Risks, costs and equity: Modelling efficient strategies for climate and energy policy: Dissertation

Tommi Ekholm

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

Abstract

The mitigation of climate change can be framed as a problem of risk management on a global scale. Avoiding dangerous interference with ecosystems and human society calls for a global climate policy, which will translate a selected climatic target into economic incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The necessary emission reductions span many decades and involve actors at different levels of the global economy, from nations to companies and individuals. The reductions entail economic costs which are likely to be unevenly distributed across regions and individuals. Uncertainty in how the climate responds to increased greenhouse gas concentrations creates a risk in that the costs of attaining the selected target may increase. Furthermore, climate policy cannot be isolated from other policy aims; aims that can be contradictory to the aspirations of climate policy. This Dissertation uses numerical scenario modelling to address these issues, and to aid the formulation of efficient climate and energy policies. The perspectives span from the global cost-efficiency analysis of attaining a predetermined temperature target to the consideration of regional equity in mitigation costs, and further to the modelling of capital scarcity and preferences in developing countries. The Articles in this Dissertation share a number of common questions, particularly how costs occurring at different times should be discounted into a single present value, and how the heterogeneity between different actors - regions, countries or households - should be taken into account in policy formulation. On one hand, the results provide guidance on how emissions of different greenhouse gases should be priced and how a global emission market could be used to select the most cost-efficient mitigation measures and to distribute the costs in an equitable manner. On the other hand, the Articles also illustrate potential hindrances for achieving efficient and equitable outcomes. Both types of results share a common aim, which is to explore and quantify the impacts of possible policy options and to facilitate the development of more informed strategies and policies.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor Degree
Awarding Institution
  • Aalto University
Supervisors/Advisors
  • Salo, Ahti, Supervisor, External person
  • Savolainen, Ilkka, Advisor, External person
Award date6 Sep 2013
Place of PublicationEspoo
Publisher
Print ISBNs978-951-38-8011-8
Electronic ISBNs978-951-38-8012-5
Publication statusPublished - 2013
MoE publication typeG5 Doctoral dissertation (article)

Fingerprint

energy policy
equity
environmental policy
cost
modeling
greenhouse gas
mitigation
global economy
global climate
developing world
climate change
market
policy
ecosystem
climate
economics
temperature

Keywords

  • climate policy
  • energy policy
  • energy economics
  • scenario

Cite this

Ekholm, T. (2013). Risks, costs and equity: Modelling efficient strategies for climate and energy policy: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
Ekholm, Tommi. / Risks, costs and equity : Modelling efficient strategies for climate and energy policy: Dissertation. Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2013. 116 p.
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Risks, costs and equity : Modelling efficient strategies for climate and energy policy: Dissertation. / Ekholm, Tommi.

Espoo : VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2013. 116 p.

Research output: ThesisDissertationCollection of Articles

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AB - The mitigation of climate change can be framed as a problem of risk management on a global scale. Avoiding dangerous interference with ecosystems and human society calls for a global climate policy, which will translate a selected climatic target into economic incentives for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The necessary emission reductions span many decades and involve actors at different levels of the global economy, from nations to companies and individuals. The reductions entail economic costs which are likely to be unevenly distributed across regions and individuals. Uncertainty in how the climate responds to increased greenhouse gas concentrations creates a risk in that the costs of attaining the selected target may increase. Furthermore, climate policy cannot be isolated from other policy aims; aims that can be contradictory to the aspirations of climate policy. This Dissertation uses numerical scenario modelling to address these issues, and to aid the formulation of efficient climate and energy policies. The perspectives span from the global cost-efficiency analysis of attaining a predetermined temperature target to the consideration of regional equity in mitigation costs, and further to the modelling of capital scarcity and preferences in developing countries. The Articles in this Dissertation share a number of common questions, particularly how costs occurring at different times should be discounted into a single present value, and how the heterogeneity between different actors - regions, countries or households - should be taken into account in policy formulation. On one hand, the results provide guidance on how emissions of different greenhouse gases should be priced and how a global emission market could be used to select the most cost-efficient mitigation measures and to distribute the costs in an equitable manner. On the other hand, the Articles also illustrate potential hindrances for achieving efficient and equitable outcomes. Both types of results share a common aim, which is to explore and quantify the impacts of possible policy options and to facilitate the development of more informed strategies and policies.

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Ekholm T. Risks, costs and equity: Modelling efficient strategies for climate and energy policy: Dissertation. Espoo: VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, 2013. 116 p.