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Climate change damage and the trace gas index issue

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  • John Reilly
  • Kenneth Richards

Abstract

Efficient policies to control trace gas emissions require estimation of an appropriate “exchange rate” among these gases; i.e. the relative value of reducing emissions of each gas. A dynamic stock pollutant model is developed that considers damages associated with both non-climatic and climatic effects of the gases, differing atmospheric lifetimes of the gases, the discount rate, and non-linear damages. The index value and shadow value of control are estimated for carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, methane, nitrous oxide and the 4 major chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs). The value of control for short-lived relative to long-lives gases is lower for low discount rates and quadratic compared with linear damages. The relative value of control for all gases falls relative to carbon dioxide if one considers the direct beneficial effects of carbon dioxide on agriculture. The general approach developed in the paper may have application for other environmental problems where multiple substances pose individual risks but also jointly contribute to a single risk. Copyright Kluwer Academic Publishers 1993

Suggested Citation

  • John Reilly & Kenneth Richards, 1993. "Climate change damage and the trace gas index issue," Environmental & Resource Economics, Springer;European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 41-61, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:enreec:v:3:y:1993:i:1:p:41-61
    DOI: 10.1007/BF00338319
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