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Marginal abatement cost curves and the optimal timing of mitigation measures

Author

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  • Adrien Vogt-Schilb

    () (CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - CIRAD - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique)

  • Stéphane Hallegatte

    (SDN - Sustainable Development Network - The World Bank)

Abstract

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.

Suggested Citation

  • Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Stéphane Hallegatte, 2014. "Marginal abatement cost curves and the optimal timing of mitigation measures," Post-Print hal-00916328, HAL.
  • 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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    2. Sebastian Schäfer & Lisa Schulten, 2015. "Efficient Promotion of Renewable Energy with Reverse Auctions," MAGKS Papers on Economics 201520, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Faculty of Business Administration and Economics, Department of Economics (Volkswirtschaftliche Abteilung).
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    4. repec:eee:enepol:v:113:y:2018:i:c:p:306-319 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Oskar Lecuyer & Adrien Vogt-Schilb, 2013. "Assessing and ordering investments in polluting fossil-fueled and zero-carbon capital," CIRED Working Papers hal-00850680, HAL.
    6. Vogt-Schilb, Adrien & Meunier, Guy & Hallegatte, Stéphane, 2018. "When starting with the most expensive option makes sense: Optimal timing, cost and sectoral allocation of abatement investment," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 88(C), pages 210-233.
    7. Yun Fei Yao & Qiao-Mei Liang & Dong-Wei Yang & Hua Liao & Yi-Ming Wei, 2016. "How China’s current energy pricing mechanisms will impact its marginal carbon abatement costs?," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 21(6), pages 799-821, August.
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    22. Adrien Vogt-Schilb & Stéphane Hallegatte & Christophe De Gouvello, 2014. "Marginal Abatement Cost Curves and Quality of Emission Reductions: A Case Study on Brazil," Post-Print hal-00966821, HAL.
    23. He, Qi & Jiang, Xujia & Gouldson, Andy & Sudmant, Andrew & Guan, Dabo & Colenbrander, Sarah & Xue, Tao & Zheng, Bo & Zhang, Qiang, 2016. "Climate change mitigation in Chinese megacities: A measures-based analysis of opportunities in the residential sector," Applied Energy, Elsevier, vol. 184(C), pages 769-778.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    climate change mitigation; dynamic efficiency; sectoral policies;

    JEL classification:

    • L98 - Industrial Organization - - Industry Studies: Transportation and Utilities - - - Government Policy
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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