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The Marginal Costs Of Carbon Dioxide Emissions: An Assessment Of The Uncertainties

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  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

88 estimates of the marginal costs of carbon dioxide emissions were gathered from 22 published studies and combined to form a probability density function. The uncertainty is strongly rightskewed. If all studies are combined, the mode is $5/tC, the mean $104/tC, and the 95 percentile $446/tC. Studies with a lower discount rate have higher estimates and a much greater uncertainties. Similarly, studies, which use equity weighing, have higher estimates and larger uncertainties. Interestingly, studies that are peer-reviewed have lower estimates and smaller uncertainties. Using standard assumptions about discounting and aggregation, the marginal costs of carbon dioxide emissions unlikely to exceed $50/tC, and probably much smaller.

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File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/margcostunc.pdf
File Function: First version, 2003
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-19.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2003
Date of revision: Apr 2003
Publication status: Published, Energy Policy, 33 (16), 2064-2074
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:19

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Related research

Keywords: Emission Leakage; Agricultural Sector Model; Greenhouse Gas Policy; Mitigation; Carbon Sequestration;

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References

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  1. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change, Part II. Dynamic Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(2), pages 135-160, February.
  2. Robert Ayres & Jörg Walter, 1991. "The greenhouse effect: Damages, costs and abatement," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 1(3), pages 237-270, September.
  3. Richard S.J. Tol & Thomas E. Downing & Samuel Fankhauser & Richard G. Richels & Joel B. Smith, 2001. "Progress In Estimating The Marginal Costs Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions," Working Papers FNU-4, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jan 2001.
  4. Hope, Chris & Maul, Philip, 1996. "Valuing the impact of CO2 emissions," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(3), pages 211-219, March.
  5. Azar, Christian & Sterner, Thomas, 1996. "Discounting and distributional considerations in the context of global warming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-184, November.
  6. Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
  7. John Reilly & Kenneth Richards, 1993. "Climate change damage and the trace gas index issue," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 41-61, February.
  8. William D. Nordhaus & David Popp, 1997. "What is the Value of Scientific Knowledge? An Application to Global Warming Using the PRICE Model," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 1-45.
  9. Christian Azar, 1999. "Weight Factors in Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(3), pages 249-268, April.
  10. Nordhaus, William D., 1993. "Rolling the 'DICE': an optimal transition path for controlling greenhouse gases," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 27-50, March.
  11. Plambeck, Erica L & Hope, Chris, 1996. "PAGE95 : An updated valuation of the impacts of global warming," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 24(9), pages 783-793, September.
  12. Samuel Fankhauser, 1994. "The Social Costs of Greenhouse Gas Emissions: An Expected Value Approach," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 2), pages 157-184.
  13. Richard Tol, 2002. "Estimates of the Damage Costs of Climate Change. Part 1: Benchmark Estimates," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 21(1), pages 47-73, January.
  14. Maddison, David, 1995. "A cost-benefit analysis of slowing climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(4-5), pages 337-346.
  15. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
  16. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tol, Richard S.J. & Pearce, David W., 1998. "Extensions and alternatives to climate change impact valuation: on the critique of IPCC Working Group III's impact estimates," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 59-81, February.
  17. Jinxia Wang & Robert Mendelsohn & Ariel Dinar & Jikun Huang & Scott Rozelle & Lijuan Zhang, 2009. "The impact of climate change on China's agriculture," Agricultural Economics, International Association of Agricultural Economists, vol. 40(3), pages 323-337, 05.
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Cited by:
  1. Saleemul Huq & Michael Grubb, 2007. "Preface," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 12(5), pages 645-649, June.

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