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On Setting Near-term Climate Policy while the Dust Begins to Settle: The Legacy of the Stern Review

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Author Info

  • Gary W. Yohe
  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Dean Murphy

Abstract

We review the explosion of commentary that has followed the release of the Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change, and agree with most of what has been written. The Review is right when it argues on economic grounds for immediate intervention to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, but we feel that it is right for the wrong reasons. A persuasive case can be made that climate risks are real and increasingly threatening. If follows that some sort of policy will be required, and the least cost approach necessarily involves starting now. Since policy implemented in 2007 will not “solve” the climate problem, near term interventions can be designed to begin the process by working to avoid locking in high carbon investments and providing adequate incentives for carbon sequestration. We argue that both objectives can be achieved without undue economic harm in the near term by pricing carbon at something on the order of $15 per ton as long as it is understood that the price will increase persistently and predictably at something like the rate of interest; and we express support for a tax alternative to the usual cap-and-trade approach.

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File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/sternenergyenvironment2.pdf
File Function: First version, 2007
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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-129.

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Length: 20 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2007
Date of revision: Mar 2007
Publication status: Published, Energy & Environment, 18 (5), 621-633
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:129

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Related research

Keywords: Stern Review; climate change; climate policy; social discount rate; risk and equity aversion;

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References

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  1. Jacqueline M. Hamilton & David J. Maddison & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "Climate preferences and destination choice: a segmentation approach," Working Papers FNU-90, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2005.
  2. Kerstin Ronneberger & Maria Berrittella & Francesco Bosello & Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "KLUM@GTAP: Introducing biophysical aspects of land-use decisions into a general equilibrium model: A coupling experiment," Working Papers FNU-105, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2006.
  3. Hamilton, Jacqueline M., 2007. "Coastal landscape and the hedonic price of accommodation," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 62(3-4), pages 594-602, May.
  4. P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Possible Economic Impacts of a Shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation: an Application of FUND," Working Papers FNU-42, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
  5. Kerstin Ronneberger & Uwe A. Schneider & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "Klum: A Simple Model Of Global Agricultural Land Use As A Coupling Tool Of Economy And Vegetation," Working Papers FNU-65, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised May 2005.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. David Anthoff & Richard S. J. Tol, 2008. "The Impact of Climate Change on the Balanced-Growth-Equivalent: An Application of FUND," Papers WP228, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  2. P. Michael Link & C. Ivie Ramos & Uwe A. Schneider & Erwin Schmid & J. Balkovic & R. Skalsky, 2008. "The interdependencies between food and biofuel production in European agriculture - an application of EUFASOM," Working Papers FNU-165, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jul 2008.
  3. Christine Schleupner & P. Michael Link, 2008. "Eiderstedt im Spannungsfeld zwischen Naturschutz- und Agrarpolitik - Entwicklung eines methodischen Ansatzes für ein nachhaltiges Ressourcenmanagement," Working Papers FNU-168, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Aug 2008.

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