Greenhouse Effect:

DOE's Programs and Activities Relevant to the Global Warming Phenomenon

RCED-90-74BR: Published: Mar 5, 1990. Publicly Released: May 11, 1990.

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Pursuant to a congressional request, GAO provided information about Department of Energy (DOE) programs and activities associated with global warming and DOE efforts to incorporate global warming into its energy policy and planning activities, focusing on: (1) scientific understanding of the global warming phenomenon and its research efforts to fill information gaps; (2) DOE program planning and criteria it used for evaluating research and development; and (3) proposed policy or program changes for improving energy efficiency or reducing energy-related emissions with potential climate change effects.

GAO found that: (1) scientific understanding of global climate systems has increased in the past few years, but uncertainties remain regarding cloud cover, oceans, and vegetation growth; (2) DOE requested $28 million for fiscal year (FY) 1990, an increase of $5 million over FY 1989; (3) DOE requested about $1.3 billion for FY 1990 indirectly related research, development, and demonstration programs, an increase of $330 million over FY 1989; (4) DOE established six principles to guide its approach to global warming and made the issue a central part of its National Energy Strategy; and (5) public and private organizations' proposals addressing global warming included increasing energy efficiency, switching to non-fossil fuels, and reducing emissions from fossil fuel use.

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