A Collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh

Report by ex-CIA director calls for US emissions controls

[JURIST] A former CIA director is recommending in a report to a group of international civic leaders that the United States enact an EU-style cap-and-trade program [UCS backgrounder] and other measures to control greenhouse gas emissions [EPA backgrounder]. The background paper [PDF text] by John Deutch [personal website], who led the CIA in the mid-'90s and now teaches in the chemistry department at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, was prepared for the Trilateral Commission [organization website], a group of leading executives, academics and other private figures from North America, Asia and Europe. Deutch's paper, released Monday in Brussels during the commission's annual meeting, concludes that four major changes are necessary to combat global warming:

First, the United States must adopt a carbon emission control policy.

Second, an agreed framework is needed between developed economies and large emerging economies about how the costs will be shared of carbon emission control.

Third, the leading technology for controlling greenhouse gas emissions is carbon capture and sequestration (CCS). Trilateral countries should urgently launch five to six large CCS projections around the world in order to demonstrate the technical feasibility and public acceptance of carbon sequestration.

Fourth, there should be expanded use of nuclear power ....
In addition to global warming, Deutch identified and addressed three other "key energy security issues": US oil and gas import dependence; energy infrastructure vulnerability; and the future of nuclear power. Deutch also emphasized that making progress in these areas requires increased international cooperation, which in turn can "substantially lower the cost of adapting to our energy future." Reuters has more.

In January, a coalition of US businesses and environmental groups called for federal legislation to limit greenhouse gas emissions [JURIST report], including a cap-and-trade system. In such a program, companies whose emissions exceed mandatory limits could buy credits from companies that produce less pollution. Some US states have formed regional intiatives to reduce emissions [JURIST report].

This report was prepared in partnership with the Pittsburgh Journal of Environmental and Public Health Law.

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