Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda
AbstractEstimates of the marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions suggest that, although climate change is a problem and some emission reduction is justified, very stringent abatement does not pass the cost-benefit test. However, current estimates of the economic impact of climate change are incomplete. Some of the missing impacts are likely to be positive and others negative, but overall the uncertainty seems to concentrate on the downside risks and current estimates of the damage costs may have a negative bias. The research effort on the economic impacts of climate change is minute and lacks diversity. This field of study should be strengthened, with a particular focus on the quantification of uncertainties; estimating missing impacts, estimating impacts in developing countries; interactions between impacts and higher-order effects; the valuation of biodiversity loss; the implications of extreme climate scenarios and violent conflict; and climate change in the very long term. I discuss these particular gaps in research, and speculate on possible sign and size of the impacts of climate change.
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Bibliographic InfoArticle provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.
Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
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Climate change; impacts; valuation; cost-benefit analysis;
Other versions of this item:
- Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda," Working Papers FNU-116, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2006.
- Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda," Working Papers 2006.136, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
- D9 - Microeconomics - - Intertemporal Choice
- D61 - Microeconomics - - Welfare Economics - - - Allocative Efficiency; Cost-Benefit Analysis
- Q01 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - General - - - Sustainable Development
- Q25 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Renewable Resources and Conservation - - - Water
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