IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/wbk/wbrwps/5179.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

A note on the economic cost of climate change and the rationale to limit it below 2°C

Author

Listed:
  • Hallegatte, Stephane
  • Dumas, Patrice
  • Hourcade, Jean-Charles

Abstract

This note highlights a major reason to limit climate change to the lowest possible levels. This reason follows from the large increase in uncertainty associated with high levels of warming. This uncertainty arises from three sources: the change in climate itself, the change’s impacts at the sector level, and their macroeconomic costs. First, the greater the difference between the future climate and the current one, the more difficult it is to predict how local climates will evolve, making it more difficult to anticipate adaptation actions. Second, the adaptive capacity of various economic sectors can already be observed for limited warming, but is largely unknown for larger changes. The larger the change in climate, therefore, the more uncertain is the final impact on economic sectors. Third, economic systems can efficiently cope with sectoral losses, but macroeconomic-level adaptive capacity is difficult to assess, especially when it involves more than marginal economic changes and when structural economic shifts are required. In particular, these shifts are difficult to model and involve thresholds beyond which the total macroeconomic cost would rise rapidly. The existence of such thresholds is supported by past experiences, including economic disruptions caused by natural disasters, observed difficulties funding needed infrastructure, and regional crises due to rapid economic shifts induced by new technologies or globalization. As a consequence, larger warming is associated with higher cost, but also with larger uncertainty about the cost. Because this uncertainty translates into risks and makes it more difficult to implement adaptation strategies, it represents an additional motive to mitigate climate change.

