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Projections and Uncertainties About Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies

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  • William D. Nordhaus

Abstract

Climate change remains one of the major international environmental challenges facing nations. Up to now, nations have to date adopted minimal policies to slow climate change. Moreover, there has been no major improvement in emissions trends as of the latest data. The current study uses the updated DICE-2016R2 model to present new projections and the impacts of alternative climate policies. It also presents a new set of estimates of the uncertainties about future climate change and compares the results with those of other integrated assessment models. The study confirms past estimates of likely rapid climate change over the next century if major climate-change policies are not taken. It suggests that it is unlikely that nations can achieve the 2°C target of international agreements, even if ambitious policies are introduced in the near term. The required carbon price needed to achieve current targets has risen over time as policies have been delayed.

Suggested Citation

  • William D. Nordhaus, 2016. "Projections and Uncertainties About Climate Change in an Era of Minimal Climate Policies," NBER Working Papers 22933, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22933
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    1. Stern,Nicholas, 2007. "The Economics of Climate Change," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521700801, November.
    2. Kenneth Gillingham & William D. Nordhaus & David Anthoff & Geoffrey Blanford & Valentina Bosetti & Peter Christensen & Haewon McJeon & John Reilly & Paul Sztorc, 2015. "Modeling Uncertainty in Climate Change: A Multi-Model Comparison," NBER Working Papers 21637, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. William Nordhaus, 2014. "Estimates of the Social Cost of Carbon: Concepts and Results from the DICE-2013R Model and Alternative Approaches," Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, University of Chicago Press, vol. 1(1), pages 000.
    4. Richard S. J. Tol, 2009. "The Economic Effects of Climate Change," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 23(2), pages 29-51, Spring.
    5. Nordhaus, William D., 1993. "Rolling the 'DICE': an optimal transition path for controlling greenhouse gases," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(1), pages 27-50, March.
    6. William Nordhaus, 2015. "Climate Clubs: Overcoming Free-Riding in International Climate Policy," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(4), pages 1339-1370, April.
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • F6 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization
    • Q5 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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