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Long-Term Multi-Gas Scenarios to Stabilise Radiative Forcing - Exploring Costs and Benefits Within an Integrated Assessment Framework

This paper presents a set of multi-gas mitigation scenarios that aim for stabilisation of greenhouse gas radiative forcing in 2150 at levels from 3.7 to 5.3 W/m2. At the moment, non-CO2 gasses (methane, nitrous oxide, PFCs, HFCs and SF6) contribute to about a quarter of the global emissions. The analysis shows that including these non-CO2 gases in mitigation analysis is crucial in formulating a cost-effective response. For stabilisation at 4.5 W/m2, a multi-gas approach leads to 40% lower costs than an approach that would focus at CO2only. Within the assumptions used in this study, the non-CO2 gasses contribution to total reduction is very large under less stringent targets (up to 60%), but declines under stringent targets. While stabilising at 3.7 W/m2 obviously leads to larger environmental benefits than the 4.5 W/m2 case (temperature increase in 2100 are 1.9 and 2.3oC, respectively), the costs of the lower target are higher (0.80% and 0.34% of GDP in 2100, respectively). Improving knowledge on how future reduction potential for non-CO2 gasses could develop is shown to be a crucial research question.

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Energy Specializations: Energy Modeling – Other; Energy and the Environment – Climate Change and Greenhouse Gases; Energy and the Environment – Air Emissions (other than greenhouse gases); Energy and the Environment – Policy and Regulation

JEL Codes:
C59 - Econometric Modeling: Other
Q54 - Climate; Natural Disasters and Their Management; Global Warming
Q52 - Pollution Control Adoption and Costs; Distributional Effects; Employment Effects
E60 - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook: General

Keywords: Long-term multi-gas mitigation, Integrated Assessment, IMAGE model, Radiative forcing

DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-VolSI2006-NoSI3-10

Published in Multi-Greenhouse Gas Mitigation and Climate Policy, Special Issue #3 of The Quarterly Journal of the IAEE's Energy Economics Education Foundation.