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Ocean carbon sinks and international climate policy

  • Rehdanz, Katrin
  • Tol, Richard S.J.
  • Wetzel, Patrick

Terrestrial sinks have entered the Kyoto Protocol as offsets for carbon sequestration, but ocean sinks have escaped attention. Ocean sinks are as unexplored and uncertain as were the terrestrial sinks at the time of negotiation. It is not unlikely that certain countries will advocate the inclusion of ocean carbon sinks to reduce their emission reduction obligations. We use a simple model of the international market for carbon dioxide emissions to evaluate who would gain or loose from allowing for ocean carbon sinks. Our analysis is restricted to information on anthropogenic carbon sequestration within the exclusive economic zone of a country. Like the carbon sequestration of business as usual forest management activities, natural ocean carbon sequestration applies at zero costs. The total amount of anthropogenic ocean carbon sequestration is large, also in the exclusive economic zones. As a consequence, it substantially alters the costs of emission reduction for most countries. Countries such as Australia, Denmark, France, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Portugal would gain substantially, and a large number of countries would benefit too. Current net exporters of carbon permits, particularly Russia, would gain less and oppose the inclusion of carbon sinks.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Energy Policy.

Volume (Year): 34 (2006)
Issue (Month): 18 (December)
Pages: 3516-3526

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Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:34:y:2006:i:18:p:3516-3526
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/enpol

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  1. Minh Ha-Duong & David Keith, 2003. "Carbon storage: the economic efficiency of storing CO2 in leaky reservoirs," Post-Print halshs-00003927, HAL.
  2. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "On Multi-Period Allocation Of Tradable Emission Permits," Working Papers FNU-43, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
  3. P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Possible Economic Impacts of a Shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation: an Application of FUND," Working Papers FNU-42, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
  4. Michaelowa, Axel & Jotzo, Frank, 2005. "Transaction costs, institutional rigidities and the size of the clean development mechanism," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 511-523, March.
  5. Michael Dutschke, 2002. "Fractions of permanence – Squaring the cycle of sink carbon accounting," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 381-402, December.
  6. Beatriz Gaitan de Soto & Richard S.J. Tol & I. Hakan Yetkiner, 2004. "The Hotelling's Rule Revisited in a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model," Working Papers FNU-44, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jun 2004.
  7. Bob van der Zwaan & Koen Smekens, 2004. "Environmental Externalities of Geological Carbon Sequestration Effects on Energy Scenarios," Working Papers 2004.58, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  8. Holloway, S., 2005. "Underground sequestration of carbon dioxide—a viable greenhouse gas mitigation option," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2318-2333.
  9. Reiner, D.M & Herzog, H.J, 2004. "Developing a set of regulatory analogs for carbon sequestration," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1561-1570.
  10. Richard S.J. Tol & Andrea Bigano & Jacqueline M. Hamilton & Yuan Zhou, 2005. "A Global Database of Domestic and International Tourist Numbers at National and Subnational Level," Working Papers 2005.3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  11. 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, vol. 5(3), pages 239-270, September.
  12. Thomas Heinzow & Richard S.J. Tol, 2003. "Prediction Of Crop Yields Across Four Climate Zones In Germany: An Artificial Neural Network Approach," Working Papers FNU-34, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2003.
  13. Pedro Moura Costa & Charlie Wilson, 2000. "An equivalence factor between CO2 avoidedemissions and sequestration – description andapplications in forestry," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 51-60, March.
  14. Riahi, Keywan & Rubin, Edward S. & Taylor, Margaret R. & Schrattenholzer, Leo & Hounshell, David, 2004. "Technological learning for carbon capture and sequestration technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 539-564, July.
  15. R. A. Houghton, 2002. "Magnitude, distribution and causes of terrestrial carbon sinks and some implications for policy," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 71-88, March.
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