International Agreements Could Cut Global Warming (310)

BONN, Germany– The most effective, efficient way to reduce global warming is for industrialized nations and less developed countries to work together, a study by the Joint Institute for Energy and the Environment at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville shows.

 A report on the study headed by Dr. Russell Lee and Dr. Milton Russell will be presented here Monday at an international meeting that could lead to a world treaty on global warming in Kyoto, Japan, in December.

Lee, head of energy and environmental policy analysis at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, said the report might help bring international acceptance of President Clinton’s controversial plan to reduce global warming.

 “Our findings could help change the atmosphere of the Kyoto negotiations from one of hostility to one of hope,” Lee said.

 A key to Clinton’s strategy permits industrialized countries to earn emissions-reduction credits by helping poor nations build cleaner manufacturing plants and other projects.

Critics say the plan is too complex, that the United States should commit to deeper emission cuts, and that international agreements would hurt economic growth and independence of developing countries.

The JIEE study analyzes these and other concerns, cites ways to resolve them, and suggests that all countries will benefit rather than suffer from such agreements.

 Russell said it would give industrialized countries emissions-reduction credits at lower costs, help developing areas acquire new technology to boost economic expansion, and reduce global emissions.

 “International agreements can work best if industrialized countries provide technology and investment, and developing countries provide opportunities to use these technologies to reduce emissions,” said Russell, a professor emeritus of economics at UT-Knoxville. “Its a win-win situation for everyone.”

 The JIEE is a research partnership of ORNL, UT, and the Tennessee Valley Authority housed at UT-Knoxville. The study was partially funded by the U.S. Department of Energy.

Text of the paper is available on the JIEE web site at www.jiee.org.

 Contact: Dr. Russell Lee (423-576-6818), Dr. Milton Russell (423-974-3939)