Study Highlights "No Regrets" Climate Change Policy

Study Highlights "No Regrets" Climate Change Policy

Economic and Enviro Alternative to Radical Kyoto Protocol
July 28, 2000

Washington, DC, July 28, 2000 – A new study by the Competitive Enterprise Institute outlines a “no regrets” approach to climate change policy.  The recommendations in Greenhouse Policy Without Regrets will provide economic and environmental benefits whether or not global warming is a serious threat.

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“Proposed precautionary measures, such as the Kyoto Protocol, call for government interventions to control greenhouse-gas emissions and suppress the use of carbon-based fuels,” comments lead  author Jonathan Adler. “Such policies would impose substantial costs and yet do little, if anything, to reduce the risks of climate change.”


“In order to justify the enormous expenses associated with the Kyoto Protocol, we would need to determine – with absolute certainty – that a) the earth is warming, b) humans are causing it, c) there is a way to stop it, and d) the effects would be overwhelmingly negative,” points out Myron Ebell, CEI director of global warming policy. “There are uncertainties for each of those steps. A ‘no-regrets’ policy makes the most sense in this case.”


According to the study, a “no regrets” approach should include policy measures that would eliminate government interventions in the marketplace that discourage innovation that will lower emissions. Some examples include the following:


·        Remove Regulatory Barriers to Innovation – Existing regulations often make it too difficult to develop and deploy energy-saving technologies. Certain provisions in the Clean Air Act are one such obstacle.

·        Eliminate Energy Subsidies – These subsidies distort energy markets.  Eliminating them would result in a more efficient energy sector.

·        Deregulate Energy Markets – An open market for electricity would create opportunities for alternative energy sources and lead to increased efficiency and innovation in the energy sector.

·        Deregulate Transportation Markets – Lowering the regulatory burden on skies and roads would allow airlines to use the most efficient routes and improve management and construction of roads and highways.  This could produce substantial emission reductions.



CEI, a non-profit, non-partisan public policy group founded in 1984, is dedicated to the principles of free enterprise and limited government. For more information, please contact Emily McGee, director of media relations, at 202-331-1010.