Climate change is gradually moving up the policy agenda in many countries. And it is likely to continue to do so in the coming decades, albeit irregularly, depending on new information and on the incidence of dramatic climatic events, such as Hurricane Katrina. It is a complex, multifaceted issue, to which this book provides an excellent introduction. The volume gathers essays by leading experts, ranging from climate scientists to economic modelers to lawyers, prepared after a conference at Yale University in late 2005. The authors provide a diverse range of views on the hardness of the scientific evidence for climate change; on the prospects for building an international cooperative arrangement on the basis of the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012; and on alternatives to the Kyoto Protocol. Five contributions usefully assess the background and the prospects for future action in six economies: the United Kingdom, which will meet its Kyoto target; Canada, which will fall far short; Russia, which has no policy in place to deal with climate change but will nonetheless meet its generous target; the European Union, which has installed a carbon-emissions trading market; and China and India, both of which insist that economic development takes strong policy precedence over climate change and therefore refuse to contemplate quantitative emissions targets.
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