A Multi-Gas Approach to Climate Policy - with and Without Gwps

36 Pages Posted: 28 Nov 2000

See all articles by Alan S. Manne

Alan S. Manne

Stanford University - Department of Mechanical Engineering

Richard G. Richels

Electric Power Research Institute, U.S.A.

Date Written: June 2000

Abstract

When dealing with multiple greenhouse gases, we need some way to establish equivalence among gases. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has suggested the use of global warming potentials (GWPs) for making such trade-offs. We begin by examining the implications of such an approach for mitigation policy. We then discuss several significant limitations of GWPs. These include their failure to reflect damages, their sensitivity to the choice of time horizon, and their insensitivity to both the choice of and proximity to a prescribed target. We then explore an alternative approach where the relative price of each gas is an endogenous output rather than an exogenous input into the analysis. Our findings yield some important insights for those concerned with climate change policy making, particularly with regard to the role of each gas in accomplishing a long-term objective.

JEL Classification: Q25, Q28

Suggested Citation

Manne, Alan S. and Richels, Richard, A Multi-Gas Approach to Climate Policy - with and Without Gwps (June 2000). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=235464 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.235464

Alan S. Manne

Stanford University - Department of Mechanical Engineering ( email )

Stanford, CA 94305
United States

Richard Richels (Contact Author)

Electric Power Research Institute, U.S.A. ( email )

3412 Hillview Avenue
P.O. Box 10412
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1395
United States
415-855-2602 (Phone)
415-855-1080 (Fax)

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