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Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda

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  • Richard S.J. Tol

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

Abstract

Estimates of the marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions suggest that, although climate change is a problem and some emission reduction is justified, very stringent abatement does not pass the cost-benefit test. However, current estimates of the economic impact of climate change are incomplete. Some of the missing impacts are likely to be positive and others negative, but overall the uncertainty seems to concentrate on the downside risks and current estimates of the damage costs may have a negative bias. The research effort on the economic impacts of climate change is minute, and should be strengthened, with a particular focus on the quantification of uncertainties; estimating missing impacts, interactions between impacts and higher-order effects; the valuation of biodiversity loss; the implications of extreme climate scenarios and violent conflict; and climate change in the very long term.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard S.J. Tol, 2006. "Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda," Working Papers FNU-116, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2006.
  • Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:116
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    Cited by:

    1. Nowakowski, Adam & Oswald. Andrew J, 2020. "Do Europeans Care about Climate Change? An Illustration of the Importance of Data on Human Feelings," The Warwick Economics Research Paper Series (TWERPS) 1303, University of Warwick, Department of Economics.
    2. Nelson, Julie A., 2009. "Between a rock and a soft place: Ecological and feminist economics in policy debates," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 69(1), pages 1-8, November.
    3. Michel Aglietta & Jean-Charles Hourcade & Carlo Jaeger & Baptiste Fabert, 2015. "Financing transition in an adverse context: climate finance beyond carbon finance," International Environmental Agreements: Politics, Law and Economics, Springer, vol. 15(4), pages 403-420, November.
    4. De Bruin, Kelly & Kiran Krishnamurthy, Chandra, 2021. "Optimal Climate Policy with Fat-tailed Uncertainty: What the Models Can Tell Us," Papers WP697, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
    5. Bosetti, Valentina & Carraro, Carlo & De Cian, Enrica & Duval, Romain & Massetti, Emanuele & Tavoni, Massimo, 2009. "The Incentives to Participate in, and the Stability of, International Climate Coalitions: A Game-theoretic Analysis Using the Witch Model," Sustainable Development Papers 54281, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM).
    6. Saltari, Enrico & Travaglini, Giuseppe, 2016. "Pollution control under emission constraints: Switching between regimes," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 53(C), pages 212-219.
    7. Tscharaktschiew, Stefan & Hirte, Georg, 2010. "The drawbacks and opportunities of carbon charges in metropolitan areas -- A spatial general equilibrium approach," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 70(2), pages 339-357, December.
    8. Pizer, William A. & Popp, David, 2008. "Endogenizing technological change: Matching empirical evidence to modeling needs," Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 30(6), pages 2754-2770, November.
    9. Graham Long, 2011. "Disagreement and Responses to Climate Change," Environmental Values, White Horse Press, vol. 20(4), pages 503-525, November.
    10. Julie A. Nelson, "undated". "Economic Writing on the Pressing Problems of the Day: The Roles of Moral Intuition and Methodological Confusion," GDAE Working Papers 09-03, GDAE, Tufts University.
    11. 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.
    12. Gersbach, Hans & Winkler, Ralph, 2012. "Global refunding and climate change," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 36(11), pages 1775-1795.
    13. Richard S J Tol, 2018. "The Economic Impacts of Climate Change," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 12(1), pages 4-25.
    14. Valentina Bosetti & Carlo Carraro & Enrica De Cian & Romain Duval & Emanuele Massetti & Massimo Tavoni, 2009. "The Incentives to Participate in and the Stability of International Climate Coalitions: A Game-Theoretic Approach Using the WITCH Model," OECD Economics Department Working Papers 702, OECD Publishing.
    15. Jiang, Zhujun & Tan, Jijun, 2013. "How the removal of energy subsidy affects general price in China: A study based on input–output model," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 63(C), pages 599-606.
    16. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Fundamental questions on the economics of climate adaptation: Outlines of a new research programme," UFZ Reports 05/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
    17. Heuson, Clemens & Gawel, Erik & Gebhardt, Oliver & Hansjürgens, Bernd & Lehmann, Paul & Meyer, Volker & Schwarze, Reimund, 2012. "Ökonomische Grundfragen der Klimaanpassung: Umrisse eines neuen Forschungsprogramms," UFZ Reports 02/2012, Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ).
    18. Gersbach, Hans & Kleinschmidt, Tobias, 2009. "Power to youth: Designing democracy for long-term well-being," Mathematical Social Sciences, Elsevier, vol. 58(2), pages 158-172, September.

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate change; impacts; valuation; cost-benefit analysis;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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