Modeling Tools and E-Learning: MACTool

Download ESMAP MACTool

What is MACTool? 

The Marginal Abatement Cost Tool (MACTool) is an Excel-based software tool for calculating marginal abatement costs of climate change mitigation options and plotting them against the corresponding greenhouse gas (GHG) emission reduction results. The graphical user interface of MACTool guides users through the data entry process, simplifying a typically laborious process involved in building a Marginal Abatement Cost (MAC) curve.

What does MACTool do?

MACTool helps policy makers with their low-carbon development planning as they work towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions to meet their international obligations, including those of the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC made in Paris in 2015.

Marginal abatement cost curves built in MACTool are easy to interpret and apply for policy making purposes. Specifically, the tool helps answer the following questions:

  • What are the overall costs to the country, from a societal perspective, of meeting a GHG emission reduction target of X tons of CO2-equivalent by a certain year?

  • Conversely, what overall emission reduction levels are achievable at a given cost of Y?

  • Among available mitigation options, which ones will be the most efficient and cost-effective?

  • What are the potential GHG emission reduction results associated with each option?

  • What does it cost to implement each option?

In addition to the MAC calculation from a societal perspective, MACTool allows making an estimate of the incentives needed to attract private sector investment to low-carbon projects by calculating break-even carbon prices.

To construct the MAC curves and calculate break-even carbon prices, MACTool requires building a baseline scenario and low-carbon scenarios for each individual low-carbon option. Specific investment and operating cost profiles can be developed for both baseline and low-carbon alternatives along the planning period.

What other countries have implemented MACTool?

Brazil, Ukraine and, most recently, Costa Rica have applied MACTool to analyze low-carbon development options.

Is MACTool available for Download?

A fully functional version of MACTool is now ready for download. However, we do request that users send us feedback on their experience using the tool. You will be using the tool at your own risk and no support is available. 

As an initial learning exercise for first time users, ESMAP recommends the Small Hydro chapter from the tutorial.

Steps to follow on your computer:

  1. Save the initial Excel file containing MACTool on your hard drive and make it a trusted file with macros enabled to make sure the file starts without problems /*/.

  2. Launch the Excel file and follow the steps in the tutorial chapter (the Word file) to reproduce the MAC results described in the Word file.

Some users have reported getting an error message the first time they launched the Excel file, but then the message goes away if you simply close the file without saving and launch it again.

For more information about the MACTool, please email Mr. Victor Loksha at

Clean Energy | Energy and Climate Adaptation | Modeling Tools and E-Learning: MACTool