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The Greenhouse Debate: Econonmic Efficiency, Burden Sharing and Hedging Strategies

Alan Manne and Richard Richels

Year: 1995
Volume: Volume16
Number: Number 4
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol16-No4-1
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Abstract:
We address the issue of economic efficiency as it relates to climate change. We begin with a classical cost-benefit perspective. Mat is, we focus on emission trajectories which maximize net benefits. We then examine the consequences of adopting alternative decision making paradigms-for example, those based on limiting atmospheric concentrations so as to achieve an "ample margin of safety." We also consider the regional distribution of costs and benefits under alternative burden sharing schemes. Although the climate issue is often viewed from a global perspective, international negotiators will be acutely interested in how damages and mitigation costs might be distributed among individual regions. Finally, we address the issue of decision making under uncertainty. The challenge confronting today's policy makers is to identify it sensible hedging strategy-one that balances the risks of waiting against those of premature action.



Technology Options for Low Stabilization Pathways with MERGE

Bertrand Magne, Socrates Kypreos, and Hal Turton

Year: 2010
Volume: Volume 31
Number: Special Issue
DOI: 10.5547/ISSN0195-6574-EJ-Vol31-NoSI-4
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Abstract:
This paper investigates long-term transitions of the global energy system compatible with realizing low stabilization climate targets, using an enhanced MERGE model. The results indicate that stringent mitigation targets can be met under many technology scenarios, but major technological change is needed, highlighting important roles for R&D and learning-by-doing. The analysis explores the impact of limiting the set of available technology options (to account for technical uncertainties and issues of public acceptance) and identifies important influences on energy system development and economic costs under low stabilization. Biomass availability is seen to have a major influence on the characteristics of the energy system. Carbon capture and storage technologies also prove to be potentially critical for both electricity and fuel synthesis, particularly when combined with biomass to produce net negative emissions. Additionally, the availability of fast breeders provides a competitive zero-emissions option. Energy efficiency and large-scale application of renewables are also critical to realising low stabilization scenarios.





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