Greenhouse Costs a Bunch of Hot Air
Fighting global warming might cost the U.S. and other industrialized nations far less than most analysts have predicted, according to a new study in today’s issue of the journal Nature. Previous estimates of the cost of complying with the Kyoto climate change treaty have focused almost exclusively on reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas. But when researchers examined the cost of cutting all six greenhouse gases covered by the Kyoto Protocol in the least expensive ways possible, as compared to investing solely in CO2 reductions, they found that the cost of treaty compliance could drop by as much as 60 percent. Daniel Lashof of the Natural Resources Defense Council, a global warming expert who did not participate in the study, said the costs could drop even further if one considered future developments in pollution control technology and the possibility that greenhouse gas emissions reductions could be achieved relatively cheaply overseas.