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The economics of climate change


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This paper focuses on several key economic issues relevant to climate change. Given the fact that changes in climate are projections using the best available data, it examines the economic principles of uncertainty and the precautionary approach, and then continues to address the key drivers of climate change. Climate change is expected to result in negative impacts and, in this regard, the consequences of anticipated rising temperatures and sea levels as well as changes in precipitation that may result in flooding and/or drought are addressed. However, the situation is not all negative and, as such, the opportunities that are likely to arise through adaptation and mitigation are discussed especially with respect to the Caribbean. In this regard and recognizing that it would be useful to Caribbean policymakers to utilize these opportunities and to address the negative impacts, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), through its subregional headquarters for the Caribbean, is spearheading a review of the economics of climate change in the Caribbean with a view to providing quantitative information to stakeholders in dealing with climate change. The paper makes recommendations for the Caribbean to address climate change at the national level. These include macroplanning; promotion of energy efficiency; creation of incentives to obtain support for implementation of alternative energy technologies; maintaining the will among stakeholders on a sustained basis for addressing climate change; and the conduct of relevant research into varieties of plants and animals that could adapt to changing climatic conditions. Finally, it must be recognized that to successfully combat climate change, the threats and opportunities must be properly assessed as part of an ongoing region-wide system of risk management, which should not be incidental, but integral, to national and regional planning and forecasting for the future.

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  • -, 2009. "The economics of climate change," Sede Subregional de la CEPAL para el Caribe (Estudios e Investigaciones) 38679, Naciones Unidas Comisión Económica para América Latina y el Caribe (CEPAL).
  • Handle: RePEc:ecr:col095:38679

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Arrow Kenneth J, 2007. "Global Climate Change: A Challenge to Policy," The Economists' Voice, De Gruyter, vol. 4(3), pages 1-5, June.
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