The following material builds on the action group description at the ASIS Project Website (http://asis.jrc.es/html/ag6more.html).
These theses are being proposed for discussion at the Stuttgart conference which will take place from 27-28th July 1999. Comments on this draft are appreciated; when submitting them, please cite not only the Item No. but also the version date at the bottom of this page, as the list may grow or shrink with time. As soon as enough comments have been received using one-to-one e-mail, the chairperson Thomas Ruddy (firstname.lastname@example.org) will arrange for further discussion on a one-to-many basis.
communication technology ICT, though, can also contribute toward sustainable development.
Nonetheless, throughout history the potential of technology has proven limited because
unanticipated counterproductive effects set in eventually. We expect that guardrails in
the international economic framework would help to channel the power of technology more
appropriately (see also the 1998 Status
Report: Towards a sustainable information society and the Item below headed
For instance, the emergence of the personal computer appeared to require fewer resources than mainframes had, until more of the former were demanded by a growing public, thus boosting production of them and causing greater environmental stress than before. Likewise, instead of the "paperfree office" envisioned by technophiles, paper consumption rose.
One of the ways that computers can contribute toward
sustainable development is through more efficient resource allocation.
For instance, many types of markets benefit from ICT networks, whether they be a market in a rural village in the developing world where farmers learn to check for the prevailing price level by telephone, or the market for futures trading in Chicago.
In the field of climate policy, parties to the FCCC and
Kyoto Protocol with considerable differences in their potentials for abatement could
benefit from the more efficient resource allocation attainable through emissions trading.
For instance, in the European Union's bubble Germany has a stringent emissions reduction goal and Portugal a lax one. Internationally the United States could trade with the Ukraine. Payments for hot air under emissions trading should be applied to environmental clean-up, as suggested by Simon Upton, Minister of the Environment in New Zealand at http://www.arcadia.co.nz/speeches/150699_4.htm. A group of German economists under Prof. Dr.Ewers, many of them macroeconomists and environmental economists, published a statement advocating the use of tradeable permits at http://wip.ww.tu-berlin.de/klima/texte.htm.
The European Union should not at this time insist on its
cap on emissions trading as versus domestic measures, a position which might jeopardize
ratification of the treaty.
It is our hope that with the passage of time and further advance of climate science, the U.S. Senate will learn that the cost-efficiency of climate change abatement is acceptable, and consent to significant reductions beyond those currently laid down in the Protocol.
Likewise it is a further hope of ours that the G-77
countries, China and India will be brought onboard by the attraction of the other
flexibility mechanisms to be set up under the Kyoto Protocol, Joint Implementation JI and
the Clean Development Mechanism CDM.
We see JI and the CDM as sources of important additions to Official Development Assistance ODA, the amount of which has been declining steadily since 1984. The current initial allocation of property rights (necessarily to the benefit of the North far below the per capita level) and emission budgets (to the benefit of the South allowing indexing to developing countries' GDP as described at http://www.wri.org/wri/climate/develop.html) under the Protocol is to be regarded as a provisional means of starting the world's process of learning to implement it, and not as final allocations.