The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation

Policies and Options for Global Action beyond 2012

image of The Economics of Climate Change Mitigation

Against the background of a projected doubling of world greenhouse gas emissions by mid-century, this book explores feasible ways to abate them at least cost. Through quantitative analysis, it addresses key climate policy issues including: an ideal set of climate policy tools; the size of the economic and environmental costs of incomplete country or sector coverage of climate change mitigation policies;  how to concretely develop a global carbon market; the case for, and what can we reasonably expect from, R&D and technology support policies; and  the incentives for major emitting countries to join a climate change mitigation agreement.

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Executive Summary

The global climate is changing, and the release of greenhouse gases (GHGs) from human activity has contributed to global warming. While there is significant uncertainty about the costs of inaction, it is generally agreed that failing to tackle climate change will have significant implications for the world economy, especially in developing countries, where reduced agricultural yields, sea level rise, extreme weather events and the greater prevalence of some infectious diseases are likely to be particularly disruptive (OECD, 2008a). Furthermore, there are significant risks of unpredictable, potentially large and irreversible, damage worldwide. The exact economic and welfare costs of policy inaction could equate to as much as a permanent 14.4% loss in average world consumption per capita (Stern, 2007), when both market and non-market impacts are included.

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