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If the industrialized countries take steps to reduce their emissions and contribute money and technology for developing countries to do their part, China will participate in an international global warming treaty. Without these measures, the Chinese are not going to push greenhouse gas reductions on their own because they have more pressing problems. If the world wants them to move on greenhouse gas reduction, the relative incentives to the Chinese have to change in their favour, especially in light of the fact that they have not used up their share of the global commons.
Increasing energy efficiency is critical to mitigating greenhouse gas emissions from fossil-fuel combustion, reducing oil dependence, and achieving a sustainable global energy system. The tendency of markets to neglect apparently cost-effective energy efficiency options has been called the “efficiency gap” or “energy paradox.” The market for energy efficiency in new, energy-using durable goods, however, appears to have a bias that leads to undervaluation of future energy savings relative to their expected value. This paper argues that the bias is chiefly produced by the combination of substantial uncertainty about the net value of future fuel savings and the loss aversion of typical consumers. This framework relies...
Reducing GHG emissions in the U.S. transportation sector requires both the use of highly efficient propulsion systems and low carbon fuels. This study compares reduction potentials that might be achieved in 2060 for several advanced options including biofuels, hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), plug-in hybrid electric vehicles (PHEV), and fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEV), assuming that technical and cost reduction targets are met and necessary fueling infrastructures are built. The study quantifies the extent of the reductions that can be achieved through increasing engine efficiency and transitioning to low-carbon fuels separately. Decarbonizing the fuels is essential for achieving large reductions in GHG emissions,...