International Environment: Experts' Observations on Enhancing Compliance With a Climate Change Agreement: RCED-99-248

August 1999
GAO Reports;8/23/1999, p1
Government Documents
Under the Kyoto Protocol, developed nations--such as the United States, France, and Japan--have pledged to limit their emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases between 2008 and 2012. If the U.S. Senate approves the protocol, the United States would have to significantly reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. Ratification has been much debated. Two main concerns are the cost of complying with the protocol and the possibility that U.S. businesses that invest in reducing their emissions may have to raise the price of their goods, making them less competitive with goods produced by nations that do not limit their emissions. GAO convened a panel of nine experts--from the federal government, industry, academia, and environmental groups--to identify issues that could enhance compliance with the protocol or any climate change agreement. This report presents the results of the panel's discussions. GAO focuses on the following three issues that could influence compliance with the protocol or other international environmental agreements on climate change: (1) the clarity of the goals and procedures, (2) the use of incentives that encourage compliance to supplement punitive measures to punish noncompliance, and (3) the role of environmental and industry groups.


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