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Uncertainty and climate change policy


  • John Quiggin

    () (Department of Economics, University of Queensland)


The paper consists of a summary of the main sources of uncertainty about climate change, and a discussion of the major implications for economic analysis and the formulation of climate policy. Uncertainty typically implies that the optimal policy is more risk-averse than otherwise, and therefore enhances the case for action to mitigate climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • John Quiggin, 2008. "Uncertainty and climate change policy," Climate Change Working Papers WPC08_2, Risk and Sustainable Management Group, University of Queensland, revised Sep 2008.
  • Handle: RePEc:rsm:climte:c08_2

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Lenos Trigeorgis, 1993. "Real Options and Interactions With Financial Flexibility," Financial Management, Financial Management Association, vol. 22(3), Fall.
    2. Adamson, David & Mallawaarachchi, Thilak & Quiggin, John C., 2007. "Climate change and climate uncertainty in the Murray-Darling Basin," 2007 Conference (51st), February 13-16, 2007, Queenstown, New Zealand 10361, Australian Agricultural and Resource Economics Society.
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    Cited by:

    1. Aldred, Jonathan, 2013. "Justifying precautionary policies: Incommensurability and uncertainty," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(C), pages 132-140.
    2. Noah Kaufman, 2012. "The bias of integrated assessment models that ignore climate catastrophes," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 110(3), pages 575-595, February.
    3. Pedro Conceição & Yanchun Zhang, 2010. "Discounting in the context of climate change economics: the policy implications of uncertainty and global asymmetries," Environmental Economics and Policy Studies, Springer;Society for Environmental Economics and Policy Studies - SEEPS, vol. 12(1), pages 31-57, June.

    More about this item


    climate change; uncertainty;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • A12 - General Economics and Teaching - - General Economics - - - Relation of Economics to Other Disciplines
    • Z12 - Other Special Topics - - Cultural Economics - - - Religion


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