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Economics prospects of ocean iron fertilization in an international carbon market

  • Wilfried Rickels
  • Katrin Rehdanz
  • Andreas Oschlies

To stay within the 2°C temperature increase target for climate change calls for ambitious emission reduction targets already for the 2012-2020 compliance period. Cost-efficiency is a crucial criterion for the enforcement of such ambitious targets, requiring analyses of all possible abatement options. Among others, enhancing the oceanic carbon sink by ocean iron fertilization (OIF) could be such an option but is currently not seriously considered due to its potentially adverse side effects. In our analysis we consider short-term large-scale OIF modeling experiments for a Post-Kyoto compliance problem to assess the economic prospects of OIF. Our analysis reveals that the critical unit costs per net ton of CO2 sequestered by OIF are in a range of 21.9 to 27.7 USD (price level 2000) assuming that the current limitations regarding the use of carbon credits generated in low cost countries and from forestation is completely relaxed. The critical unit costs are defined as those that would make an emitter indifferent between various abatement options. We are also able to show that already seven years of OIF in the area of 30° south provide the same amount of credits equivalent to a global forestation project for the duration of 20 years. Over all, our results indicate that OIF should be considered as an abatement option, but, further research, especially on adverse side effects, is needed

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Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Kiel Working Papers with number 1573.

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Length: 23 pages
Date of creation: Dec 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:kie:kieliw:1573
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  1. Olschewski, Roland & Benítez, Pablo C. & de Koning, G.H.J. & Schlichter, Tomás, 2005. "How attractive are forest carbon sinks? Economic insights into supply and demand of Certified Emission Reductions," Journal of Forest Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 77-94, September.
  2. Gernot Klepper & Sonja Peterson & Katrin Springer, 2003. "DART97: A Description of the Multi-regional, Multi-sectoral Trade Model for the Analysis of Climate Policies," Kiel Working Papers 1149, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  3. Klepper, Gernot & Peterson, Sonja, 2006. "Marginal abatement cost curves in general equilibrium: The influence of world energy prices," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3775, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  4. Brent Sohngen & Robert Mendelsohn, 2003. "An Optimal Control Model of Forest Carbon Sequestration," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association, vol. 85(2), pages 448-457.
  5. Klepper, Gernot & Peterson, Sonja, 2006. "Emissions trading, CDM, JI, and more : the climate strategy of the EU," Open Access Publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy 3814, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
  6. Kousky, Carolyn & Rostapshova, Olga & Toman, Michael & Zeckhauser, Richard, 2010. "Responding to Threats of Climate Change Mega-Catastrophes," Working Paper Series rwp10-008, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
  7. Anger, Niels & Dixon, Alistair & Livengood, Erich, 2009. "Interactions of Reduced Deforestation and the Carbon Market: The Role of Market Regulations and Future Commitments," ZEW Discussion Papers 09-001, ZEW - Zentrum für Europäische Wirtschaftsforschung / Center for European Economic Research.
  8. Rickels, Wilfried & Rehdanz, Katrin & Oschlies, Andreas, 2010. "Methods for greenhouse gas offset accounting: A case study of ocean iron fertilization," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(12), pages 2495-2509, October.
  9. Bertram, Christine, 2010. "Ocean iron fertilization in the context of the Kyoto protocol and the post-Kyoto process," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 1130-1139, February.
  10. Wilfried Rickels & Katrin Rehdanz & Andreas Oschlies, 2009. "Accounting aspects of ocean iron fertilization," Kiel Working Papers 1572, Kiel Institute for the World Economy.
  11. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521744447 is not listed on IDEAS
  12. G. Cornelis van Kooten & Brent Sohngen, 2007. "Economics of Forest Ecosystem Carbon Sinks: A Review," Working Papers 2007-02, University of Victoria, Department of Economics, Resource Economics and Policy Analysis Research Group.
  13. Hertel, Thomas & Lee, Huey-Lin & Rose, Steven & Sohngen, Brent, 2008. "Modeling Land-use Related Greenhouse Gas Sources and Sinks and their Mitigation Potential," GTAP Working Papers 2605, Center for Global Trade Analysis, Department of Agricultural Economics, Purdue University.
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