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Optimal global carbon management with ocean sequestration


Rickels, Wilfried; Lontzek, Thomas S (2012). Optimal global carbon management with ocean sequestration. Oxford Economic Papers, 64(2):323-349.

Abstract

We investigate the socially optimal intervention in the global carbon cycle. Limiting factors are (i) increasing atmospheric carbon concentration due to fossil fuel-related carbon emissions, and (ii) the inertia of the global carbon cycle itself. Accordingly, we explicitly include the largest non-atmospheric carbon reservoir, the ocean, to achieve a better representation of the global carbon cycle than the proportional-decay assumption usually resorted to in economic models. We also investigate the option to directly inject CO2 into the deep ocean (a form of carbon sequestration), deriving from this a critical level for ocean sequestration costs. Above this level, ocean sequestration is merely a temporary option; below it, ocean sequestration is the long-term option permitting extended use of fossil fuels. The latter alternative involves higher atmospheric stabilization levels. In this connection it should be noted that the efficiency of ocean sequestration depends on the time-preference and the inertia of the carbon cycle.

Abstract

We investigate the socially optimal intervention in the global carbon cycle. Limiting factors are (i) increasing atmospheric carbon concentration due to fossil fuel-related carbon emissions, and (ii) the inertia of the global carbon cycle itself. Accordingly, we explicitly include the largest non-atmospheric carbon reservoir, the ocean, to achieve a better representation of the global carbon cycle than the proportional-decay assumption usually resorted to in economic models. We also investigate the option to directly inject CO2 into the deep ocean (a form of carbon sequestration), deriving from this a critical level for ocean sequestration costs. Above this level, ocean sequestration is merely a temporary option; below it, ocean sequestration is the long-term option permitting extended use of fossil fuels. The latter alternative involves higher atmospheric stabilization levels. In this connection it should be noted that the efficiency of ocean sequestration depends on the time-preference and the inertia of the carbon cycle.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Business Administration
Dewey Decimal Classification:330 Economics
Language:English
Date:2012
Deposited On:20 Feb 2012 15:44
Last Modified:06 Sep 2017 15:38
Publisher:Oxford University Press
ISSN:0030-7653
Free access at:Related URL. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/oep/gpr027
Related URLs:http://www.eui.eu/Documents/DepartmentsCentres/Economics/Researchandteaching/Conferences/EERTEC3/WilfriedRickelsOptimalGlobalCarbonManagementwithOceanSequestration.pdf
Other Identification Number:merlin-id:4500

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