Figuring the costs of climate change: an assessment and critique
In this paper we examine the evidence for the IPCC (IntergovernmentalPanel on Climate Change) estimate that the costs of global climate changewill be on the order of 1.5 - 2.0% of world gross domestic product (GDP). Although this estimate is widely andauthoritatively repeated, it rests on a handful of preliminary studies, chiefly of the United States and performed by a select group ofeconomists. We examine the methods and assumptions of these studies andconsider the social and political commitments built into their analyticaltechniques. We conclude that the prevailing methods of economic damageassessment and valuation provide a highly conservative estimate of thepotential costs and risks of future climate change. We suggest that theIPCC scientific assessment process has been organized in such a way asto foreclose public debate about the moral and political judgments builtinto the technical details of its reports.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pio:envira:v:31:y:1999:i:3:p:389-408. 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: (Neil Hammond)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.