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Geoengineering and Abatement: A “flat” Relationship under Uncertainty

  • Johannes Emmerling

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Centro-Euro Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Italy)

  • Massimo Tavoni

    (Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM) and Centro-Euro Mediterraneo per i Cambiamenti Climatici (CMCC), Italy)

The potential of geoengineering as an alternative or complementary option to mitigation and adaptation has received increased interest in recent years. The scientific assessment of geoengineering is driven to a large extent by assumptions about its effectiveness, costs, and impacts, all of which are highly uncertain. This has led to a polarizing debate. This paper evaluates the role of Solar Radiation Management (SRM) on the optimal abatement path, focusing on the uncertainty about the effectiveness of SRM and the interaction with uncertain climate change response. Using standard economic models of dynamic decision theory under uncertainty, we show that abatement is decreasing in the probability of success of SRM, but that this relation is concave and thus that significant abatement reductions are optimal only if SRM is very likely to be effective. The results are confirmed even when considering positive correlation structures between the effectiveness of geoengineering and the magnitude of climate change. Using a stochastic version of an Integrated Assessment Model, the results are found to be robust for a wide range of parameters specification.

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Paper provided by Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei in its series Working Papers with number 2013.31.

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Date of creation: Apr 2013
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Handle: RePEc:fem:femwpa:2013.31
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  1. Victor Brovkin & Vladimir Petoukhov & Martin Claussen & Eva Bauer & David Archer & Carlo Jaeger, 2009. "Geoengineering climate by stratospheric sulfur injections: Earth system vulnerability to technological failure," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 92(3), pages 243-259, February.
  2. Adam Millard-Ball, 2012. "The Tuvalu Syndrome," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 1047-1066, February.
  3. Valentina Bosetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2007. "Uncertain R&D, Backstop Technology and GHGs Stabilization," Working Papers 2007.6, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  4. Juan Moreno-Cruz & David Keith, 2013. "Climate policy under uncertainty: a case for solar geoengineering," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 121(3), pages 431-444, December.
  5. Juan Moreno-Cruz & Katharine Ricke & David Keith, 2012. "A simple model to account for regional inequalities in the effectiveness of solar radiation management," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 649-668, February.
  6. Marlos Goes & Nancy Tuana & Klaus Keller, 2011. "The economics (or lack thereof) of aerosol geoengineering," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 109(3), pages 719-744, December.
  7. Frank Ackerman & Elizabeth Stanton & Ramón Bueno, 2013. "Epstein–Zin Utility in DICE: Is Risk Aversion Irrelevant to Climate Policy?," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 56(1), pages 73-84, September.
  8. Olivier Sterck, 2011. "Geoengineering as an alternative to mitigation: specification and dynamic implications," Working Papers halshs-00635487, HAL.
  9. Enrica De Cian & Valentina Bosetti & Alessandra Sgobbi & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The 2008 WITCH Model: New Model Features and Baseline," Working Papers 2009.85, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  10. Trivedi, Pravin K. & Zimmer, David M., 2007. "Copula Modeling: An Introduction for Practitioners," Foundations and Trends(R) in Econometrics, now publishers, vol. 1(1), pages 1-111, April.
  11. Johan Eyckmans & Jan Cornillie, 2000. "Efficiency and Equity of the EU Burden Sharing Agreement," Energy, Transport and Environment Working Papers Series ete0002, Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Centrum voor Economische Studiën, Energy, Transport and Environment, revised Jun 2002.
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