INTERNATIONAL HUMAN DIMENSIONS PROGRAMME (IHDP)
Human dimensions- ecosphere and sociosphere
Prof. Berardo Cori, Dip. Scienza dell’Uomo e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pisa
Prof. Carlo Carraro, Dipartimento di Scienze Economiche, Università Ca’ Foscari, Venezia
HUMAN DIMENSIONS OF GLOBAL ENVIRONMENTAL CHANGE - THE ITALIAN
Berardo Cori, Dip. Scienza dell’Uomo e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pisa
Objective: to study, with reference to the Mediterranean region, the problems of (1) sustainable development of the
islands and (2) of the mountains, (3) the relations between global change and the landscape, (4) urban change, and (5)
the spatial dynamics of coastal areas.
(1) A "global change" in the uses of the sea by the island populations of the western Mediterranean was identified: some
uses originally important (e.g. the collection of coral and the extraction of purple dye) have become minor uses, others
that were limited (tourism) have become more important; there are also uses which have remained unaltered (shipping,
fishing, military use). For Corsica, some uses were identified characterised by the different degree of impact on the
territory, such as aquaculture, the introduction of protected areas, shipping and above all tourism. In the Balearics,
notable aspects of the new coastal organisation seem to be the recent trend towards a more balanced distribution of the
population and the development of wide-ranging regulations to protect the environment - especially the systems of
dunes, islets and wet zones.
(2) A central role of the high lands in the environmental equilibrium of the Mediterranean region has been identified
and described, for their natural vocation to play a rebalancing function in relation to coastal ribbon development and, in
general, the feared "coastalisation" of the Mediterranean population. By the other side, a synthetic index of
"environmental pressure" has been constructed and calculated for all municipalities of the Apennines.
(3) Research was conducted on landscapes at risk of change in northern Italy: that of the springs and irrigated meadows
of Lombardy, and the "water landscapes" of the Po Delta. Urban landscapes of historical towns are also at risk of
environmental change because of congestion and pollution, as results evident in the case study of Florence.
(4) Urban change studies focused on some specific situations into the coastal belt of North-western Mediterranean
(especially Tyrrhenian Italy), namely tourist and housing pressure, mobility and changes in land use. The analysis has
underlined the continuing trend of coastal urbanisation and, above all, the explosive impact of the development of
tourism on urban coastal areas. Mobility and the space-time dimension of coastal spatial organisation were also
examined on different scales, attempting to assess the potential impact on the coast of day tourism.
(5) Changing land use of Mediterranean coastal areas has for the first time been examined for North-eastern and South-
western Mediterranean, with the participation of scholars from Albania, Greece, Tunisia and Algeria. A specific
thematic cartography has been realised to show changes between the Seventies and the Nineties.
For more detailed information, see: R. Frassetto et al., I.G.B.P. - H.D.P.: the Italian research contribution, in S. Conti et
al. eds. (2000), Geography of diversity. Italian perspectives, Rome, S.G.I. and C.N.R., pp. 247-258 (and other papers in
the Part IV of the same volume: B. Cori, G. Cortesi eds., Human impact on ecosystems and natural impact on human
systems, pp. 243-360).
IGBP relevance of the project: IHDP, LUCC
Partnerships (national/international): researchers from various European countries and north Africa
Length of study: 4 years
Budget and Sponsors: CNR 110 milioni (of which 90 Sportello Mediterraneo); MURST 10 milioni
Chief scientist: Prof. Berardo Cori
Organisation: Dipartimento di Scienze dell’Uomo e dell’Ambiente, Università di Pisa
Address: Via San Giuseppe 22, Pisa
Tel: 050/561684 Fax: 050/556222 e-mail: email@example.com
EFFICIENCY, EQUITY AND THE FUTURE PROSPECTS OF THE KYOTO AGREEMENT
UNDER ENDOGENOUS TECHNICAL CHANGE AND UNCERTAINTY
C. Carraro, R. Roson, F. Bosello, Università di Venezia e Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, M.
Galeotti, S. Vergalli Università di Bergamo e Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, M. Moretto,
Università di Padova e Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, B. Buchner Università di Graz e
Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, E. Castelnuovo, Università Bocconi e Fondazione ENI Enrico
Mattei, P. Buonanno, London School of Economics e Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, D. Raggi,
Università di Padova e Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei
Objective: To study the conditions under which the Kyoto Protocol on limiting greenhouse gas emissions may actually
come into effect and the way it actually will work, with special reference to the efficiency, equity, profitability, and
stability of the agreement. Induced technical change and uncertainty are critical factors.
Description, method and results: The Kyoto Protocol is a complex agreement and the precise definition and working
of several of its provisions are not immediately clear. Moreover, the agreement has been signed but not ratified yet. A
crucial ingredient of the agreement are the so-called flexibility mechanisms, such as international emission trading,
designed to ease the mitigation costs required for meeting the emission targets. The costs of Kyoto are nonetheless quite
high and many believe that it will be mainly due to technological progress and to the introduction of less emitting
production methods if the Kyoto agreement will actually come into effect. Even if this is actually the case, a lot of
environmental and economic uncertainty surrounds out current knowledge of these facts.
