Marginal Abatement Cost Tool (MACTool)

I bet all environmental economists know about MAC (Marginal Abatement/Control Cost) and MDC (Marginal Damage Cost). In terms of climate change mitigation, the MAC curves could be useful in presenting different alternative projects and policies for decision making.

MAC Tool (by Sustain Success Ltd.) is an Excel add-in that can help constructing the curves, which I recently got to know about from reviewing a PhD thesis in National Economics University Vietnam. The PhD candidate had to buy it for $30, but now it is free of charge here.

The software is fairly simple and easy to use, but it could produce some intuitive results for policy makers.

P/S: If you are interested in analyzing climate change, some more tools could be found in NDC Partnership website (e.g. Cost of Renewable Energy Spreadsheet Tool – CREST, COBRA and Climate Change and Health)



Databases and projects to keep track of in the Mekong delta

Some databases:

Some projects:

Should we be consistent in dealing with inconsistencies?

From the economics of climate change, I believe that Carbon trade will benefit the society eventually. That is consistent. However, the effectiveness of this scheme is modelled as a function of carbon price, which is not consistent at all (in either short term or long term). In fact, recent fall of EU carbon price has shaken AUS government’s faith in the policy.

This is an ironic that you will necessarily face if your policy is based on quantitative analysis of data. That’s why I prefer non-data quantitative reasoning such as in AHF model to consider this kind of policy.

P/S: Could the price be constant in long term if we can create a perfectly competitive market for carbon?

The external seminar at La Trobe

I got a chance to meet Dr Eric Nævdal (Princeton Uni and FRISCH Centre) in a talk on “Climate change, catastrophic risk and the pure rate of time preference” yesterday at La Trobe Uni. Well, I can say that he was not a great presenter, but an excellent researcher in all senses. Moreover, his spirit has inspired me a lot in this hard time. Let’s recap several key points here, they might work with some of you too.

An impressive metaphor when he compared the world and climate change thresholds to a person running to the edge of a cliff. The faster he runs, the more money he will get paid, but the higher possibility that he will fall (“turn over” was actually the word he used). The idea is simple but his model is so complicated that I could not fully understand without reviewing “Hazard rate” and “Optimal control models”. Then the message conveyed is different discount rate could change your decision on when to stop and the benefit you have. Reversely, if you know where the cliff is (know time t), the discount rate turns out not really matter anymore. Basically, those are all key points I found interesting in the 1 hour talk 🙂

An inspiration when he said if you feel PhD is easy then perhaps you should not do PhD, or you have chosen a wrong school.

A surprised moment (well, for me only) when he and Liam talked about how to get to external seminars like this. Literally, just email the seminar organizers and if you happen to be somewhere near, they will happy to pay for your fare. It’s a good way to extend your trip and at the same time spread out your research result.

And an admiring feeling from everyone when he shared his passion of doing research. Not polished but realistic, not many words but fast thinking and great word choice.

He said, to be a professor at Princeton, you have to be a super freaking genius but to be a lecturer there, you could be just good at your field. But I find that he is on the way to the genius.

Well, perhaps I should at least keep going up 🙂

P/S: Journal of Environmental Economics and Management is a tough one but great to light your profile up in searching for job

Cutting edge conferences on climate change

It would be a big mistake if I don’t archive some recent conferences here. Indeed, the science of climate change is so new that we could consider conference papers as a main source of reference. This list is updated on a continual basis.

Firstly, pages help update conference lists: AEAEEPSEABioecon, UNEP

Secondly, conferences that I attempt to go

16 and 17 June 2011: Climate Economics and Law Conference, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland.

12-14 July 2011: Four degrees or more, Melbourne University, Melbourne, Australia. (Videos are available)

9-12 July 2012: 2012 World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling, University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia (I was late for this one so please remind me next year).

18th June 2013: World Conference on Natural Resource Modeling (Deadline: April 15th 2013)

18-20 March 2013: 1st European Climate Change Adaptation Conference (Deadline 1rd 2013)

December: Annual PhD Conference in Economics and Business at The University of Western Australia’s Business School

5th June 2013: International Conference on Strategic Infrastructure Asset Management for Urban Deltas in Sydney (Deadline: 20 Feb 2013). Paper Formatting Guidelines

July 2013: ACE in Perth (Deadline 30 April 2013)

July 2013: EAERE Feem Summer School

November 2013: PhD conference at ANU

4 Feb 2014: AARES 2014  (Closing date for submission of papers and posters 14 Oct 2013)

The Pacific Trade and Development Conference (PAFTAD) (every 12-18 months)

24-26 September 2014: Deltas in Times of Climate Change II (deadline 15 March).

IRDR conferences 2014 I should not miss it next year. Anw, there are plenty of information on jobs, research and conferences on the webpage.

17th Annual BIOECON Conference Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services and Sustainability (Deadline 22rd May)

20 July 2015: Summer Academy on Economic Growth and Governance of Natural Resources – Moscow (Deadline 1stApril)

02-20 Nov 2015, EEPSEA’s three-week intensive course in environmental and resource economics (Deadline 15 Aug)




UNESCO Fellowship. Aim at one like this

ANU Post-doc and Uni jobs

2015 Fulbright for lecturers (Deadline 15 Oct)

Climate change activities in Vietnam

This is a list of climate change activities in Vietnam up to 24/01/2011, provided by WB. If the link doesn’t work, the file could be found here.

List of AusAID’s climate change assistance to Vietnam (Current -2011 – and planned)

On going projects on Climate change response  in Mekong and Camau:

1/Integrated coastal and mangrove forest protection for climate change adaptation (KfW) (27/06/2012), part of this big project.

2/ Dike in West Sea of Ca Mau


4/ GIZ and AUSAID in one project CCCEP which is summarized here

5/ Protection mangrove rehabilitation by WB (1999-2007). Video, Summary

Statistic of Ca Mau:

1/ Statistic office of Ca Mau

2/ Nien giam thong ke CM2011

Cutting edge thinking about Ca Mau and Mekong Delta:


Making fuel from thin air – a good news for the earth

I’ve heard about the idea from Bjorn Lomborg before, but this is from Princeton University’s lab:

Making fuel from thin air – ABC

Hope the potential can become reality. However, I’ve just got a concern about what the “recyclable fuel” will produce when it burns. If it also produces CO2 (which is likely to be so), then according to the Law of Conservation of Energy, we must use a lot of energy to create the “recyclable fuel”.

In physics, the law of conservation of energy states that “the total amount of energy in an isolated system remains constant” (Physics theory)

To follow the researches, let us keep in touch with Yale Environment 360.

P/S: Happy birthday to Queen Elizabeth!