Onintze Contreras

The CIM-EARTH framework allows us to change some parameters to mimic the effect of various carbon taxes (dollars per megaton of carbon dioxide emission) on carbon dioxide emissions, resource prices, resource usage, and amount of money used on various resources by each country for a projected 20 years; the model runs up to year 2024. I decided to focus on carbon tax and carbon dioxide emissions, trying to see how increasing carbon taxes would affect CO2 emission levels for different regions.

At first I was interested in finding what value of carbon tax would bring Eastern Asia’s (EEA) carbon dioxide emissions to its proportional per capita emissions relative to its proportion of global population.

proportional per capita emissions = ((nation's population) / (world' s population)) * global CO2 emissions

As a group we ran a couple of carbon tax scenarios as well as a baseline scenario that I will be calling business as usual (BAU). I used these to estimate the approximated carbon tax needed to be implemented in UN nations in order to lower Eastern Asia's CO2 emissions and to see how far each different region/nation was away from its proportional CO2 emissions. It turns out that in reality, in comparison to its population, Eastern Asia is emitting less CO2 into the atmosphere than is their proportional emissions, which is good. But that left me trying to find another region to study the effect of a carbon tax.

Then I decided to look at the Unites States' CO2 emissions. As can be seen, the US emits significantly more than its proportional emissions.  By 2024, the US would be emitting 16,931 more megatons of carbon dioxide than its proportional emission. Two carbon tax scenarios had already been run by our group: a $125 per ton of carbon dioxide tax on all UN nations and an $85/ton of carbon dioxide tax on all UN nations as well- a business as usual (BAU) was also run. I then tried to estimate the tax needed to be put in effect in the US. It turns out that in order for the US to lower its carbon dioxide emission levels to its proportional per capita level, an extremely high carbon tax would need to be implemented if all UN nations were to be taxed.

After some reading, it was noted that the G7 nations’ carbon dioxide emission levels were probably not going to be easily brought down to their proportional emissions. Qatar- located in the Middle East- has the highest carbon emissions per person in the world.  The Middle East and North Africa region in the CIM-EARTH model also houses the third largest emitter of carbon per person in the world. It was then decided that for this project the effect of various carbon taxes were to be analyzed in the Middle East and North Africa in relation to carbon emissions.

Based on my estimates within the CIM-EARTH framework, I expect that a carbon tax of $247 per ton of carbon dioxide will lower Middle East and North Africa’s carbon emissions to its proportional emissions. This model is not perfect, as it does not account for any significant climate changes. This study is significant because it allows us to figure out the approximate carbon tax on all UN nations that will lower the Middle East’s and North Africa’s carbon emissions to its proportional level by 2024.

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