November 14, 2007

Cost of abatement

This figure shows the cost of different methods of preventing a ton of carbon dioxide from reaching the atmosphere in euros (1 EUR = $1.46). Many of the methods have negative costs meaning that in addition to preventing CO2 emissions they save money. Click on the graph to enlarge.


At November 15, 2007 5:38 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Matthew J - Very interesting graph and I love that there are so many (obvious) cost-saving ways to decrease C in the atmo. My issue here is the last and most expensive column. The unfortunate reality of these economic models is nobody can estimate the costs of ecosystem services. Stopping Asian deforestation is the costliest of the ways to reduce C - yet it is undoubtedly the ONLY one that can affect clean air and water, biodiversity, pollination, nutrient cycling, decomposition, seed dispersal, etc. ad nauseum. It really gets my goat that educated folks continue to make these cost/benefit models or figures with absolutely no value to biodiversity or ecosystem services. it is simply absurd to think we could survive without "cost-free" pollinators! Equally absurd to assume that air and water quality are valueless or that biological diversity is not directly important to human livelihood and well-being. I hope that other scientists and economists can work with biologists to estimate the true benefits (probably priceless!) of intact ecosystems. Something to ponder.

At November 15, 2007 4:07 PM , Blogger Matt_J said...

I was the chair of the session when this figure was shown. I asked the speaker what he thought of the arguments of economists like Bjørn Lomborg who say that we should let the invisible hand of the market take care of climate change. The speaker's reply was that that if we left things to the invisible hand then the invisible foot would come along and kick our asses.


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