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The economics of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations

Richard Richels
Energy Analysis and Planning Department, Electric Power Research Institute, 3412 Hillview Avenue, PO Box 10412, Palo Alto, CA 94303, USA

Jae Edmonds
Global Environmental Change Program, Pacific Northwest Laboratories, 901 D Street SW, Suite 900, Washington, DC 20024-2115, USA

This paper examines the economics of stabilizing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. A particular concentrations target can be achieved in a variety of ways. It turns out that the choice of emissions time-path is as important as the concentrations level itself in determining the ultimate price-tag. Rather than choosing arbitrary emission trajectories, more attention needs to be devoted to identifying those paths that minimize the costs of achieving a specific target.

Keywords: Global warming; Energy modeling; Optimization



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