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The Role of Non-CO2 GHGs in Climate Policy: Analysis Using the MIT IGSM

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  • John Reilly, Marcus Sarofim, Sergey Paltsev and Ronald Prinn

Abstract

First steps toward a broad climate agreement, such as the Kyoto Protocol, have focused on less than global geographic coverage. We consider instead a policy that is less comprehensive in term of greenhouse gases (GHGs), including only the non-CO2 GHGs, but is geographically comprehensive. Abating non-CO2 GHGs may be seen as less of a threat to economic development and therefore it may be possible to involve developing countries in such a policy even though they have resisted limits on CO2 emissions. The policy we consider involves a GHG price of about $15 per ton carbon-equivalent (tce) levied only on the non-CO2 GHGs and held at that level through the century. We estimate that such a policy would reduce the global mean surface temperature in 2100 by about 0.55° C; if only methane is covered that alone would achieve a reduction of 0.3° to 0.4° C. We estimate the Kyoto Protocol in its current form would achieve a 0.25° C reduction in 2100 if Parties to it maintained it as is through the century. Furthermore, we estimate the costs of the non-CO2 policies to be a small fraction of the Kyoto policy. Whether as a next step to expand the Kyoto Protocol, or as a separate initiative running parallel to it, the world could well make substantial progress on limiting climate change by pursuing an agreement to abate the low cost non-CO2 GHGs. The results suggest that it would be useful to proceed on global abatement of non-CO2 GHGs so that lack of progress on negotiations to limit CO2 does not allow these abatement opportunities to slip away.

Suggested Citation

  • John Reilly, Marcus Sarofim, Sergey Paltsev and Ronald Prinn, 2006. "The Role of Non-CO2 GHGs in Climate Policy: Analysis Using the MIT IGSM," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Special I), pages 503-520.
  • Handle: RePEc:aen:journl:2006se_weyant-a26
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    Cited by:

    1. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra- and extra-union flexibility in meeting the European Union's emission reduction targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4329-4336, November.
    2. Suzi Kerr & Adam Millard-Ball, 2012. "Cooperation To Reduce Developing Country Emissions," Climate Change Economics (CCE), World Scientific Publishing Co. Pte. Ltd., vol. 3(04), pages 1-30.
    3. Tol, Richard S.J., 2013. "Targets for global climate policy: An overview," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 911-928.
    4. Kuik, Onno & Brander, Luke & Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Marginal abatement costs of greenhouse gas emissions: A meta-analysis," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(4), pages 1395-1403, April.
    5. Nebojsa Nakicenovic & Peter Kolp & Keywan Riahi & Mikiko Kainuma & Tatsuya Hanaoka, 2006. "Assessment of emissions scenarios revisited," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 7(3), pages 137-173, September.
    6. Gilbert E. Metcalf & Sergey Paltsev & John Reilly & Henry Jacoby & Jennifer F. Holak, 2008. "Analysis of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Tax Proposals," NBER Working Papers 13980, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Tol, Richard S.J., 2012. "A cost–benefit analysis of the EU 20/20/2020 package," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 49(C), pages 288-295.
    8. S. Paltsev & J. Reilly & H. Jacoby & A. Gurgel & G. Metcalf & A. Sokolov & J. Holak, 2007. "Assessment of U.S. Cap-and-Trade Proposals," Working Papers 0705, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research.
    9. Halkos, George, 2010. "Construction of abatement cost curves: The case of F-gases," MPRA Paper 26532, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    10. Babiker, Mustafa & Gurgel, Angelo & Paltsev, Sergey & Reilly, John, 2009. "Forward-looking versus recursive-dynamic modeling in climate policy analysis: A comparison," Economic Modelling, Elsevier, vol. 26(6), pages 1341-1354, November.

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    JEL classification:

    • F0 - International Economics - - General

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