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Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop

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Models are fundamental for estimating the possible costs and effectiveness of different policies for reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. There is a wide array of models to perform such analysis, differing in the level of technological detail, treatment of technological progress, spatial and sector details, and representation of the interaction of the energy sector to the overall economy and environment. These differences impact model results, including cost estimates. More fundamentally, these models differ as to how they represent fundamental processes that have a large impact on policy analysis--such as how different models represent technological learning and cost reductions that come through increasing production volumes, or how different models represent baseline conditions.

Reliable estimates of the costs and potential impacts on the United States economy of various emissions reduction and other mitigation strategies are critical to the development of the federal climate change research and development portfolio. At the request of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), the National Academies organized a workshop, summarized in this volume, to consider some of these types of modeling issues.


Suggested Citation

National Research Council. 2011. Modeling the Economics of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press.

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Publication Info

160 pages |8.5 x 11
  • Paperback: 978-0-309-16235-7
  • Ebook: 978-0-309-18767-1

Table of Contents

skim chapter
Front Matter i-x
1 Introduction 1-3
2 Uses and Abuses of Marginal Abatement Supply Curves 4-8
3 Uses and Abuses of Learning, Experience, and Knowledge Curves 9-12
4 Offsets - What's Assumed, What Is Known/Not Known, and What Difference They Make 13-18
5 Story Lines, Scenarios, and the Limits of Long-Term Socio-Techno-Economic Forecasting 19-21
6 Reflections on the Workshop 22-24
References 25-26
Appendixes 27-28
Appendix A: Workshop Announcement and Agenda 29-32
Appendix B: Biographical Sketches of Planning Committee Members, Speakers, and Discussants 33-40
Appendix C: Papers Submitted by Workshop Speakers 41-41
Paradigms of Energy Efficiency's Cost and Their Policy Implications: Déjà Vu All Over Again--Mark Jaccard 42-51
Energy Efficiency Cost Curves: Empirical Insights for Energy-Climate Modeling--Jayant Sathaye and Amol Phadke 52-68
The Perils of the Learning Model For Modeling Endogenous Technological Change--William D. Nordhaus 69-75
Uncertainties in Technology Experience Curves for Energy-Economic Models--Sonia Yeh and Edward Rubin 76-91
Role of Offsets in Global and Domestic Climate Policy--Raymond J. Kopp 92-99
Carbon Offsets in Forest and Land Use--Brent Sohngen 100-108
Measurement and Monitoring of Forests in Climate Policy Design--Molly K. Macauley 109-110
International Offsets Usage in Proposed U.S. Climate Change Legislation--Allen A. Fawcett 111-131
The Politics and Economics of International Carbon Offsets--David G. Victor 132-142
Developing Narratives for Next-Generation Scenarios Climate Change Research and Assessment--Richard Moss 143-150

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