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A key concern at the Paris climate negotiations (COP21) is to find a fair, effective, and economically viable way to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries, which are expected to vastly outpace those produced in developed countries in the coming decades. One approach, adopted in previous United Nations climate summits in Copenhagen and Cancun and now implemented in Paris, is to encourage each country to craft its own climate mitigation policy based on local conditions and challenges. Another strategy, favored by many economists as the best way to reduce global emissions but politically challenging to implement, is to base each country’s contribution to international climate mitigation efforts on a “one-size-fits-all” policy such as a universal carbon price or emissions reduction target. In a study in the journal Energy Economics, researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change explored the implications of establishing uniform emissions reduction policies in Brazil and Mexico, which have the two largest economies in Latin America and are well-positioned to engage the developing world in climate negotiations. Using the MIT Economic Projection and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to determine the economic impact of several climate policy scenarios on Brazil and Mexico between 2020 and 2050, they showed that imposing the same carbon prices or GHG emissions targets on each country would cost about twice as much in Mexico as in Brazil. In Mexico, the largest contributor to GHG emissions is the energy sector; in Brazil, it’s the agriculture sector. Due to differences in energy and land use emissions sources, the same climate policies cost much higher in Mexico under scenarios ranging from extending existing commitments made in Copenhagen and Cancun to 2050, to a more stringent policy aimed at halving all GHGs by 2050 relative to 2010 levels. In the latter scenario, GDP losses between 2020 and 2050 range from 4 percent to 11 percent for Mexico and 0 percent to 4 percent for Brazil. These findings highlight the need for climate policies that account for individual countries’ natural resources, emissions profiles, and economic structures. Even among countries at similar levels of economic development such as Brazil and Mexico, GHG mitigation efforts come with significantly different costs and benefits that cannot be glossed over in a one-size-fits-all policy. “We expect our research to assist in international climate negotiations and policy design by better explaining the costs and conditions that influence different countries’ positions,” says the study’s lead author, Claudia Octaviano, a recent Joint Program postdoc who now serves as general coordinator for climate change and low-carbon development at the National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico. “This type of analysis may also assist developing countries in crafting appropriate mitigation actions by comparing the implications of proposed policies with other countries.” To produce their findings, Octaviano and her co-authors — Joint Program Deputy Director Sergey Paltsev and research associate Angelo Gurgel — updated the EPPA model to incorporate the most recent emissions inventories in Mexico and Brazil, and key national initiatives such as Brazil’s policy to reduce deforestation. Policy scenarios were developed by the Latin America Modeling Project and the Integrated Climate Modeling and Capacity Building Project in Latin America. The EPPA model allowed for a comprehensive analysis of all sectors of the global economy and all GHGs, providing a one-stop-shop for policy design and comparison. “Because we represent the global economy in a single framework, we can capture responses that other models ignore, including the trade implications of climate policy,” Octaviano explains. “We also have the capability to consider changes in land use, allowing us to model Brazil’s deforestation policy within the same framework.” The study was funded by the Mario Molina Center, the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico, the National Council for Research of Brazil, the European Union and sponsors of the MIT Joint Program.


News Article | December 11, 2015
Site: www.theenergycollective.com

Study shows significant differences in costs associated with curbing greenhouse gas emissions in Brazil and Mexico. Mark Dwortzan | MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change A key concern at the Paris climate negotiations (COP21) is to find a fair, effective, and economically viable way to curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in developing countries, which are expected to vastly outpace those produced in developed countries in the coming decades. One approach, adopted in previous United Nations climate summits in Copenhagen and Cancun and now implemented in Paris, is to encourage each country to craft its own climate mitigation policy based on local conditions and challenges. Another strategy, favored by many economists as the best way to reduce global emissions but politically challenging to implement, is to base each country’s contribution to international climate mitigation efforts on a “one-size-fits-all” policy such as a universal carbon price or emissions reduction target. In a study in the journal Energy Economics, researchers at the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change explored the implications of establishing uniform emissions reduction policies in Brazil and Mexico, which have the two largest economies in Latin America and are well-positioned to engage the developing world in climate negotiations. Using the MIT Economic Projection and Policy Analysis (EPPA) model to determine the economic impact of several climate policy scenarios on Brazil and Mexico between 2020 and 2050, they showed that imposing the same carbon prices or GHG emissions targets on each country would cost about twice as much in Mexico as in Brazil. In Mexico, the largest contributor to GHG emissions is the energy sector; in Brazil, it’s the agriculture sector. Due to differences in energy and land use emissions sources, the same climate policies cost much higher in Mexico under scenarios ranging from extending existing commitments made in Copenhagen and Cancun to 2050, to a more stringent policy aimed at halving all GHGs by 2050 relative to 2010 levels. In the latter scenario, GDP losses between 2020 and 2050 range from 4 percent to 11 percent for Mexico and 0 percent to 4 percent for Brazil. These findings highlight the need for climate policies that account for individual countries’ natural resources, emissions profiles, and economic structures. Even among countries at similar levels of economic development such as Brazil and Mexico, GHG mitigation efforts come with significantly different costs and benefits that cannot be glossed over in a one-size-fits-all policy. “We expect our research to assist in international climate negotiations and policy design by better explaining the costs and conditions that influence different countries’ positions,” says the study’s lead author, Claudia Octaviano, a recent Joint Program postdoc who now serves as general coordinator for climate change and low-carbon development at the National Institute for Ecology and Climate Change of Mexico. “This type of analysis may also assist developing countries in crafting appropriate mitigation actions by comparing the implications of proposed policies with other countries.” To produce their findings, Octaviano and her co-authors — Joint Program Deputy Director Sergey Paltsev and research associate Angelo Gurgel — updated the EPPA model to incorporate the most recent emissions inventories in Mexico and Brazil, and key national initiatives such as Brazil’s policy to reduce deforestation. Policy scenarios were developed by the Latin America Modeling Project and the Integrated Climate Modeling and Capacity Building Project in Latin America. The EPPA model allowed for a comprehensive analysis of all sectors of the global economy and all GHGs, providing a one-stop-shop for policy design and comparison. “Because we represent the global economy in a single framework, we can capture responses that other models ignore, including the trade implications of climate policy,” Octaviano explains. “We also have the capability to consider changes in land use, allowing us to model Brazil’s deforestation policy within the same framework.” The study was funded by the Mario Molina Center, the National Council for Science and Technology of Mexico, the National Council for Research of Brazil, the European Union and sponsors of the MIT Joint Program.


