IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/mia/wpaper/2015-03.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Probabilistic Stabilization Targets

Author

Listed:
  • Luke G. Fitzpatrick

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

  • David L. Kelly

    (Department of Economics, University of Miami)

Abstract

We study stabilization targets: common environmental policy recommendations that specify a maximum probability of an environmental variable exceeding a fixed target (e.g. limit climate change to at most 2°C above preindustrial). Previous work generally considers stabilization targets under certainty equivalence. Using an integrated assessment model with uncertainty about the sensitivity of the temperature to greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations (the climate sensitivity), learning, and random weather shocks, we calculate the optimal GHG emissions policy with and without stabilization targets. We characterize the range of feasible targets and show that in general, climate change has too much uncertainty and inertia to be controlled with the precision implied by stabilization targets. We find that uncertainty exacerbates the welfare cost of stabilization targets. First, the targets are inflexible and do not adjust to new information about the climate system. Second, the target forces the emissions policy to overreact to transient shocks. These effects are present only in a model with uncertainty. Total welfare costs in the baseline model are 4.7%, which is 66% higher than the welfare cost under certainty.

Suggested Citation

  • Luke G. Fitzpatrick & David L. Kelly, 2015. "Probabilistic Stabilization Targets," Working Papers 2015-03, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:mia:wpaper:2015-03
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://bus.miami.edu/_assets/files/repec/WP2015-03.pdf
    File Function: First version, 2015
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Leach, Andrew J., 2007. "The climate change learning curve," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 1728-1752, May.
    2. Matthias Schmidt & Alexander Lorenz & Hermann Held & Elmar Kriegler, 2011. "Climate targets under uncertainty: challenges and remedies," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 104(3), pages 783-791, February.
    3. Derek Lemoine & Christian Traeger, 2014. "Watch Your Step: Optimal Policy in a Tipping Climate," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 6(1), pages 137-166, February.
    4. Kelly, David L & Kolstad, Charles D, 2001. "Solving Infinite Horizon Growth Models with an Environmental Sector," Computational Economics, Springer;Society for Computational Economics, vol. 18(2), pages 217-231, October.
    5. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:10:p:2947-57 is not listed on IDEAS
    6. Kelly, David L. & Tan, Zhuo, 2015. "Learning and climate feedbacks: Optimal climate insurance and fat tails," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 72(C), pages 98-122.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Lemoine, Derek & Traeger, Christian P., 2016. "Ambiguous tipping points," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 132(PB), pages 5-18.
    2. repec:spr:climat:v:147:y:2018:i:1:d:10.1007_s10584-017-2132-8 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. repec:eee:jeeman:v:92:y:2018:i:c:p:148-168 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Frederick Ploeg, 2018. "The safe carbon budget," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 147(1), pages 47-59, March.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate Change; Stabilization Targets; Probabilistic Stabilization Targets; Uncertainty; Learning Publication Status: Under Review;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • O44 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Growth and Aggregate Productivity - - - Environment and Growth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    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:mia:wpaper:2015-03. 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: (Christopher Parmeter). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/demiaus.html .

    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.