IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this article

Catastrophe climatique irréversible, incertitude et progrès de la connaissance

Listed author(s):
  • Sébastien Rouillon

Climate policy claims a reflexion about public decisions under uncertainty. This work focuses on the case where a risk of catastrophe of unknown range is anticipated for pollution levels greater than a certain critical threshold. If constrained by the initial information, the best decision is to accept this risk when relevant expected welfare exceeds the certain welfare of preservation. In reality, the present best decision also bears with future information. The optimal strategy must take advantage of it. The question is then to know whether this incitates to pollute more or less today. Our analysis indicates that the answer depends upon the process of information arrival, and, therefore, upon the social planner ability to influence it. If the signals are emitted by the environment, the social planner can shorten the time until the arrival of future information, simply by accelerating the rate of accumulation of greenhouse gases. In such a case, learning incitates to pollute more. If the arrival of information follows an autonomous process, the social planner loses his ability to influence this delay and decides only the level of pollution when the information comes. In this case, it is impossible to determine whether or not an irreversibility effect exists. Classification JEL : Q28

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: free

File URL:
Download Restriction: free

Article provided by Presses de Sciences-Po in its journal Revue économique.

Volume (Year): 52 (2001)
Issue (Month): 1 ()
Pages: 61-90

in new window

Handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_521_0061
Contact details of provider: Web page:

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cai:recosp:reco_521_0061. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Jean-Baptiste de Vathaire)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.