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Climate Tipping Points and Solar Geoengineering

Author

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  • Garth Heutel
  • Juan Moreno Cruz
  • Soheil Shayegh

Abstract

We study optimal climate policy when climate tipping points and solar geoengineering are present. Solar geoengineering reduces temperatures without reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate tipping points are irreversible and uncertain events that cause large damages. We analyze three different rules related to the availability of solar geoengineering: a ban, using solar geoengineering as insurance against the risk of tipping points, or using solar geoengineering only as remediation in the aftermath of a tipping point. We model three distinct types of tipping points: two that alter the climate system and one that yields a direct economic cost. Using an analytic model, we find that an optimal policy, which minimizes expected losses from the tipping point, includes both emissions reductions and solar geoengineering from the onset. Using a numerical simulation model, we quantify optimal policy and various outcomes under the alternative scenarios. The presence of tipping points leads to more mitigation and more solar geoengineering use and lower temperatures.

Suggested Citation

  • Garth Heutel & Juan Moreno Cruz & Soheil Shayegh, 2015. "Climate Tipping Points and Solar Geoengineering," NBER Working Papers 21589, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21589
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    Cited by:

    1. Johannes Emmerling & Vassiliki Manoussi & Anastasios Xepapadeas, 2016. "Climate Engineering under Deep Uncertainty and Heterogeneity," Working Papers 2016.52, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
    2. Moreno-Cruz, Juan B. & Wagner, Gernot & Keith, David w., 2017. "An Economic Anatomy of Optimal Climate Policy," Working Paper Series rwp17-028, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
    3. Garth Heutel & Juan Moreno-Cruz & Katharine Ricke, 2016. "Climate Engineering Economics," Annual Review of Resource Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 8(1), pages 99-118, October.
    4. Heutel, Garth & Moreno-Cruz, Juan & Shayegh, Soheil, 2018. "Solar geoengineering, uncertainty, and the price of carbon," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 87(C), pages 24-41.
    5. repec:eee:reecon:v:71:y:2017:i:2:p:212-224 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • 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

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