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The Economics and Politics of Climate Change by Dieter Helm, Cameron Hepburn

By Dieter Helm, Cameron Hepburn

The foreign framework for a weather swap contract is up for evaluate because the preliminary Kyoto interval to 2012 involves an finish. notwithstanding there was a lot enthusiasm from political and environmental teams, the underlying economics and politics stay hugely debatable. This ebook takes a funky headed examine the serious roadblocks to contract, interpreting the economics of weather switch, the incentives of the most gamers (the US, ecu, China) and examines the rules governments can installed position to minimize greenhouse gasoline emissions, and finally shift our economies onto a low-carbon path.

The quantity brings jointly top weather switch coverage specialists to set out the commercial research and the character of the negotiations at Copenhagen and past. as well as reviewing the most concerns mentioned above, some of the articles query the root of a lot of the weather switch consensus, and debate the strict Report's major findings.

The publication is in 4 components. Following an outline of the most matters, the 1st half is a reassessment of the economics of weather swap. this can be basic to the remainder of the amount, and it includes new fabric which fits well past what will be known as the recent traditional knowledge. the second one half seems on the geography of the prices and merits of weather swap - the very diversified views of Africa, China, the USA and Europe. those chapters supply a development block to contemplating the customers for a brand new international contract - the very assorted pursuits that may need to be reconciled at Copenhagen and past. The 3rd half seems to be at coverage tools on the worldwide point (whereas a lot of the literature up to now is nationally and locally based). buying and selling and R&D function within the chapters, yet so too do extra radical unilateral thoughts, together with geo-engineering. half 4 turns to the institutional structure - drawing on proof from past makes an attempt in different parts, in addition to proposals for brand spanking new our bodies.

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Extra resources for The Economics and Politics of Climate Change

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Fossilfuel consumption is going up, there is plenty left to exploit, and the dirtiest fossil fuel—coal—is expanding its share. Energy-related carbon emissions are predicted to rise by around 45 per cent by 2030 (IEA, 2008fr), on the back of a similar rise in energy demand. There is no global decoupling of the energy ratio. Indeed, global warming is making new sources of oil and gas easier to exploit—notably, in the northern regions (Canada and Russia, in particular) and in the Arctic seas as the ice retreats.

Beyond that level, climate change may have 'dangerous' consequences, and it may not be easy to control. In other words, once this level is reached, we are into the cfat tail' of the probability distribution of global temperature outcomes—of really big economic effects from more dramatic climate change. One way of thinking about this is that, as the concentration of greenhouse gases rises, so the substitution between natural and man-made capital declines. The IPCC (and the UN FCCC) argue that we should avoid this prospect, and should do this through a stabilization of emissions now.

The happy political message that we can deal with climate change without affecting our standard of living—which is a key implicit message from the Stern Report on which politicians have publicly focused—and do so in a sustainable way, turns out, unfortunately, to be wrong. (ii) Discounting The Stern Report has one more variable in deriving its result: that the discount rate to be used in marrying up the damage in the future to the costs now of mitigation should be low. This turns out to be needed because, if the discount rate were to reflect the evidence from current behaviour, the Stern Report calculations would indicate, even on its 1 per cent costs, that we should do little about climate change—since future people are going to be so much better off than us as a result of the compounding of 2-3 per cent economic growth for a century, and we currently discount their future utility at a positive (and significant) rate.

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