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Europe's long-term climate target: A critical evaluation

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  • Tol, Richard S.J.

Abstract

The European Commission and a number of its Member States have adopted a stringent long-term target for climate policy, namely that the global mean temperature should not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial times. This target is supported by rather thin arguments, based on inadequate methods, sloppy reasoning, and selective citation. In the scientific literature on “dangerous interference with the climate system”, most studies discuss either methodological issues, or carefully lay out the arguments for or against a particular target. These studies do not make specific recommendations, with the exception of cost-benefit analyses which argue for less stringent policy targets. However, there are also a few studies that recommend a target without the supporting argumentation. Overall, the 2°C target of the EU seems unfounded.
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  • Tol, Richard S.J., 2007. "Europe's long-term climate target: A critical evaluation," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 35(1), pages 424-432, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:enepol:v:35:y:2007:i:1:p:424-432
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    8. Megan Ceronsky & David Anthoff & Cameron Hepburn & Richard S.J. Tol, 2005. "Checking The Price Tag On Catastrophe: The Social Cost Of Carbon Under Non-Linear Climate Response," Working Papers FNU-87, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Aug 2005.
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    Cited by:

    1. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra- and extra-union flexibility in meeting the European Union's emission reduction targets," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(11), pages 4329-4336, November.
    2. Richard S. J. Tol, 2007. "Climate Policy Versus Development Aid," Papers WP221, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    3. repec:spr:ieaple:v:17:y:2017:i:5:d:10.1007_s10784-016-9336-7 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Tol, Richard S. J., 2008. "The Social Cost of Carbon: Trends, Outliers and Catastrophes," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy (IfW), vol. 2, pages 1-22.
    5. Onno Kuik & Luke Brander & Richard S. J. Tol, 2008. "Marginal Abatement Costs of Carbon-Dioxide Emissions: A Meta-Analysis," Papers WP248, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    6. Tol, Richard S. J., 2007. "Irish Climate Change Policy for 2012: An Assessment," Quarterly Economic Commentary: Special Articles, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), vol. 2007(4-Winter), pages 104-117.
    7. Pushpam Kumar & Uwe A. Schneider, 2008. "Greenhouse gas emission mitigation through agriculture," Working Papers FNU-155, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Feb 2008.
    8. Kopsakangas Savolainen, Maria & Svento, Rauli, 2012. "Real-Time Pricing in the Nordic Power markets," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 34(4), pages 1131-1142.
    9. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2010. "The drawbacks and opportunities of carbon charges in metropolitan areas -- A spatial general equilibrium approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-357, December.
    10. Tol, Richard S.J., 2009. "Intra-union flexibility of non-ETS emission reduction obligations in the European Union," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 1745-1752, May.
    11. Barrett, Alan & Kearney, Ide & O'Brien, Martin, 2007. "Quarterly Economic Commentary, Winter 2007," Forecasting Report, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI), number QEC20074, April.
    12. Edvardsson Björnberg, Karin, 2013. "Rational climate mitigation goals," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 56(C), pages 285-292.
    13. Fouquet, Roger, 2010. "The slow search for solutions: Lessons from historical energy transitions by sector and service," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(11), pages 6586-6596, November.
    14. Jobert, Thomas & Karanfil, Fatih & Tykhonenko, Anna, 2010. "Convergence of per capita carbon dioxide emissions in the EU: Legend or reality?," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(6), pages 1364-1373, November.
    15. Olivier Godard, 2007. "Climat et générations futures - Un examen critique du débat académique suscité par le Rapport Stern," Working Papers hal-00243059, HAL.
    16. Wajahat Ali & Azrai Abdullah & Muhammad Azam, 2016. "The Dynamic Linkage between Technological Innovation and carbon dioxide emissions in Malaysia: An Autoregressive Distributed Lagged Bound Approach," International Journal of Energy Economics and Policy, Econjournals, vol. 6(3), pages 389-400.
    17. Dietz, Simon, 2009. "From efficiency to justice: utility as the informational basis of climate change strategies, and some alternatives," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 37616, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Simon Dietz, 2009. "From efficiency to justice: utility as the informational basis of climate change strategies, and some alternatives," GRI Working Papers 13, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    19. Briec, Walter & Peypoch, Nicolas & Ratsimbanierana, Hermann, 2011. "Productivity growth and biased technological change in hydroelectric dams," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(5), pages 853-858, September.

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