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Implications of a lowered damage trajectory for mitigation in a continuous-time stochastic model

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  • Strand, Jon

Abstract

This paper provides counterexamples to the idea that mitigation of greenhouse gases causing climate change, and adaptation to climate change, are always and everywhere substitutes. The author considers optimal policy for mitigating greenhouse gas emissions when climate damages follow a geometric Brownian motion process with positive drift, and the trajectory for damages can be down-shifted by adaptive activities, focusing on two main cases: 1) damages are reduced proportionately by adaptation for any given climate impact ("reactive adaptation"); and 2) the growth path for climate damages is down-shifted ("anticipatory adaptation"). In this model mitigation is a lumpy one-off decision. Policy to reduce damages for given emissions is continuous in case 1, but may be lumpy in case 2, and reduces both expectation and variance of damages. Lower expected damages promote mitigation, and reduced variance discourages it (as the option value of waiting is reduced). In case 1, the last effect may dominate. Mitigation then increases when damages are dampened: mitigation and adaptation are complements. In case 2, mitigation and adaptation are always substitutes.

Suggested Citation

  • Strand, Jon, 2011. "Implications of a lowered damage trajectory for mitigation in a continuous-time stochastic model," Policy Research Working Paper Series 5724, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:5724
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. repec:dau:papers:123456789/7780 is not listed on IDEAS
    2. Framstad, N.C., 2011. "A remark on R.S. Pindyck: "Irreversibilities and the timing of environmental policy"," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 33(3), pages 756-760, September.
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    9. Framstad, Nils Chr. & Strand, Jon, 2015. "Energy intensive infrastructure investments with retrofits in continuous time: Effects of uncertainty on energy use and carbon emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-18.
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    Cited by:

    1. Framstad, Nils Chr. & Strand, Jon, 2015. "Energy intensive infrastructure investments with retrofits in continuous time: Effects of uncertainty on energy use and carbon emissions," Resource and Energy Economics, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 1-18.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Climate Change Economics; Adaptation to Climate Change; Climate Change Mitigation and Green House Gases; Science of Climate Change; Climate Change Policy and Regulation;

    JEL classification:

    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy
    • H23 - Public Economics - - Taxation, Subsidies, and Revenue - - - Externalities; Redistributive Effects; Environmental Taxes and Subsidies
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis

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