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EMF OP 37: EMF 12: Model Comparisons of the Costs of Reducing CO2 Emissions

Concern about the extent of global climate change and its potential consequences has increased dramatically in recent years. Many believed that unprecedented climate changes are — or soon will be — occurring as the result of man-made emissions of greenhouse gases. The largest man-made source of greenhouse gases is carbon dioxide produced by the combustion of fossil fuels in utility and industrial boilers, and in internal combustion engines. Thus, any effort to reduce greenhouse gas emissions will start with efforts to restrict these activities. Therefore, it seems essential to develop a range of projections of the likely costs of alternative levels of control of carbon emissions from the energy sector. The EMF 12 working group specified thirteen standardized scenarios reflecting a range of carbon emission control levels, as well as sensitivities on key standardized inputs. These scenarios were ultimately implemented by fourteen modeling teams employing a wide variety of techno-economic models, although not every model could implement every scenario. In addition to these model comparisons, ten study groups were formed to analyze issues not being addressed by the fourteen models and thirteen scenarios. These groups used additional models and methods to analyze issues not addressed in the original thirteen scenarios.