A first and fundamental aspect of our research is to incorporate endogenous induced technical change in quantitative
models of climate change analysis. Many previous models and several of those used to assess the costs of Kyoto model
the technology as evolving over time in an exogenous fashion. In our view technical change rather consists in the
accumulation of knowledge, whose stock increases over time because of R&D efforts, both private and publicly
induced, or via learning by doing. The stock of knowledge in turn affects the production of goods (non environmental
technical change) and emissions (environmental technical change). The amount of R&D is an important policy variable
besides other control variables such as investment, abatement, energy, emission permits, and the like. An additional
important aspect to investigate is the role of knowledge spillovers at the global level.
A second major area of research relates to the fact that uncertainty surrounds both climatic and economic events. This
therefore implies that it is necessary to analyze how agents' choices in the field of environmental protection are affected
by the presence of a future possible, but uncertain catastrophic occurrence provoked by a climate collapse due to global
warming. It is of interest to show how the probability of high-consequence irreversible outcomes exerts a strong push
for reducing GHG emissions below the level determined by the simple consideration of the continuous damage. Beside
this type of uncertainty there is another important source that relates to technological change. Indeed, the relationship
between R&D efforts and productivity improvement, one the one hand, and energy/pollution efficiency on the other, is
not automatic: rather it is a probabilistic phenomenon, according to which not all R&D efforts are successful. This is the
other important feature to be incorporated in models of climate change.
Because many are the interactions taking place in the real world, theoretical analysis can be of limited help in
understanding the implications of climate change. This is why mathematical models are necessary and the main issues
need to be studied through appropriately designed simulations. One such well known tool is Nordhaus’ RICE model of
integrated assessment. This model presents, among others, two useful features: it represents the world as divided in six
major regions, allowing for the study of strategic interactions among players and it considers jointly the economic and
the environmental system, taking into account, even if in a simplified way, the feedback between the two. In our
research we take this model and modify and extend it in several directions. First of all, we incorporate endogenous
induced technical change long the lines described above. In this formulation we also study the role of international
knowledge spillovers. The model obtained is called ETC-RICE, where ETC stands for Endogenous Technical Change.
In another formulation the model is modified to allow for the impact of environmental uncertainty. In the specific it is
investigated how agents modify their optimal decision process if they consider the possibility of a future, uncertain
catastrophic event bringing down, perhaps to zero, the welfare of (all or some of the) world regions. Expectations on the
event are adjusted dynamically over time as new information are acquired. The model so obtained is termed U-RICE.
Research is currently under way in order to merge both induced technical change and environmental uncertainty into a
single model specification. At the same time we are currently working on the implementation of the form of
technological uncertainty described above and on the adaptation of our ETC-RICE model.
An important feature of our version of the model is the modeling of international emission trading. This is a
fundamental step in order to understand the working of the Kyoto agreement. In particular we allow the six world
regions to play a non-cooperative Nash bargaining game in a dynamic setting: each region maximizes its utility subject
to its own resource, capital, and climate constraints, for given emission and R&D strategies of all the other players. In
this framework we model the market for pollution permits under several institutional modes: trade restricted to Annex 1
countries or to all countries (in this way capturing the notion of CDM), trade quantitatively limited to a given
percentage of the discrepancy between current emissions and corresponding Kyoto target. With these aspects accounted
for our research is able to assess the efficiency and equity of the agreement reached in Kyoto as well as to understand
whether the specific commitments imposed to its participants are effectively suitable to lead to the final ratification of
the treaty (i.e. all the participants must find it profitable or in other words must gain from the agreement) and to its
sustainability over time (i.e. it must be stable or in words no participant should have an incentive to defeat from the
agreement). Indeed, a further area of study which is currently under way concerns the simulation of different coalition
formations and the investigation of two interlinked issues: the first is the possibility to fulfil Kyoto emission limits by
constituting coalitions different from those initially foreseen by the agreement. This in order to verify the possible
existence of alternative profitable and stable alliances, able to produce the desired emission reduction. The second issue
is the potential of different transfer schemes from would-be winners to losers of the agreement to increase its
profitability and stability. Further developments of this line of research will address the issues of stabilisation and
enlargement of the agreement using instruments different from transfers. In this respect a strategy to be explored is the
possibility to couple an environmental agreement to a parallel agreement on trade or on the exchange of technology as
to compensate the costs of the first with the benefits of the second. This approach called “issue-linkage” is a novelty
with respect to the standard procedures described in the Kyoto Protocol and can offer interesting opportunities to
enforce the agreement.
IGBP rilevanza del progetto: GAIM, IHDP
Partnerships (national/international): Centre Internationale en Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Développement
(CIRED), France, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Instituut voor Milieuvraagstukken (IVM), Netherlands, CORE,
Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, University of Hamburg, Germany, Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei (FEEM), Italy.
Length of study: 5 years
Budget and Sponsors: Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei, Commissione Europea, DG XII.
Chief scientist: Marzio Galeotti
Organisation: Fondazione ENI Enrico Mattei
Address: Corso Magenta 63 20123 Milano
Tel: +39-02-52036942, Fax: +39-02-52036946, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org