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Global Climate Protection: Immediate Action Will Avert High Costs


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  • Claudia Kemfert


The anthropogenic climate change will persist if the global volume of greenhouse gas emissions will not be reduced significantly. A dangerous and irreversible climate change will occur if atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases in the year 2100 exceed 450 ppm and global surface temperature is 2 °C higher than its preindustrial level. The consequence of exceeding these limits would be both more frequent and more violent extreme climate events. In order to avoid this, it is necessary to stabilize global greenhouse gas concentrations at nearly today's level. Significant emission reduction would require the countries that are primarily responsible immediately implementing emissions-reducing measures. If climate policy measures are not introduced, global climate change damages amounting to up to 20 trillion US dollars can be expected in the year 2100.1 If such measures are not implemented now, but only in 20 or 30 years' time, it will not be possible to prevent the rise in global surface temperature exceeding the 2 °C limit. Moreover, the costs of a climate protection policy launched today are likely to be lower than a policy initiated only in 20 years' time, which would then be based on drastic measures. The sooner a policy of climate protection is implemented, the fewer climate change damages humankind will face in future decades. The costs of an active climate protection policy implemented today would reach globally around 430 billion US dollars in 2050 and around 3 trillion US dollars in 2100. A climate protection policy that entered into force only in 2025 would imply additional costs of up to 50 billion US dollars in 2050 and 340 billion US dollars in 2100. Global climate damages of up to 12 trillion US dollars can be avoided in 2100 if active climate protection policy is implemented as rapidly as possible. [...]

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research in its journal Weekly Report.

Volume (Year): 1 (2005)
Issue (Month): 12 ()
Pages: 135-141

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Handle: RePEc:diw:diwwrp:wr1-12

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Cited by:
  1. Kemfert, Claudia & Truong, Truong, 2007. "Impact assessment of emissions stabilization scenarios with and without induced technological change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(11), pages 5337-5345, November.


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