Environmental cost-benefit analysis of alternative timing strategies in greenhouse gas abatement: A data envelopment analysis approach
Assessing the benefits of climate policies is complicated due to ancillary benefits: abatement of greenhouse gases also reduces local air pollution. The timing of the abatement measures influences both the economic costs and ancillary benefits. This paper conducts efficiency analysis of ten alternative timing strategies, taking into account the ancillary benefits. We apply the approach by Kuosmanen and Kortelainen [Valuing Environmental Factors in Cost-Benefit Analysis Using Data Envelopment Analysis, Ecological Economics 62 (2007), 56-65], which does not require prior valuation of the environmental impacts. The assessment is based on synthetic data from a dynamic applied general equilibrium model calibrated to The Netherlands. Our assessment shows that if one is only interested in GHG abatement at the lowest economic cost, then equal reduction of GHGs over time is preferred. If society is willing to pay a premium for higher ancillary benefits, an early mid-intensive reduction strategy is optimal.
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