Suggested Citation

  • Hallegatte, Stephane & Dumas, Patrice & Hourcade, Jean-Charles, 2010. "A note on the economic cost of climate change and the rationale to limit it below 2°C," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5179, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5179
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www-wds.worldbank.org/external/default/WDSContentServer/WDSP/IB/2010/01/13/000158349_20100113090158/Rendered/PDF/WPS5179.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. McCleary, Rachel & Barro, Robert, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth across Countries," Scholarly Articles 3708464, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    2. Jonathan Heathcote & Fabrizio Perri, 2013. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Not as Bad as You Think," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 121(6), pages 1108-1159.
    3. Ghironi, Fabio & Lee, Jaewoo & Rebucci, Alessandro, 2015. "The valuation channel of external adjustment," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 57(C), pages 86-114.
    4. Charles Engel & Akito Matsumoto, 2009. "The International Diversification Puzzle When Goods Prices Are Sticky: It's Really about Exchange-Rate Hedging, Not Equity Portfolios," American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(2), pages 155-188, July.
    5. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2003. "Closing small open economy models," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 163-185.
    6. Tille, Cédric & van Wincoop, Eric, 2010. "International capital flows," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 80(2), pages 157-175, March.
    7. Alberto Martin & Jaume Ventura, 2012. "Economic Growth with Bubbles," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, pages 3033-3058.
    8. Charles Engel & John H. Rogers, 2006. "The U.S. current account deficit and the expected share of world output," Proceedings, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.
    9. Aguiar, Mark & Gopinath, Gita, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle is the Trend," Scholarly Articles 11988098, Harvard University Department of Economics.
    10. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Hélène Rey, 2007. "International Financial Adjustment," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115(4), pages 665-703, August.
    11. Maurice Obstfeld & Kenneth S. Rogoff, 2005. "Global Current Account Imbalances and Exchange Rate Adjustments," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 36(1), pages 67-146.
    12. Coeurdacier, Nicolas & Kollmann, Robert & Martin, Philippe, 2010. "International portfolios, capital accumulation and foreign assets dynamics," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 100-112.
    13. Robert J. Barro & Xavier Sala-i-Martin, 2003. "Economic Growth, 2nd Edition," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262025531, January.
    14. Stephanie E. Curcuru & Tomas Dvorak & Francis E. Warnock, 2008. "Cross-Border Returns Differentials," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1495-1530.
    15. Madsen, Jakob B., 2007. "Technology spillover through trade and TFP convergence: 135 years of evidence for the OECD countries," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 72(2), pages 464-480, July.
    16. Lucas, Robert Jr., 1982. "Interest rates and currency prices in a two-country world," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 10(3), pages 335-359.
    17. Ricardo J. Caballero & Emmanuel Farhi & Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas, 2008. "An Equilibrium Model of "Global Imbalances" and Low Interest Rates," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 98(1), pages 358-393, March.
    18. Mark Aguiar & Gita Gopinath, 2007. "Emerging Market Business Cycles: The Cycle Is the Trend," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 115, pages 69-102.
    19. repec:spo:wpecon:info:hdl:2441/c8dmi8nm4pdjkuc9g7084aa4m is not listed on IDEAS
    20. Tesar, Linda L. & Werner, Ingrid M., 1995. "Home bias and high turnover," Journal of International Money and Finance, Elsevier, vol. 14(4), pages 467-492, August.
    21. Devereux, Michael B. & Sutherland, Alan, 2010. "Country portfolio dynamics," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 34(7), pages 1325-1342, July.
    22. Heathcote, Jonathan & Perri, Fabrizio, 2004. "Financial globalization and real regionalization," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, pages 207-243.
    23. Lane, Philip R. & Milesi-Ferretti, Gian Maria, 2007. "The external wealth of nations mark II: Revised and extended estimates of foreign assets and liabilities, 1970-2004," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(2), pages 223-250, November.
    24. Marcus Scheiblecker & et al., 2003. "Austria's Economy in 2002: Another Year of Slow Growth," WIFO Monatsberichte (monthly reports), WIFO, vol. 76(4), pages 257-323, April.
    25. Robert J. Barro & Rachel McCleary, 2003. "Religion and Economic Growth," NBER Working Papers 9682, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    26. Devereux, Michael B. & Sutherland, Alan, 2010. "Valuation effects and the dynamics of net external assets," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, pages 129-143.
    27. Schmitt-Grohe, Stephanie & Uribe, Martin, 2004. "Solving dynamic general equilibrium models using a second-order approximation to the policy function," Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control, Elsevier, vol. 28(4), pages 755-775, January.
    28. Baxter, Marianne & Jermann, Urban J, 1997. "The International Diversification Puzzle Is Worse Than You Think," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 87(1), pages 170-180, March.
    29. Martin D. D. Evans & Viktoria Hnatkovska, 2005. "Solving General Equilibrium Models with Incomplete Markets and Many Assets," NBER Technical Working Papers 0318, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    30. Robert J. Barro, 2003. "Determinants of Economic Growth in a Panel of Countries," Annals of Economics and Finance, Society for AEF, vol. 4(2), pages 231-274, November.
    31. Devereux, Michael B. & Sutherland, Alan, 2009. "A portfolio model of capital flows to emerging markets," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(2), pages 181-193, July.
    32. Dowrick, Steve & Nguyen, Duc-Tho, 1989. "OECD Comparative Economic Growth 1950-85: Catch-Up and Convergence," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 79(5), pages 1010-1030, December.
    33. Pierpaolo Benigno, 2007. "Portfolio Choices with Near Rational Agents: A Solution of Some International-Finance Puzzles," NBER Working Papers 13173, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    34. Carol C. Bertaut & Ralph W. Tryon, 2007. "Monthly estimates of U.S. cross-border securities positions," International Finance Discussion Papers 910, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
    35. Enrique G. Mendoza & Vincenzo Quadrini & José-Víctor Ríos-Rull, 2009. "Financial Integration, Financial Development, and Global Imbalances," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 117(3), pages 371-416, June.
    36. Pierre-Olivier Gourinchas & Helene Rey & Nicolas Govillot, 2010. "Exorbitant Privilege and Exorbitant Duty," IMES Discussion Paper Series 10-E-20, Institute for Monetary and Economic Studies, Bank of Japan.
    37. Kollmann, Robert, 2006. "International Portfolio Equilibrium and the Current Account," CEPR Discussion Papers 5512, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Baptiste Perrissin Fabert & Etienne Espagne & Antonin Pottier & Patrice Dumas, 2012. "The “Doomsday” Effect in Climate Policies. Why is the Present Decade so Crucial to Tackling the Climate Challenge?," Working Papers 2012.62, Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate Change Economics; Science of Climate Change; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Adaptation to Climate Change; Transport Economics Policy&Planning;

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5179. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Roula I. Yazigi). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/dvewbus.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.