IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Cost-benefit Analysis and the Difficulty of Applying it to Climate Change/El análisis coste-beneficio y la dificultad de su aplicación al cambio climático



    () (Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Facultad de Ciencias Políticas y Sociología. Departamento de Economía Aplicada V. Dirección de Contacto: C/ Golondrina 98, 2º A. Aravaca 28023. Madrid. Tel: 91 3079693. Móvil: 606098082.)


If we want to apply the ACB methodology to the problem of global warming we find serious difficulties as how to obtain the correct data, how to use the Gross Domestic product (GDP) , the use of the discount rate and the uncertainty. One of those uncertainties is that the scientists do not know exactly which are the key factors that produce the climate change. This point makes many experts think that it is necessary to implement immediate actions that mitigate global warming. The problem is that ACB cannot deal with this argument. This paper discusses what are the difficulties of ACB methodology in order to be applied to climate change. A la hora de aplicar la metodología del análisis coste-beneficio (ACB) al fenómeno del calentamiento global nos encontramos ante una serie de complicaciones tales como la obtención correcta de los datos, la utilización del producto nacional bruto (PNB), el uso de la tasa de descuento y la incertidumbre. Una de las incertidumbres es que, todavía los científicos no entienden algunos de los mecanismos claves que determinan el cambio climático, por lo que la opinión de muchos expertos es la de poner en marcha acciones inmediatas encaminadas a mitigar el calentamiento global. El problema es que este argumento es difícil de incorporar en el ACB. En este artículo se exponen las dificultades que existen para aplicar la metodología ACB al problema del cambio climático.

Suggested Citation

  • García Fernández, Cristina, 2006. "Cost-benefit Analysis and the Difficulty of Applying it to Climate Change/El análisis coste-beneficio y la dificultad de su aplicación al cambio climático," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 24, pages 639(12á)-63, Agosto.
  • Handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:24_2_18

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Newell, Richard G. & Pizer, William A., 2003. "Discounting the distant future: how much do uncertain rates increase valuations?," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 46(1), pages 52-71, July.
    2. Clarke, Rosemary & Boero, Gianna & Winters, L Alan, 1996. "Controlling Greenhouse Gases: A Survey of Global Macroeconomic Studies," Bulletin of Economic Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 48(4), pages 269-308, October.
    3. Jean-Marc Burniaux & John P. Martin & Giuseppe Nicoletti & Joaquim Oliveira Martins, 1991. "GREEN - - A Multi-Region Dynamic General Equilibrium Model for Quantifying the Costs of Curbing CO2 Emissions: A Technical Manual," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 104, OECD Publishing.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item


    Climate Change; Global Warming; Cost-Benefit Analysis; Economic Cost/Cambio climático; Calentamiento global; Análisis costebeneficio; Costes económicos.;

    JEL classification:

    • H41 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Public Goods
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:lrk:eeaart:24_2_18. 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: (Beatriz Rodríguez Prado). General contact details of provider: .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.