Economic assessment of CO2 uptake and trade-offs

Marie-Catherine Riekhof, CAU, Wilfried Rickels, IfW

Our work objectives are both at the level of fundamental research (development of Integrated Assessment Models—IAM) and at the level of (climate policy) assessment of measures to achieve net-zero GHG emission targets as well as sustainable development (approximated by the SDGs).

Starting from a promising carbon cycle models from the extended IAM literature, we will investigate how artificial upwelling can be mapped into an IAM to represent the underlying biological processes and/or the regionally-varying marine CO2 uptake as a consequence of artificial upwelling.

Furthermore, we will develop an ecological-economic model at the regional scale that can be used to study the effects of artificial upwelling in more detail. We will quantify and test the model using marine ecosystems off Gran Canaria as an example, using our expertise in modelling fisheries and marine ecosystem use. We will analyse the effects of artificial upwelling under different fisheries management systems and objectives, e.g., in the context of maximising profits or minimizing volatility, and consider various scenarios on the effects of international trade.

Then, we will bring together the results from the regional ecological-economic model and the global integrated assessment model, and contrast regional and global effects. For example, we will examine how optimal deployment options affect the regional ecosystem and fisheries from a global perspective.

The economic assessment of artificial upwelling scenarios will be gained from two valuation frameworks, namely a „natural capital“ and a market approach. For the natural capital approach, we use country-specific social carbon cost (CSCC) information. For the market-based approach, we calibrate a global CO2 market and derive regional marginal cost curves using the IfW DART model. We will then summarise the findings on the benefits of artificial upwelling for marine CO2 uptake, climate, food security, and maintenance of ecosystem functions in the context of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.