Metrics for Aggregating the Climate Effect of Different Emissions: A Unifying Framework
Multi-gas approaches to climate change policies require a metric establishing ?equivalences? among emissions of various species. Climate scientists and economists have proposed four classes of such metrics and debated their relative merits. We present a unifying framework that clarifies the relationships among them. We show that the Global Warming Potential, used in international law to compare greenhouse gases, is a special case of the Global Damage Potential, assuming (1) a finite time horizon, (2) a zero discount rate, (3) constant atmospheric concentrations, and (4) impacts that are proportional to radiative forcing. We show that the Global Temperature change Potential is a special case of the Global Cost Potential, assuming (1) no induced technological change, and (2) a short-lived capital stock. We also show that the Global Cost Potential is a special case of the Global Damage Potential, assuming (1) zero damages below a threshold and (2) infinite damage after a threshold. The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change uses the Global Warming Potential, a simplified cost-benefit concept, even though the UNFCCC frames climate policy as a cost-effectiveness problem and should therefore use the Global Cost Potential or its simplification, the Global Temperature Potential.
|Date of creation:||Sep 2008|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: Whitaker Square, Sir John Rogerson's Quay, Dublin 2|
Phone: (353-1) 863 2000
Fax: (353-1) 863 2100
Web page: http://www.esri.ie
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Kandlikar, Milind, 1996. "Indices for comparing greenhouse gas emissions: integrating science and economics," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(4), pages 265-281, October.
- Kandlikar, Milind, 1995. "The relative role of trace gas emissions in greenhouse abatement policies," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 23(10), pages 879-883, October.
- Richard Schmalensee, 1993. "Comparing Greenhouse Gases for Policy Purposes," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 245-256.
- John Reilly & Kenneth Richards, 1993. "Climate change damage and the trace gas index issue," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 3(1), pages 41-61, February.
- Richard S. Eckaus, 1992. "Comparing the Effects of Greenhouse Gas Emissions on Global Warming," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 25-36.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:esr:wpaper:wp257. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sarah Burns)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.