21 August 2001
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"Optimal Use of Carbon Sequestration in a Global Climate Change Strategy: Is there a Wooden Bridge to a Clean Energy Future?" by Franck Lecocq, Kenneth Chomitz, July 2001, World Bank, Development Economics Research Group, Infrastructure and Environment
Is carbon sequestration really a good way to "buy time" until new energy technologies become available and competitive? This paper tries to rigorously assess this argument using an economic model (an intertemporal optimization model) where both abatement of fossil fuel emissions and biomass sequestration can be used to mitigate climate change.
The paper sets up a climate policy optimization model with emission abatement and deforestation prevention. The objective is to minimize total costs of climate change, i.e. the sum of mitigation costs and climate change damages. There are two ways to achieve this objective: to reduce fossil-fuel emissions or to use carbon sequestration.
Through analyses of the cases of permanent and temporary sequestration, the paper presents the following insights:
"- When permanence can be guaranteed, sequestration is equivalent to abatement from fossil fuel combustion. Where it is impossible to guarantee permanence of individual projects, it may be possible to apply the same reasoning to portfolios of projects, adjusted for the expected proportion of non-permanent projects.
- Explicit contracts for temporary sequestration make sense only when the rationale for mitigation is reduction of damages, and current marginal damages of climate change are thought to be significant: sequestration is then cost-effective because it postpone damages. In this case, there's a rationale to begin temporary sequestration contracts immediately, and they will probably be renewed indefinitely.
- Such temporary sequestration contracts also make sense when the rationale for mitigation is keeping concentration below some threshold, but only when concentrations are approaching that threshold. Here the sequestration project serves to bridge the "hump" of high energy abatement costs. Under this rationale, sequestration follows a "bang-bang" optimal dynamics, and begins immediately only if the goal is to stabilize at very low concentration levels."
Although the paper sees only limited usefulness of temporary carbon sequestration based on the argument of "buying time" for new technologies, it does not rule out its usefulness on other grounds, such as the chances of bringing about permanent changes in land management practices, the value in saving time to gain information, and so on.
The paper can be downloaded from the following website:
- Kyoto deal approved after last minute scare July 26 (PlanetArk/Reuters)
-NZ sets September 2002 target to ratify Kyoto pact August 10 (PlanetArk/Reuters)
- Bush Urged to Negotiate Global Warming Treaty August 2 (Washington Post )
-Norway says will not use Kyoto "sink" loophole August 7 (PlanetArk/Reuters)
- Greenhouse gas trade go-ahead 14 August (BBC News)
- Business welcomes emissions trading scheme CLIMATE CHANGE Pounds 215m PROJECT WILL BE THE FIRST OF ITS KIND WORLDWIDE: Aug 15 (Financial Times)
- First U.S. Carbon Trading Market Enters Design Phase
Wednesday, August 08, 2001
By Environmental News Network
- Carbon sinks and Biodiversity Conference
The Ministry of the Walloon Region in Belgium is organizing an international conference on 'Carbon sinks and Biodiversity'. The conference will take place in Liege, Belgium, from 24 to 26 October 2001, just before the 7th Conference of the Parties (COP-7) of the UNFCCC.
The conference aims to contribute to increase synergies among the various stakeholders (scientists, foresters, agronomy and nature conservation experts, NGO and decision makers). It is expected to address useful recommendations for conciliating land use, carbon sequestration and biodiversity to the European Union and international fora such as the CBD and the UNFCCC.
The conference on "Carbon sinks and Biodiversity" will be organized in five sessions: general introduction, forest ecosystems, agricultural lands, other terrestrial ecosystems and "Recommendations".
For more information, contact: N. Baute, email@example.com
Tel. +32 81/33 58 43
or refer to the website:
- RESEARCH ASSOCIATE-POLICY, PEW CENTER ON GLOBAL CLIMATE CHANGE
The Pew Center is a non-profit, non-partisan, and independent organization dedicated to providing credible information, straight answers, and innovative solutions in the effort to address global climate change. For more information about the Pew Center, visit www.pewclimate.org.
The Pew Center is looking to hire a Research Associate to work with the Director of Policy Analysis (see descriptions below).
Pew Center on Global Climate Change, Research Associate-Policy
Start date: Immediately
1. Research, maintain, and communicate to staff updated information on domestic climate change policy and related legislation;
2. Work with Policy Director in oversight/editing of Policy series reports;
3. Attend and report on climate change meetings, conferences, and hearings on Capitol Hill; and
4. Help organize workshops and briefings for stakeholders on climate change issues.
Undergraduate degree or higher in environmental studies, environmental policy or related field; understanding of the climate change issue-science, politics, economics; well developed writing/editing skills; attention to detail; willingness to learn and pitch in at all levels.
