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Marginal abatement cost curves and the optimal timing of mitigation measures

  • Adrien Vogt-Schilb

    ()

    (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - CIRAD - Centre de coopération internationale en recherche agronomique pour le développement - École des Ponts ParisTech (ENPC) - CNRS)

  • Stéphane Hallegatte

    ()

    (SDN - Sustainable Development Network - The World Bank)

Decision makers facing abatement targets need to decide which abatement measures to implement, and in which order. Measure-explicit marginal abatement cost curves depict the cost and abating potential of available mitigation options. Using a simple intertemporal optimization model, we demonstrate why this information is not sufficient to design emission reduction strategies. Because the measures required to achieve ambitious emission reductions cannot be implemented overnight, the optimal strategy to reach a short-term target depends on longer-term targets. For instance, the best strategy to achieve European's -20% by 2020 target may be to implement some expensive, high-potential, and long-to-implement options required to meet the -75% by 2050 target. Using just the cheapest abatement options to reach the 2020 target can create a carbon-intensive lock-in and make the 2050 target too expensive to reach. Designing mitigation policies requires information on the speed at which various measures to curb greenhouse gas emissions can be implemented, in addition to the information on the costs and potential of such measures provided by marginal abatement cost curves.

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Paper provided by HAL in its series Post-Print with number hal-00916328.

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Date of creation: 14 Jan 2014
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Publication status: Published in Energy Policy, Elsevier, 2014, 66, pp.645-653. <10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.045>
Handle: RePEc:hal:journl:hal-00916328
DOI: 10.1016/j.enpol.2013.11.045
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://hal-enpc.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-00916328
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