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Accounting aspects of ocean iron fertilization

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  • Wilfried Rickels
  • Katrin Rehdanz
  • Andreas Oschlies

Abstract

Diminishing emission budgets and increasing risks of catastrophic damages from climate change require analyses of rapid response options including geoengineering options such as ocean iron fertilization (OIF). To decide whether or not OIF might be such an option an assessment of its potential as an abatement option as well as its possible side effects is required. To explore the potential of OIF knowledge on the change of carbon stocks over time is needed. However, economic aspects including accounting of carbon credits need to be considered as well. In our analysis we use data from OIF modeling experiments for different years and analyze how many carbon credits would be generated and could be used for compliance. The amount of credit varies with the accounting method applied. Applying an accounting method which measures the net effect of OIF for the duration of 100 years leads to an annual carbon uptake of 0.56 to 1.69 GtC. For a shorter fertilization period, e.g. ten years the upper range increases to 2.57 GtC per year. Offsets due to other GHGs, especially N2O, as well as operational carbon emissions can be addressed by a discount factor. Considering all experiments and all accounting methods we find a maximum discount factor of 15 percent and an average value of 9 percent. From an economic as well as from an environmental perspective issuing temporary carbon credits which have to be replaced in the next commitment period seems most appropriate for short-term OIF and would provide the largest amount of credits at an early stage. This is equivalent to the existing tCER regulation under the Kyoto Protocol.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1572.

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Length: 28 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1572

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Keywords: climate change; ocean iron fertilization; permanence; carbon accounting;

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References

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  1. Cacho, Oscar J. & Hean, Robyn L. & Wise, Russell M., 2003. "Carbon-accounting methods and reforestation incentives," Australian Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society, vol. 47(2), June.
  2. Bertram, Christine, 2010. "Ocean iron fertilization in the context of the Kyoto protocol and the post-Kyoto process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 1130-1139, February.
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  7. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Brent Sohngen, 2007. "Economics of Forest Ecosystem Carbon Sinks: A Review," Working Papers, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group 2007-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  8. Partha Dasgupta, 2008. "Discounting climate change," Journal of Risk and Uncertainty, Springer, Springer, vol. 37(2), pages 141-169, December.
  9. Philip Fearnside & Daniel Lashof & Pedro Moura-Costa, 2000. "Accounting for time in Mitigating Global Warming through land-use change and forestry," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 239-270, September.
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Cited by:
  1. Wilfried Rickels & Katrin Rehdanz & Andreas Oschlies, 2009. "Economics prospects of ocean iron fertilization in an international carbon market," Kiel Working Papers 1573, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  2. Güssow, Kerstin & Proelss, Alexander & Oschlies, Andreas & Rehdanz, Katrin & Rickels, Wilfried, 2010. "Ocean iron fertilization: Why further research is needed," Marine Policy, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 911-918, September.

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