26.1 Global Warming as an International Policy Issue 642

26.2 An Optimal Degree of Global Warming? 644

26.3 Toward International Cooperation 645

26.3.1 The Kyoto Treaty as a Starting Point 645

26.3.2 The Broader Policy Perspective 646

26.3.3 Food Security 647

26.3.4 Geographic Variability 649

26.4 A New Policy Perspective 650

26.4.1 Strengthening the Knowledge Base 650

26.4.2 Strengthening Global Institutional Arrangements 651

26.4.3 Devising an Effective Incentive System 652

26.5 The Potential for Disciplinary Synergism 653

26.6 Concluding Comments 654

Acknowledgments References

655 655

Debates about global warming have tended to be rather intense. The contributions to this volume have, however, moved beyond the rather frustrating debates about causes of global warming, and have sought instead to improve our understanding of such issues as the consequences of any warming for agricultural and terrestrial productivity, the potential contributions of carbon sequestration to reducing global warming, and the effects of mitigation efforts expected at the farm level. We are offered a cornucopia of scientific analyses and evidence on these issues, together with some constructive debate.

It is important to address the policy and economic dimensions of this subject. Both aspects have received too little attention in the discussions of global warming. It is true that some of the economic costs and implications have received attention in recent years (see, e.g., Nordhaus, 1994), but economic policy issues have still received only limited attention. Technological solutions to the problem have also received some attention, as evidenced in the contributions to this volume, but even then, the range of alternatives considered has been rather limited.

This chapter has three main focuses: (1) global warming as an international policy issue, with important implications; (2) some optimal degree of warming or temperature change as a matter for policy analysis; and (3) international cooperation in a world of uneven scientific capability, uneven institutional development, and uneven impacts from projected global changes. This discussion will lead to certain conclusions for policy consideration.

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