The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change Page: 54
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The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change
* In the agricultural sector, policies to reduce methane and nitrogen dioxide emissions from
agriculture result in ancillary benefits to ecosystems, reduction in the use of nitrogen fertilisers
lead to reduced eutrophication and acidification of ecosystems. Benefits from agricultural GHG
policies include ecosystem and biodiversity benefits and improved water quality from ammonia
* Forests planted as carbon sinks could lead to ancillary benefits in improved biodiversity, wildlife
habitats, landscape, timber supply and recreational opportunities, depending on the land type and
Energy Security and Oil imports
Recent energy projections show an increasing trend towards energy imports in Europe, especially for
oil and gas, as well as a concentration of energy in imported gas. This raises a number of issues,
* Energy security (security of supply including disruptions, fuel price shocks);
* Energy diversity;
* Macroeconomic effects from imports;
It is generally assumed that low carbon technologies will have ancillary benefits from reducing
dependence on imports and so increasing energy security. This is due to the likely increase in
renewables, nuclear generation, coal generation with sequestration, as well as improvements in energy
efficiency. However, recent low carbon modelling in the UK has shown that under a 550ppm target,
there is rapid uptake of natural gas with carbon sequestration. This would mitigate against some of the
potential benefits of low carbon policies.
These effects will be assessed later in the project, through the use of the GEM-E3 model.
Employment Effects, Trade and Competitiveness
The effects of environmental legislation on employment, trade and competitiveness remain the subject
of debate. A number of studies (Watkiss et al 2004, OECD 2004) have shown that effects from
existing environmental legislation are low, and far less important than labour markets. However, there
have been concerns that such effects might be more important for climate policy, given the large
structural changes that would be required.
The potential effects on employment from the policies and their effects on competitiveness and terms
of trade will be assessed with GEM-E3 later in the project.
This will be investigated later in the study.
The move towards a low carbon society could possibly lead to changes in lifestyle. For example, it is
possible that future constraints over aviation could emerge (or at least price changes in the costs of
aviation), unless alternative fuels could be found.
Technology Specific (Nuclear)
Much of the low carbon modelling has shown relative increases in the use of nuclear power. The
widespread adoption of this option, particularly in new countries, might raise concerns over waste
disposal, safety and (potentially) proliferation.
AEA Technology Environment, August 2005
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Watkiss, Paul; Downing, Tom; Handley, Claire & Butterfield, Ruth. The Impacts and Costs of Climate Change, text, September 2005; Oxford, England. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc29337/m1/65/: accessed April 26, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .