Evaluating uncertain CO2 abatement over the very long term

R. Gerlagh, B. van der Zwaan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

13 Citations (Scopus)


Climate change research with the economic methodology of cost–benefit analysis is challenging because of valuation and ethical issues associated with the long delays between CO2 emissions and much of their potential damages, typically of several centuries. The large uncertainties with which climate change impacts are known today and the possibly temporary nature of some envisaged CO2 abatement options exacerbate this challenge. For example, potential leakage of CO2 from geological reservoirs, after this greenhouse gas has been stored artificially underground for climate control reasons, requires an analysis in which the uncertain climatic consequences of leakage are valued over many centuries. We here present a discussion of some of the relevant questions in this context and provide calculations with the top–down energy-environment-economy model DEMETER. Given the long-term features of the climate change conundrum as well as of technologies that can contribute to its solution, we considered it necessary extending DEMETER to cover a period from today until the year 3000, a time span so far hardly investigated with integrated assessment models of climate change.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)137-148
JournalEnvironmental Modeling and Assessment
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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