U.S. Global Climate Change Policy: Evolving Views on Cost, Competitiveness, and Comprehensiveness [Updated January 29, 2009] [open pdf - 503KB]
This CRS report discuses the evolution of U.S. Global Climate Change Policy through the years. "U.S. policy toward global climate change evolved from a 'study only' to a more 'study and action' orientation in 1992 with ratification of the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The Convention committed developed countries to aim at returning their greenhouse gas emissions to their 1990 levels by the year 2000. The U.S. decision to ratify the UNFCCC reflected both the nonbinding nature of the accord and analyses that suggested that the United States could achieve the necessary reduction at little or no cost. Under the UNFCCC, developed countries were to adopt national plans and policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The United States submitted such plans in 1992, 1994, 1997, 2002, and 2006." This report also discusses "The Energy Policy Act of 1992 (EPACT) [that] has been the principal U.S. statutory response to the UNFCCC. In addition, the George H.W. Bush and Clinton Administrations encouraged voluntary reductions by industry through administrative initiatives, such as the EPA's [Environmental Protection Agency] various 'green' programs ['No Regrets']." The report also talks about the Kyoto Protocol, which laid out limits on emissions for developed nations. The Protocol was earlier referred as Senate Resolution 98 (S. Res. 98).
CRS Report for Congress, RL30024