Competitive carbon emission yields the possibility of global self-control

Daniel J. Fenn, Zhenyuan Zhao, Pak Ming Hui, Neil F Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Despite many international climate meetings such as Copenhagen 2009, it is still unclear how annual global emissions can be reduced without requiring governments to micro-manage the emitting companies within their individual jurisdictions. Here we examine a simple, yet highly non-trivial, computer model of carbon emission which is consistent with recent activity in the European carbon markets. Our simulation results show that the ongoing daily competition to emit CO2 within a population of emitters, can lead to a form of collective self-control over the aggregated emissions. We identify regimes in which such a population spontaneously hits its emissions target with minimal fluctuations. We then focus on the emission dynamics induced by a governing body which chooses to actively manage the capping level. Finally we lay some formal stepping stones toward a complete analytic theory for carbon emissions fluctuations within this model framework - in so doing, we also connect this problem to more familiar theoretical terrain within computer science.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)63-74
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Computational Science
Volume1
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2010

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Keywords

  • Simulation complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Modeling and Simulation
  • Theoretical Computer Science

Cite this

Competitive carbon emission yields the possibility of global self-control. / Fenn, Daniel J.; Zhao, Zhenyuan; Hui, Pak Ming; Johnson, Neil F.

In: Journal of Computational Science, Vol. 1, No. 2, 06.2010, p. 63-74.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fenn, Daniel J. ; Zhao, Zhenyuan ; Hui, Pak Ming ; Johnson, Neil F. / Competitive carbon emission yields the possibility of global self-control. In: Journal of Computational Science. 2010 ; Vol. 1, No. 2. pp. 63-74.
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