Friday, December 17, 2010

Marginal CO2 Abatement Cost Curves from EMF22

These are my first estimates of the marginal abatement cost curves for the four main regions based on the results of the EMF22 exercise. Here I have flipped the graph back 90 degrees again. This is private marginal cost for abating fossil and industrial emissions of CO2 using market exchange rates. The EU is the most expensive region for small cuts in emissions and India the cheapest. But for extreme cuts India is most expensive. These results will look different if we measure cost differently. Note also that this meta-analysis finds very high carbon prices for large cuts in emissions. The typical numbers thrown around of $20 per tonne only apply to very small cuts in emissions. But the cost of a given emissions reduction declines over time as technology progresses.


  1. Wow, I have to stop saying 'oh, let's call it $50 a tonne' for my envelope-back chats in bars. Nice figure.

  2. Thanks - there is a huge variation of prices across the models basically depending on what they think future technological change will be like. Some models end up with negative emissions (burning biomass and sequestering the carbon) for carbon prices in the $100s at some point in the future.