Richard Tol, Dritan Osmany, 23 June 2010

In 1994, Scott Barrett predicted that international environmental agreements had either many signatories who promise to do very little, or a few signatories who promise to do a lot. This column tests this suggestion by considering the role of other coalitions. One result is that, to solve global problems, the UN forum should hold negotiations with the largest emitters only.

Benjamin Olken , Benjamin Jones, 16 April 2010

What are the likely economic effects of climate change? This column examines the impact of changes in climate on detailed export data. If a poor country is one degree Celsius warmer in a given year, its exports are lower, by as much as 5.7%. While there is no effect on rich countries’ exports, their consumers will still suffer from reduced imports at higher prices.

Richard Tol, 23 November 2009

Climate change will have widespread negative effects of uncertain magnitude. But this column argues that climate change is not humanity’s biggest challenge and needs to be solved without impeding economic development. It calls for a measured policy of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti, 03 September 2009

Mitigating global warning is a pressing and daunting task for the world’s major economies. This column says that the 2°C target set by G8 leaders is both politically and technologically unrealistic. It argues they must adopt more realistic targets and long-term commitments to adaptation plans.

Charles Kolstad, Corbett Grainger, 29 August 2009

Opponents of US climate change legislation voice concerns about its effect on consumers in coal-reliant states, industries’ competitiveness, and regressive distributional consequences. This column argues that these concerns are either unfounded or have been addressed fairly. It says the conflict is more about ideology than distributional issues.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni, 06 December 2008

Policymakers need to agree to the post-Kyoto climate architecture soon to implement it in 2012. Using a set of quantitative indicators, this column assesses a number of proposed international climate policy architectures and evaluates their economic efficiency, environmental effectiveness, distributional implications, and enforceability. Unfortunately, the most effective policies are the most costly and hardest to enforce.

Valentina Bosetti, Carlo Carraro, Alessandra Sgobbi, Massimo Tavoni, 14 October 2008

The future of climate change policy is very uncertain due to economic, environmental, and political complexities. This column quantifies the economic cost of delaying action to reduce carbon emissions and argues that the best strategy is to hedge our bets by adopting a mild emissions reduction policy now rather than naïvely waiting for the uncertainties to be resolved.

William Cline, 18 July 2008

William Cline of the Peterson Institute for International Economics talks to Romesh Vaitilingam about climate change – in particular, its impact on developing countries; what economists bring to analysis of carbon mitigation technologies and policies; and the importance of an international agreement on global warming. The interview was recorded at the American Economic Association meetings in New Orleans in January 2008.

Karin S. Thorburn, 16 April 2008

US climate change policy relies on corporations voluntarily reducing their greenhouse gas output. But recent research shows that pledging to cut carbon is bad for business, which is why so few firms take such voluntary measures. Reducing carbon emissions will require regulation.

Paul Klemperer, 01 April 2008

Serious scientists worry that feedback effects could - beyond some unknown “tipping point” - cause runaway warming with unforeseeable outcomes that would look like bad science fiction from today’s perspective. The continuing scientific uncertainty should make us more concerned, not less.

Carlo Carraro, Valentina Bosetti, Emanuele Massetti, Massimo Tavoni, 24 January 2008

If the world wants to stabilise atmospheric greenhouse gases at 550 parts per million, massive changes are required, especially in the energy sector. This article discusses means and costs of drastically reducing carbon emissions.

Hans-Werner Sinn, 31 October 2007

EU leaders don’t determine the pace of climate change. Demand reduction by some consumers only lowers fossil fuel consumption to the degree that resource owners decide to curtail their supply. Ultimately, the volume of fossil fuel burnt globally depends upon the rate of extraction and this is in the hands of oil producers who care about carbon’s intertemporal price path. Policies aimed at lowering carbon demand without concern for the price path of carbon may backfire.

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