Send resume and cover letter to:
Vicki Arroyo Cochran at the Pew Center on Global Climate Change, 2101 Wilson Boulevard, Suite 550, Arlington, VA 22201, or electronically in a Word Document to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- a PhD position at the Department of Economics, Oldenburg University, Germany, as Scientific Researcher /Research Assistant
- Salary 0.5 IIa BAT (gross salary appr. DEM 4000 p.m.)-
starting at 15.10.2001.
The PhD position is located within the research group SPEED (Scientific Pool of Environmental Economic Disciplines) with the main research focus on quantitative analysis of impacts by diverse environmental and energy policy strategies, see http://www.uni-oldenburg.de/~kemfert/speed/speed.html.
This position offers the opportunity to elaborate the PhD and to take action in international research projects; teaching activities in the area of environmental and resource economics are welcome.
Applicants should have an exam (diploma) in economics, mathematics or physics with economic background or related fields. Furthermore, the applicants should have strong skills in environmental and energy economics, econometrics and mathematical programming /computer languages. Well developed writing and editing skills in English are desired. Basic knowledge of German is welcome but not necessary.
The Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg intends to increase the share of women, women are explicitly encouraged to apply. Due to the German law § 47 Abs. 3 NHG female applicants are given preferential treatment to male applicants with the same qualification. Seriously handicapped applicants with the same level of qualification are favoured.
Please send your application until 15. September 2001 to Oldenburg University, FB4, Head of research group SPEED, Dr. Claudia Kemfert P. O. Box, 26111 Oldenburg, Germany. If you should have further queries please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Claudia Kemfert.
Dr. Claudia Kemfert
Head of Research Group SPEED
Scientific Pool of Environmental Economic Disciplines
Dept. of Economics I
D- 26111 Oldenburg
Tel.: +49 441 798 4106
Fax: +49 441 798 4101
[from climate-l ]
Contribution by André Gabus: After the climate compromise in Bonn:.
ECO GROUPS ARE GOOD PLAYERS BUT RESTORING DEGRADED NATURAL FORESTS IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES IS TO WAIT FOR QUALIFYING AS CARBON OFFSET
Environmental groups definitely won a battle when convincing European governments to resist that forests should be used as "sinks" to soak up carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. As recognized later, this position led to the collapse of the previous round of talks for implementing the Kyoto Protocol in The Hague last November. For reaching an agreement in Bonn, the European Union had to accept a certain amount of sinks. These groups can be considered as good losers about this issue, when reading their respective recent declarations (see Box 1: Eco Groups - What They Said Before & After). ...
Furthermore, they are modest winners in keeping a low profile on this other issue (open by them) about the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) for the South. It is now confirmed that, in developing countries, forest sinks will be limited to only afforestation or reforestation activities. A request from a number of Umbrella Group countries (Japan, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, United States) that an option be included providing for all sinks project types within the CDM was rejected in Bonn.
As a result, enriching plantations on degraded natural forests are excluded for certified emissions reduction credits, at least for the first commitment period 2008-2012 (see Box 2: Decisions and Definitions). It is a pity in particular for Western and Central African countries where forest industries were prepared in some cases to help reconstituting natural forest with commercial plantations. ...
For sure, operators interested in both timber harvesting and carbon dioxide absorption in the tropics within the CDM will have the possibility to carry on projects on deforested lands (as defined in Box 2). However these lands are occupied by agriculture in most countries where restoring forests is most needed. ...
Under these conditions, the Kyoto Protocol will give poor chances to a new departure of forestry in developing countries. ...
The full comment (with boxes) can be downloaded from Forests & Derivates (F&D):
Pour la version française, cliquer sur: http://www.mysunrise.ch/users/agabus/eff'endi/carbon/ecogroup.html
For more information, contact André Gabus (email@example.com)
6) Websites of interest:
- The website of the COP6, Part2, 16-27 July 2001, Bonn, Germany
- An Analysis of the Bonn Agreement by Raymond Kopp on Weathervane
While 178 nations compromised on language for the Kyoto Protocol and set
the stage for individual country ratification of the treaty, the U.S.
did not participate. Ironically, many of the deals struck in Bonn fell
in the direction the U.S. has long favored. Virtually all the important
compromises addressed the costs of meeting a country's Kyoto target. But
none involved enforceable actions, as Raymond J. Kopp discusses in this
Thank you for your inputs for this issue: André Gabus, N. Baute
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