion,
highway accidents, and air pollution unrelated to climate change. These
benefits are hard to quantify precisely but are potentially
significant; our rough estimates suggest that these three benefits
could offset approximately a quarter of the resource cost of the
climate change policy.
A comprehensive evaluation of the economic impact of the Kyoto
Protocol must integrate all of the factors described above: reliance on
flexible market-based mechanisms domestically; international trading
and Joint Implementation among Annex I countries; the Clean Development
Mechanism; meaningful developing country participation; the potential
cost-mitigating role of including six gases and carbon sinks; the
benefits of electricity restructuring; and emissions reductions
achieved as a consequence of other proposed Administration climate
change initiatives. Assuming that effective mechanisms for
international trading, Joint Implementation and the Clean Development
Mechanism are established, and assuming also that the U.S. achieves
meaningful developing country participation, our overall assessment is
that the economic cost to the United States in aggregate and to typical
households of attaining the targets and timetables specified in the
Kyoto Protocol, will be modest.
This conclusion that the impact will be modest is not entirety
dependent upon, but is fully consistent with, formal model results. I
have previously emphasized the limitations of relying on any single
model in assessing the economic impact of the Kyoto Protocol, and
continue to view any such results as just one input into an overall
analysis. But it is worth emphasizing that model results reflecting the
details of the Kyoto Protocol are consistent with our conclusion. For
example, under the assumptions of either trading under the umbrella or
within Annex I, the CDM and permit trading with developing countries,
estimates derived using the SCM model, which adjust for the inclusion
of six gases and assume little banking of credits beyond 2012, suggest
that the resource costs of attaining the Kyoto targets for emission
reductions might amount to $7 to $12 billion per year in 2008 to 2012.
This implies that overall costs, excluding not only climate and non-
climate benefits, but also such cost mitigating factors as sinks and
payoffs from the President's electricity restructuring and climate
change initiatives, would reach roughly one-tenth of one percent of
projected GDP in 2010.
A more tangible measure of costs is the estimated effects on energy
prices. Excluding the impact of electricity restructuring and the
ancillary benefits of mitigation and better forest management, the SGM-
based estimate, corresponding to the gross resource cost estimate cited
above, is an emissions price in the range of $14 to $23 per ton of
carbon equivalent. This translates into an increase in energy prices
between 2008 and 2012 at the household level of between 3 and 5
percent, an increase in fuel oil prices of about 5 to 9 percent,
natural gas prices of 3 to 5 percent, gasoline prices of 3 to 4 percent
(or around 4 to 6 cents per gallon), and electricity prices of 3 to 4
percent. This increase in energy prices at the household level would
raise the average household's energy bill in ten years by between $70
and $110 per year, although such predictions may not be observable
because they would be small relative to typical energy price changes,
and nearly fully offset by electricity price declines from Federal
electricity restructuring. In particular, this increase in energy
prices is small relative to the average of year to year real energy
price changes experienced by U.S. consumers since 1960: such annual
changes have averaged 3-8 percent. In addition, by 2008-2012, the
anticipated 10 percent decline in electricity prices from the
restructuring that is part of our climate change agenda is projected to
lead to expenditure reductions of about $90 per year for the average
As highlighted earlier, there are substantial but unavoidable
uncertainties surrounding estimates like these. For example, the
estimate just discussed is predicated, among other things, on the
developing country participation that we are insisting upon as a
condition for our ratifying the Kyoto Protocol, but which is not yet
part of that Protocol, and on effective international trading.
Moreover, other models will yield other answers and much work remains
to be done by the modeling community to test the robustness of these
results. Preliminary comparisons of the SGM model to the few other
models that have attempted to evaluate the Kyoto accord, suggest that
its predictions concerning the impact of the Kyoto Protocol on carbon
permit prices are neither the most conservative nor the most optimistic
of the models that have been developed. The predictions of the SCM
model are robust in the sense that virtually all energy models reveal
the potency of effective, flexible, domestic and international trading
mechanisms to reduce substantially the cost and energy price impact of
meeting the Kyoto targets,
Of course, the most important factor that has been left out of the
above assessment is the benefit of mitigating climate change itself. A
hill cost-benefit analysis would include mitigation in the benefits
column. The only reason we have not done so, explained repeatedly
above, is the difficulty in coming up with a number to capture the
monetary benefits. But nobody should lose sight of our ultimate
objective--keeping our planet the hospitable home that we enjoy today,
Effects on Employment and Aggregate Output
So far we have said nothing about job losses resulting from climate
change policy. Although there may be job gains in some sectors and job
losses in others, we do not anticipate any significant aggregate
employment effect if we achieve the conditions we have discussed. The
effects on energy prices described above will occur only 10 to 14 years
in the future. Not only are these effects small relative to historical
variations in energy prices, and offset by other policies like
electricity restructuring, they would occur sufficiently far in the
future to enable monetary policy to keep the economy operating at its
potential. In energy-intensive sectors some employment reduction could
occur, although given the very small predicted change in energy prices,
impacts in most such sectors are apt to be minimal. Furthermore, a
large number of jobs will be created in other sectors--many of them
high-tech jobs paying high wages. The President is finally committed to
assisting any workers who are adversely affected during the transition
to a climate-friendly economy.
In conclusion, the Kyoto Protocol and the President's general
approach to climate change reflect the insight of economic analysis.
The Kyoto Protocol includes key provisions on international trading and
Clean Development projects. The President's approach relies on market
incentives--first, with a system of tax cuts and R&D investments, and
then later with a market-based system of traceable permits--to ensure
that our objectives are achieved as efficiently as possible.
Our overall conclusion is that the economic impact of the Protocol
will be modest under the conditions we have identified. The purpose of
this testimony has been to explain the reasoning underlying this
conclusion, which draws insights from not only the forecasts of
individual models, any one of which has its own strengths and
limitations, but also a broad variety of additional analyses.
I look forward to continuing to work with members of this
Committee, as well as other interested parties, in further analyzing
the Kyoto Protocol and evaluating the net effects of reducing
greenhouse gas emissions. It is my hope that economic analysis will
continue to play a key role in designing policies in this area.
I welcome your questions.