Ocean Iron: Can We Afford To Postpone Exploring This Option?

Ocean Iron: Can We Afford To Postpone Exploring This Option?

Climate Change: Current Issues 2011 Provided in cooperation with: Institut für Weltwirtschaft (IfW). Paper provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its series Open Access publications from Kiel Institute for the World Economy with number info:hdl:10419/60987.

Given the distinct possibility that we may exhaust the CO2 emissions budget by 2024, can we afford to wait any further before clarifying the uncertainties that surround the process of ocean iron fertilization? Which scientific, economic, and legal issues need to be examined in order to make an informed decision as to whether to include ocean iron fertilization into the Kyoto Protocol as a viable option to offset anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions?

Secondly, the potential of ocean iron fertilization is far from negligible in relation to other abatement options from an economic perspective. Estimates of the costs associated with ocean iron fertilization are in the same order of magnitude as the estimates of the costs associated with forestation projects. Ocean iron fertilization can also generate more carbon credits, even if we take into account the possibility that emissions shift to the regions or that the reductions are not permanent. Read more …