April 20, 2005

Non-C02 greenhouse gases; all gases count

Under the Kyoto Protocol, a group of countries commit themselves to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases to some 5% below the 1990 level.

Countries can decide to spread their reduction commitment over several gases to lower compliance costs. Employing a multi-gas strategy can offer considerable efficiency gains because of the widely diverging marginal abatement cost for the different emission sources.

In this Discussion Paper, the analysis of climate policy for the most important greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide, is extended with two other important greenhouse gases, methane and nitrous oxide. The multi-region and multi-sector Applied General Equilibrium model WorldScan has been used as an instrument for addressing this issue.

The approach presented is consistent with the bottom-up information on reduction possibilities for those non-CO2 greenhouse gases while it allows for general equilibrium effects and intergas interactions. Including non-CO2 greenhouse gases into the analysis has important sectoral impacts while the regional effects are limited. A considerable part of the burden on gas, coal and oil products will be shifted to the agricultural sectors. Reductions of non-CO2 gases could be especially important for countries like China and India.


Willemien Kets
Gerard Verweij