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REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (1) A Robust Case for Strong Action to Reduce the Risks of Climate Change


  • Simon Dietz
  • Chris Hope
  • Nicholas Stern
  • Dimitri Zenghelis


Those who deny the importance of strong and urgent action on climate change essentially offer one of, or a combination of, the following arguments. First, there are those who deny the scientific link between human activities and global warming; most people, and the vast majority of scientists, would find that untenable given the weight of evidence. Second, there are those who, while accepting the science of anthropogenic climate change, argue that the human species is very adaptable and can make itself comfortable whatever the climatic consequences; given the scale of the outcomes that we now have to regard as possible or likely under business-as-usual (BAU), this must be regarded as reckless. Finally, there are those who accept the science of climate change and the likelihood that it will inflict heavy costs, but simply do not care much for what happens in the future beyond the next few decades; most would regard this as unethical. This paper deals primarily with the latter two arguments. An appendix addresses confusions and misconceptions about The Stern Review and responds to points made by critics in previous issues of this journal and elsewhere.

Suggested Citation

  • Simon Dietz & Chris Hope & Nicholas Stern & Dimitri Zenghelis, 2007. "REFLECTIONS ON THE STERN REVIEW (1) A Robust Case for Strong Action to Reduce the Risks of Climate Change," World Economics, World Economics, 1 Ivory Square, Plantation Wharf, London, United Kingdom, SW11 3UE, vol. 8(1), pages 121-168, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:wej:wldecn:270

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Llavador, Humberto & Roemer, John E. & Silvestre, Joaquim, 2011. "“A dynamic analysis of human welfare in a warming planet”," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 95(11), pages 1607-1620.
    2. Hjort, Ingrid, 2016. "Potential Climate Risks in Financial Markets: A Literature Overview," Memorandum 01/2016, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    3. Lázaro Touza, Lara E. & Zoghby, Michel S., 2014. "Climate Change: Risky Business? /Cambio Climático: ¿Un negocio de alto riesgo?," Estudios de Economía Aplicada, Estudios de Economía Aplicada, vol. 32, pages 1043-1070, Septiembr.
    4. Chris Hope, 2013. "Critical issues for the calculation of the social cost of CO 2 : why the estimates from PAGE09 are higher than those from PAGE2002," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 117(3), pages 531-543, April.
    5. Meckler, Sacha Rene, 2017. "Causes and Impacts of Deficient Liability for Climate Change Damage, and an Economic Conception for Climate Change Liability That Supports Appropriate Action: DRaCULA," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 135(C), pages 288-298.
    6. 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.
    7. Tol, Richard S.J. & Yohe, Gary W., 2009. "The Stern Review: A deconstruction," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(3), pages 1032-1040, March.
    8. Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A. & Bueno, Ramón, 2010. "Fat tails, exponents, extreme uncertainty: Simulating catastrophe in DICE," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(8), pages 1657-1665, June.
    9. Humberto Llavador & John E. Roemer & Joaquim Silvestre, 2013. "Should we sustain? And if so, sustain what? Consumption or the quality of life?," Chapters,in: Handbook on Energy and Climate Change, chapter 30, pages 639-665 Edward Elgar Publishing.
    10. Michaela Rankin & Carolyn Windsor & Dina Wahyuni, 2011. "An investigation of voluntary corporate greenhouse gas emissions reporting in a market governance system: Australian evidence," Accounting, Auditing & Accountability Journal, Emerald Group Publishing, vol. 24(8), pages 1037-1070, October.
    11. Howard, Peter H. & Derek, Sylvan, 2016. "The Wisdom of the Economic Crowd: Calibrating Integrated Assessment Models Using Consensus," 2016 Annual Meeting, July 31-August 2, 2016, Boston, Massachusetts 235639, Agricultural and Applied Economics Association.
    12. Gerst, Michael D. & Howarth, Richard B. & Borsuk, Mark E., 2010. "Accounting for the risk of extreme outcomes in an integrated assessment of climate change," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 4540-4548, August.
    13. Simon Dietz & Nicholas Stern, 2014. "Endogenous growth, convexity of damages and climate risk: how Nordhaus� framework supports deep cuts in carbon emissions," GRI Working Papers 159, Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment.
    14. Rick Baker & Andrew Barker & Alan Johnston & Michael Kohlhaas, 2008. "The Stern Review: an assessment of its methodology," Staff Working Papers 0801, Productivity Commission, Government of Australia.
    15. Smith, Kathryn, 2009. "Saving the World but Saving Too Much? Time Preference and Productivity in Climate Policy Modelling," 2009 Conference (53rd), February 11-13, 2009, Cairns, Australia 47619, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.

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