Costing climate change

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Debate over how, when, and even whether man–made greenhouse–gas emissions should be controlled has grown in intensity even faster than the levels of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere. Many argue that the costs involved in reducing emissions outweigh the potential economic damage of human–induced climate change. Here, existing cost–benefit analyses of greenhouse–gas reduction policies are examined, with a view to establishing whether any such global reductions are currently worthwhile. Potential for, and cost of, cutting our own individual greenhouse–gas emissions is then assessed. I find that many abatement strategies are able to deliver significant emission reductions at little or no net cost. Additionally, I find that there is huge potential for individuals to simultaneously cut their own greenhouse–gas emissions and save money. I conclude that cuts in global greenhouse–gas emissions, such as those of the Kyoto Protocol, cannot be justifiably dismissed as posing too large an economic burden.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2947-2961
Number of pages15
JournalPhilosophical Transactions A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences
Volume360
Issue number1801
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2002

Keywords

  • greenhouse gas
  • abatement strategy
  • cost–benefit analysis
  • kyoto protocol

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