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How Much Damage Will Climate Change Do? Recent Estimates

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Author Info

  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()
    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

  • Samuel Fankhauser
  • Richard G. Richels
  • Joel B. Smith

Abstract

Two reasons to be concerned about climate change are its unjust distributional impact and its negative aggregate effect on economic growth and welfare. Although our knowledge of the impact of climate change is incomplete and uncertain, economic valuation is difficult and controversial, and the effect of other developments on the impacts of climate change is largely speculative, we find that poorer countries and people are more vulnerable than are richer countries and people. A modest global warming is likely to have a net negative effect on poor countries in hot climates, but may have a net positive effect on rich countries in temperate climates. If one counts dollars, the world aggregate may be positive. If one counts people, the world aggregate is probably negative. Negative impacts would become more negative, and positive impacts would turn negative for more substantial warming. The marginal costs of carbon dioxide emissions are uncertain and sensitive to assumptions that partially reflect ethical positions, but unlikely to be larger that $50/tC.

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File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/worldecon1.pdf
File Function: First version, 2000
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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-2.

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Length: 21 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2000
Date of revision: Sep 2000
Publication status: Published, World Economics, 1 (4), 179-206
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:2

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Related research

Keywords: climate change; impacts; valuation; marginal cost;

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References

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  1. Fankhauser, Samuel & Tol, Richard S.J. & Pearce, David W., 1998. "Extensions and alternatives to climate change impact valuation: on the critique of IPCC Working Group III's impact estimates," Environment and Development Economics, Cambridge University Press, vol. 3(01), pages 59-81, February.
  2. Darwin, Roy & Tsigas, Marinos E. & Lewandrowski, Jan & Raneses, Anton, 1995. "World Agriculture and Climate Change: Economic Adaptations," Agricultural Economics Reports 33933, United States Department of Agriculture, Economic Research Service.
  3. Azar, Christian & Sterner, Thomas, 1996. "Discounting and distributional considerations in the context of global warming," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(2), pages 169-184, November.
  4. Samuel Fankhauser & Richard Tol & DAVID Pearce, 1997. "The Aggregation of Climate Change Damages: a Welfare Theoretic Approach," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(3), pages 249-266, October.
  5. Gjerde, Jon & Grepperud, Sverre & Kverndokk, Snorre, 1999. "Optimal climate policy under the possibility of a catastrophe," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(3-4), pages 289-317, August.
  6. Richard Tol, 1999. "Spatial and Temporal Efficiency in Climate Policy: Applications of FUND," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 14(1), pages 33-49, July.
  7. Christian Azar, 1999. "Weight Factors in Cost-Benefit Analysis of Climate Change," Environmental & Resource Economics, European Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 13(3), pages 249-268, April.
  8. Stephen C Peck & Thomas J. Teisberg, 1992. "CETA: A Model for Carbon Emissions Trajectory Assessment," The Energy Journal, International Association for Energy Economics, vol. 0(Number 1), pages 55-78.
  9. Robert Mendelsohn & William D. Nordhaus & Shaw, Daigee, 1992. "The Impact of Climate on Agriculture: A Ricardian Approach," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1010, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
  10. Neil Adger, W., 1999. "Social Vulnerability to Climate Change and Extremes in Coastal Vietnam," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 249-269, February.
  11. Nordhaus, William D, 1991. "To Slow or Not to Slow: The Economics of the Greenhouse Effect," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 101(407), pages 920-37, July.
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Citations

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Cited by:
  1. Parry, Ian W.H., 2008. "How should heavy-duty trucks be taxed?," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 63(2), pages 651-668, March.
  2. Sobieralski, Joseph B., 2013. "The optimal aviation gasoline tax for U.S. general aviation," Transport Policy, Elsevier, vol. 29(C), pages 186-191.
  3. Dritan Osmani, . "A note on optimal transfer schemes, stable coalition for environmental protection and joint maximization assumption," Working Papers FNU-176, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University.
  4. Antón-Sarabia, Arturo & Hernández-Trillo, Fausto, 2014. "Optimal gasoline tax in developing, oil-producing countries: The case of Mexico," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 564-571.
  5. Roberto Roson & Francesco Bosello & Andrea Bigano & Richard S.J. Tol, 2008. "Economy-Wide Impacts of Climate Change: A Joint Analysis for Sea Level Rise and Tourism," Working Papers 2008_06, Department of Economics, University of Venice "Ca' Foscari".
  6. Ian W.H. Parry, 2005. "Fiscal Interactions and the Costs of Controlling Pollution from Electricity," RAND Journal of Economics, The RAND Corporation, vol. 36(4), pages 849-869, Winter.
  7. Parry, Ian & Portney, Paul & Harrington, Winston & Gruenspecht, Howard, 2003. "The Economics of Fuel Economy Standards," Discussion Papers dp-03-44, Resources For the Future.
  8. Fankhauser, Samuel & S.J. Tol, Richard, 2005. "On climate change and economic growth," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 27(1), pages 1-17, January.
  9. Snorre Kverndokk & Eric Nævdal & Linda Nøstbakken, 2013. "The Trade-off between Intra- and Intergenerational Equity in Climate Policy," CESifo Working Paper Series 4285, CESifo Group Munich.
  10. Tol, Richard S. J., 2008. "The Economic Impact of Climate Change," Papers WP255, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  11. Parry, Ian & Fischer, Carolyn & Harrington, Winston, 2004. "Should Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) Standards Be Tightened?," Discussion Papers dp-04-53, Resources For the Future.
  12. Snorre Kverndokk & Adam Rose, 2008. "Equity and Justice in Global Warming Policy," Working Papers 2008.80, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  13. Parry, Ian & Small, Kenneth, 2002. "Does Britain or the United States Have the Right Gasoline Tax?," Discussion Papers dp-02-12-, Resources For the Future.

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