The optimal carbon sequestration in agricultural soils: Do the dynamics of the physical process matter?
The Kyoto Protocol, which came into force in February 2005, allows countries to resort to 'supplementary activities', consisting particularly in carbon sequestration in agricultural soils. Existing papers studying the optimal carbon sequestration recognize the importance of the temporality of sequestration, but overlook the fact that it is an asymmetric dynamic process. This paper takes explicitly into account the temporality of sequestration. Its first contribution lies in the modelling of the asymmetry of the sequestration/de-sequestration process at a micro level, and of its consequences at a macro level. Its second contribution is empirical. We compute numerically the optimal path of sequestration/de-sequestration for specific damage and cost functions, and a calibration that mimics roughly the world conditions. We show that with these assumptions sequestration must be permanent, and that the error made when sequestration is supposed immediate can be very significant.
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- M. I. Kamien & E. Muller, 1976. "Optimal Control with Integral State Equations," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 43(3), pages 469-473.
- Feng, Hongli & Zhao, Jinhua & Kling, Catherine L., 2002. "Time Path and Implementation of Carbon Sequestration (The)," Staff General Research Papers Archive 5068, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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- Tomiyama, Ken, 1985. "Two-stage optimal control problems and optimality conditions," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 9(3), pages 317-337, November.
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