Laurence Kotlikoff, Felix Kubler, Andrey Polbin, Simon Scheidegger, 27 October 2021

The replacement of positive with normative economics has left climate policy in its sorry state – as a fight between generations, across regions, and even among economists over climate justice. This column uses a multi-region, overlapping generations model of climate change to study climate policy as an externality whose resolution can uniformly and equally benefit all humankind, regardless of year or place of birth. The optimal uniform welfare-improving policy, implemented via a time-varying global carbon tax plus region- and generation-specific net transfers, can materially limit global emissions, dramatically shorten the use of fossil fuels, and raise the welfare of all current and future agents by over 4%.

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