An Application of Optimization to the Problem of Climate Change

  • J. A. Filar
  • P. S. Gaertner
  • M. A. Janssen
Part of the Nonconvex Optimization and Its Applications book series (NOIA, volume 7)


The objective of this paper is to demonstrate a methodology whereby reductions of greenhouse gas emissions can be allocated on a regional level with minimal deviation from the “business as usual emission scenario”. The methodology developed employs a two stage optimization process utilizing techniques of mathematical programming. The stage one process solves a world emission reduction problem producing an optimal emission reduction strategy for the world by maximizing an economic utility function. Stage two addresses a regional emission reduction allocation problem via the solution of an auxiliary optimization problem minimizing disruption from the above business as usual emission strategies. Our analysis demonstrates that optimal CO2 emission reduction strategies are very sensitive to the targets placed on CO2 concentrations, in every region of the world. It is hoped that the optimization analysis will help decision-makers narrow their debate to realistic environmental targets.


Emission Reduction Usual Scenario Environmental Target Integrate Assessment Model Mixed Ocean Layer 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. A. Filar
    • 1
  • P. S. Gaertner
    • 1
  • M. A. Janssen
    • 2
  1. 1.Environmental Modelling Research Group, Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, School of MathematicsUniversity of South AustraliaThe LevelsAustralia
  2. 2.Global Dynamics and Sustainable Development, RIVM, and Department of MathematicsUniversity of LimburgMaastrichtThe Netherlands

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