Jhun I.,Harvard University | Oyola P.,Mario Molina Center | Moreno F.,Mario Molina Center | Castillo M.A.,Mario Molina Center | Koutrakis P.,Harvard University
Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association | Year: 2013

Improving air quality in Santiago has been a high priority for the Chilean government. In this paper, we examine trends of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) mass and species concentrations during the period 1998 to 2010 and explore the impact of fuel-related interventions and fuel sales on concentration changes. Smoothing spline functions were utilized to characterize and account for nonlinear relationships between pollutant concentrations and different parameters. Meteorology-adjusted PM2.5 concentrations were lower by 21.8 μg/m3 in 2010 compared to 1998. In this model, wind speed was the most important determinant of PM2.5 levels. A decrease in 24-hr average wind speed below 1.0 m/s was associated with a significant increase in daily PM2.5 levels, indicating a high sensitivity of PM2.5 concentrations to the accumulation of local emissions. The same regression model framework was applied to examine the trends of lead, bromine, and sulfur concentrations. Removal of lead and bromine from gasoline achieved dramatic decreases in their atmospheric concentrations. Nonetheless, both elements continue to persist, likely in the form of PbBrCl. The reduction of diesel sulfur content from 1,500 to 50 ppm corresponded to a 32% decrease in particulate sulfur levels. Lastly, a surge in PM2.5 was observed in 2005-2008. Further regression analyses suggested this was prompted by a rise in monthly petroleum-based fuel sales.In this paper, we elucidate meteorology-adjusted trends of PM2.5 mass and species concentrations in Santiago and assess the efficacy of fuel-related interventions, such as the removal of lead from gasoline and reduction of sulfur content in diesel. In addition, we explore the impact of fuel sales on PM2.5 trends. Given that fuel consumption is likely to increase further in this rapidly growing city, understanding its impact on PM2.5 trends can inform future air quality control efforts in Santiago.Supplemental Materials: Supplemental materials are available for this paper. Go to the publisher's online edition of the Journal of the Air & Waste Management Association. © 2013 Copyright 2013 A&WMA.


Gramsch E.,University of Santiago de Chile | Oyola P.,Mario Molina Center | Reyes F.,Mario Molina Center | Rubio M.A.,University of Santiago de Chile
Atmospheric Environment | Year: 2014

A study of particulate matter and temperature in the atmosphere in several places in Chile has been carried out in three different years with the objective of determining a common pattern of the influence of thermal inversions on PM2.5 and black carbon. Temperature measurements were used to separate days with and without inversions. In all sites it was found that the days with thermal inversions had higher black carbon or PM2.5 than days without inversions. In the rural site, black carbon was 57% higher during inversion days. In the downtown Santiago site the PM2.5 was 35% higher during inversion days. At the western Santiago site it was possible to separate the days into three categories; only surface, surface and subsidence, and no thermal inversion. In days with both types of inversion, PM2.5 was 84% higher than days without any type of inversion. During days with only surface inversion, PM2.5 was higher only during the morning and the average PM2.5 was only 14% higher. Although during inversion days the concentrations were higher, it was not possible to find a significant correlation between the strength or intensity of the inversion with black carbon or PM2.5 in the sites without temperature measurements as function of height. However, when this data is available, a moderate correlation is found, indicating that the complete vertical temperature profile is needed in order to find a relationship between those variables. © 2014.

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