CMP7 – Assessing the economic value of an enhanced global carbon observation system, to estimate costs and emissions savings

This component is meant to provide an economic assessment of the value of an enhanced Global Carbon Observation System. Better monitoring of the global carbon fluxes is an important prerequisite for the effective implementation of carbon mitigation strategies, and in particular to those related to land use change. At the same time, the results of integrated assessment models have shown compellingly that many of these abatement opportunities are very attractive, both economically, environmentally and as options to buy time for allowing the technological change needed to transform the energy infrastructure. Options that allow to sequester CO2 from the atmosphere, such as afforestation, biomass burning with carbon capture and storage, carbon dioxide removal from the atmosphere, have been shown to have extremely high economic values since they can allow for a more flexible mitigation pathway in the rest of the economy. However, their effectiveness is thought to be uncertain mostly in relation to the difficulty of tracking the exact fluxes of emissions. Thus, the economic assessment of the cost and benefits of an improved observation system is likely to be considerable, and their quantification is an essential requirement for the success of implementing these important mitigation opportunities.