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Ocean Carbon Sinks And International Climate Policy

Author

Listed:
  • Katrin Rehdanz
  • Richard S.J. Tol

    () (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Patrick Wetzel

Abstract

Terrestrial sinks have entered the Kyoto Protocol as offsets for carbon sequestration, but ocean sinks have escaped attention. Ocean sinks are as unexplored and uncertain as were the terrestrial sinks at the time of negotiation. It is not unlikely that certain countries will advocate the inclusion of ocean carbon sinks to reduce their emission reduction obligations. We use a simple model of the international market for carbon dioxide emissions to evaluate who would gain or loose from allowing for ocean carbon sinks. Our analysis is restricted to information on anthropogenic carbon sequestration within the exclusive economic zone of a country. Like the carbon sequestration of business as usual forest management activities, natural ocean carbon sequestration applies at zero costs. The total amount of anthropogenic ocean carbon sequestration is large, also in the exclusive economic zones. As a consequence, it substantially alters the costs of emission reduction for most countries. Countries such as Australia, Denmark, France, Iceland, New Zealand, Norway and Portugal would gain substantially, and a large number of countries would benefit too. Current net exporters of carbon permits, particularly Russia, would gain less and oppose the inclusion of carbon sinks.

Suggested Citation

  • Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol & Patrick Wetzel, 2005. "Ocean Carbon Sinks And International Climate Policy," Working Papers FNU-60, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2005.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:60
    as

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    File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/FNU-60.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2005
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. repec:spr:portec:v:3:y:2004:i:2:d:10.1007_s10258-004-0033-z is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Thomas Heinzow & Richard S.J. Tol, 2003. "Prediction Of Crop Yields Across Four Climate Zones In Germany: An Artificial Neural Network Approach," Working Papers FNU-34, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2003.
    3. Beatriz Gaitan S. & Richard S.J. Tol & I. Hakan Yetkiner, 2006. "The Hotelling’s Rule Revisited in a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model," Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics,in: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources, pages 213-238 Izmir University of Economics.
    4. Minh Ha-Duong & David Keith, 2003. "Carbon storage: the economic efficiency of storing CO2 in leaky reservoirs," Post-Print halshs-00003927, HAL.
    5. Andrea Bigano & Jacqueline M. Hamilton & Maren A. Lau & Richard S.J. Tol & Zhou Yuan, 2004. "A Global Database Of Domestic And International Tourist Numbers At National And Subnational Level," Working Papers FNU-54, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Nov 2004.
    6. Holloway, S., 2005. "Underground sequestration of carbon dioxide—a viable greenhouse gas mitigation option," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 30(11), pages 2318-2333.
    7. P. Michael Link & Richard S. J. Tol, 2004. "Possible economic impacts of a shutdown of the thermohaline circulation: an application of FUND," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer;Instituto Superior de Economia e Gestao, vol. 3(2), pages 99-114, September.
    8. Riahi, Keywan & Rubin, Edward S. & Taylor, Margaret R. & Schrattenholzer, Leo & Hounshell, David, 2004. "Technological learning for carbon capture and sequestration technologies," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 26(4), pages 539-564, July.
    9. R. A. Houghton, 2002. "Magnitude, distribution and causes of terrestrial carbon sinks and some implications for policy," Climate Policy, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 2(1), pages 71-88, March.
    10. Reiner, D.M & Herzog, H.J, 2004. "Developing a set of regulatory analogs for carbon sequestration," Energy, Elsevier, vol. 29(9), pages 1561-1570.
    11. Michaelowa, Axel & Jotzo, Frank, 2005. "Transaction costs, institutional rigidities and the size of the clean development mechanism," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(4), pages 511-523, March.
    12. Pedro Moura Costa & Charlie Wilson, 2000. "An equivalence factor between CO2 avoidedemissions and sequestration – description andapplications in forestry," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 5(1), pages 51-60, March.
    13. Philip Fearnside & Daniel Lashof & Pedro Moura-Costa, 2000. "Accounting for time in Mitigating Global Warming through land-use change and forestry," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 5(3), pages 239-270, September.
    14. Bob van der Zwaan & Koen Smekens, 2004. "Environmental Externalities of Geological Carbon Sequestration Effects on Energy Scenarios," Working Papers 2004.58, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    15. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "On Multi-Period Allocation Of Tradable Emission Permits," Working Papers FNU-43, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
    16. Michael Dutschke, 2002. "Fractions of permanence – Squaring the cycle of sink carbon accounting," Mitigation and Adaptation Strategies for Global Change, Springer, vol. 7(4), pages 381-402, December.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra- and extra-union flexibility in meeting the European Union's emission reduction targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4329-4336, November.
    2. Bertram, Christine, 2009. "Ocean iron fertilization in the context of the Kyoto Protocol and the post-Kyoto process," Kiel Working Papers 1523, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW).
    3. 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.
    4. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra-union flexibility of non-ETS emission reduction obligations in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1745-1752, May.
    5. Katrin Rehdanz & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "A No Cap But Trade Proposal For Greenhous Gas Emission Reduction Targets For Brazil, China And India," Working Papers FNU-68, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jul 2005.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    carbon dioxide emission reduction; emission permit trade; exclusive economic zones; ocean sinks;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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