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Climate Impacts of Waxman-Markey (Part II)—Global Sign-Up

By Chip Knappenberger -- May 7, 2009

Yesterday’s MasterResource post looked at the potential climate impacts of the proposed Waxman-Markey Climate Bill. But I limited my analysis to only U.S. actions—after all, Waxman-Markey can’t mandate international man-made greenhouse gas reduction timetables. But, what would happen if the rest of the world wanted to join in?

The Bottom Line

The ability of the industrialized world, through emissions reductions alone, to impact the future course of global climate is minimal. If the U.S., Canada, Australia, Japan, Europe, and former Soviet countries all limited their emissions of greenhouse gases according to the schedule laid out under Waxman-Markey—a monumental, unexpected development—it would, at most, avoid only a bit more than one-half of a °C of projected global warming (out of 4.5°C—or only about 10%). And this is under worst-case emissions assumptions; middle-of-the-road scenarios and less sensitive climate models produce even less overall impact.…