Comparing the Cost-Effectiveness of Emission Reduction Options
What does this graph show?
The interactive graph above is commonly referred to in climate change policy literature as an "abatement cost curve." The information presented is based on the Arizona and New Mexico state climate change action plans completed in 2006. In general, a cost curve organizes options for reducing greenhouse gas emissions with the most cost-effective option on the far left and the least cost-effective on the far right.
An abatement cost curve is particularly useful for organizing information for policymakers deciding how to strategically reduce greenhouse gas emissions. It is also useful to communicate to the public to how some options will ultimately save money, how some will cost money, and how some will result in little or no net cost.
Here, cost-effectiveness is defined as the cumulative dollar amount saved or spent per ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) reduced. The amount saved or spent and tons of CO2 reduced reflect the cumulative effect of each option as if implemented in 2007 and continued through 2020.
Click on the emission reduction category buttons above the interactive graph for more information, including estimates of total emissions reduced for individual options.
Also, please consult the appropriate state climate action plan for detailed information about how costs or savings were estimated for specific options or read our page entitled Estimating the Cost or Savings of Emission Reductions. Cost-effectiveness was estimated by the Center for Climate Strategies, a group that worked with Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, and many other U.S. states to develop their state climate action plans.