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Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda

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  • Richard S.J. Tol

Abstract

Estimates 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 Info

Article provided by White Horse Press in its journal Environmental Values.

Volume (Year): 17 (2008)
Issue (Month): 4 (November)
Pages: 437-470

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Handle: RePEc:env:journl:ev17:ev1724

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Web page: http://www.erica.demon.co.uk

Related research

Keywords: Climate change; impacts; valuation; cost-benefit analysis;

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Cited by:
  1. Richard S. J. Tol, 2010. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 11(s1), pages 13-37, 05.
  2. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Ökonomische Grundfragen der Klimaanpassung: Umrisse eines neuen Forschungsprogramms," UFZ Reports 02/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
  3. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Fundamental questions on the economics of climate adaptation: Outlines of a new research programme," UFZ Reports 05/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
  4. Julie A. Nelson, . "09-06 "Between a Rock and a Soft Place: Ecological and Feminist Economics in Policy Debates"," GDAE Working Papers 09-06, GDAE, Tufts University.
  5. Pizer, William A. & Popp, David, 2007. "Endogenizing Technological Change: Matching Empirical Evidence to Modeling Needs," Discussion Papers dp-07-11, Resources For the Future.
  6. Nelson, Julie A., 2009. "Between a rock and a soft place: Ecological and feminist economics in policy debates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, November.
  7. Carlo Carraro & Valentina Bosetti & Enrica De Cian & Romain Duval & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The incentives to participate in and the stability of international climate coalitions: a game theoretic approach using the WITCH Model," Working Papers 2009_28, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  8. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
  9. Jiang, Zhujun & Tan, Jijun, 2013. "How the removal of energy subsidy affects general price in China: A study based on input–output model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 599-606.
  10. Graham Long, 2011. "Disagreement and Responses to Climate Change," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(4), pages 503-525, November.
  11. Gersbach, Hans & Winkler, Ralph, 2012. "Global refunding and climate change," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1775-1795.
  12. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Enrica De Cian & Romain Duval & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The Incentives to Participate in, and the Stability of, International Climate Coalitions: A Game-theoretic Analysis Using the Witch Model," Working Papers 2009.64, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  13. Gersbach, Hans & Kleinschmidt, Tobias, 2009. "Power to youth: Designing democracy for long-term well-being," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 158-172, September.

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