Long-Term Mitigation Strategies and Marginal Abatement Cost Curves: A Case Study on Brazil

20 Pages Posted: 20 Apr 2016

See all articles by Adrien Vogt-Schilb

Adrien Vogt-Schilb

CIRED, Centre international de recherche sur l’environnement et le développement

S. Hallegatte

World Bank

Christophe de Gouvello

World Bank

Date Written: March 1, 2014

Abstract

Decision makers facing abatement targets need to decide which abatement measures to implement, and in which order. This paper investigates the ability of marginal abatement cost (MAC) curves to inform this decision, reanalysing a MAC curve developed by the World Bank on Brazil. Misinterpreting MAC curves and focusing on short-term targets (e.g., for 2020) would lead to under-invest in expensive, long-to-implement and large-potential options, such as clean transportation infrastructure. Meeting short-term targets with marginal energy-efficiency improvements would lead to carbon-intensive lock-ins that make longer-term targets (e.g., for 2030 and beyond) impossible or too expensive to reach. Improvements to existing MAC curves are proposed, based on (1) enhanced data collection and reporting; (2) a simple optimization tool that accounts for constraints on implementation speeds; and (3) new graphical representations of MAC curves. Designing climate mitigation policies can be done through a pragmatic combination of two approaches. The synergy approach is based on MAC curves to identify the cheapest mitigation options and maximize co-benefits. The urgency approach considers the long-term objective (e.g., halving emissions by 2050) and works backward to identify actions that need to be implemented early, such as public support to clean infrastructure and zero-carbon technologies.

Keywords: Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases, Climate Change Economics, Energy Production and Transportation, Environment and Energy Efficiency, Energy and Environment

Suggested Citation

Vogt-Schilb, Adrien and Hallegatte, Stephane and de Gouvello, Christophe, Long-Term Mitigation Strategies and Marginal Abatement Cost Curves: A Case Study on Brazil (March 1, 2014). World Bank Policy Research Working Paper No. 6808. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2411216

Adrien Vogt-Schilb

CIRED, Centre international de recherche sur l’environnement et le développement ( email )

France

Stephane Hallegatte

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

Christophe De Gouvello

World Bank ( email )

1818 H Street, NW
Washington, DC 20433
United States

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