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EMF 16: The Costs of the Kyoto Protocol

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John Weyant 

Richard Richels


The main culprit targeted is carbon dioxide emission from fossil fuels. A five percent reduction from 1990 emission levels to be reached about a decade from now seems modest. Not so. Given actual economic growth since 1990 and anticipated growth, the "Kyoto Gap' could be as much as 30 percent from base line emissions expected by 2010. This study represents the first comprehensive report on a comparative set of modeling analyses of the economic and energy sector impacts of the Kyoto Protocol on Climate Change.

Organized by the Stanford Energy Modeling Forum (EMF), the objectives of this study were the same as for previous EMF studies: (1) identifying policy-relevant insights and analyses that are robust across a wide range of models, (2) providing explanations for differences in results from different models, and (3) identifying high priority areas for future research. This study has produced a particularly rich set of results in all three areas, which is a tribute to the active participation of the modeling teams and the care each team took in preparing its paper. The volume consists of a paper by each modeling team on what it did and what it concluded from the model runs that were undertaken, proceeded by this introduction and summary paper. This summary focuses on the motivation for the study, the design of the study scenarios, and the interpretation of results for the four core scenarios, which all the teams ran. Each succeeding chapter contains ideas and insights drawn by the modeling teams from applying their models to issues they were able to address selected from a small set of important areas on which the group had mutually agreed to focus.

Complete report was published as a Special Issue of The Energy Journal and its available below.

The Cost of the Kyoto Protocol:  A Multi-Model Evaluation

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John Weyant