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Pielke 2009: An idealized assessment of the economics of air capture of carbon dioxide in mitigation policy Print E-mail
Wednesday, 11 February 2009 05:28

Roger A. Pielke Jr.

Center for Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Colorado, 1333 Grandview Ave., UCB 488, Boulder, CO 80309-0488, USA

Available online 11 February 2009.



This paper discusses the technology of direct capture of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere called air capture. It develops a simple arithmetic description of the magnitude of the challenge of stabilizing atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide as a cumulative allocation over the 21st century. This approach, consistent with and based on the work of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), sets the stage for an analysis of the average costs of air capture over the 21st century under the assumption that technologies available today are used to fully offset net human emissions of carbon dioxide. The simple assessment finds that even at a relatively high cost per ton of carbon, the costs of air capture are directly comparable to the costs of stabilization using other means as presented by recent reports of the IPCC and the Stern Review Report.

Keywords: Climate change; Energy policy; Economics