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Europe’S Long Term Climate Target: A Critical Evaluation

  • Richard S.J. Tol

    ()

    (Economic and Social Research Institute, Dublin)

The European Commission and a number of its Member States have adopted a stringent long-term target for climate policy, namely that the global mean temperature should not rise more than 2°C above pre-industrial times. This target is supported by rather thin arguments, based on inadequate methods, sloppy reasoning, and selective citation. In the scientific literature on “dangerous interference with the climate system”, most studies discuss either methodological issues, or carefully lay out the arguments for or against a particular target. These studies do not make specific recommendations, with the exception of cost-benefit analyses which argue for less stringent policy targets. However, there are also a few studies that recommend a target without the supporting argumentation. Overall, the 2°C target of the EU seems unfounded.

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File URL: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/fileadmin/fnu-files/publication/working-papers/twodegreeswp.pdf
File Function: First version, 2005
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Paper provided by Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University in its series Working Papers with number FNU-92.

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Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Sep 2005
Date of revision: Sep 2005
Publication status: Published, Energy Policy, 35 (1), 424-434
Handle: RePEc:sgc:wpaper:92
Contact details of provider: Postal: Bundesstrasse 55, 20146 Hamburg
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Web page: http://www.fnu.zmaw.de/

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  1. Richard S.J. Tol & Andrea Bigano & Jacqueline M. Hamilton & Yuan Zhou, 2005. "A Global Database of Domestic and International Tourist Numbers at National and Subnational Level," Working Papers 2005.3, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.
  2. Ceronsky, Megan & Anthoff, David & Hepburn, Cameron & Tol, Richard S. J., 2011. "Checking the Price Tag on Catastrophe: The Social Cost of Carbon Under Non-linear Climate Response," Papers WP392, Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI).
  3. Christine Roeckmann, 2005. "International cooperation for sustainable fisheries in the Baltic Sea," Working Papers FNU-88, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Sep 2005.
  4. Beatriz Gaitan S. & Richard S.J. Tol & I. Hakan Yetkiner, 2006. "The Hotelling’s Rule Revisited in a Dynamic General Equilibrium Model," Papers of the Annual IUE-SUNY Cortland Conference in Economics, in: Proceedings of the Conference on Human and Economic Resources, pages 213-238 Izmir University of Economics.
  5. Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Exchange Rates And Climate Change: An Application Of Fund," Working Papers FNU-45, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Jun 2004.
  6. P. Michael Link & Richard S.J. Tol, 2004. "Possible Economic Impacts of a Shutdown of the Thermohaline Circulation: an Application of FUND," Working Papers FNU-42, Research unit Sustainability and Global Change, Hamburg University, revised Apr 2004.
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