Climate Tipping Points and Solar Geoengineering

70 Pages Posted: 28 Sep 2015 Last revised: 29 Jun 2022

See all articles by Garth Heutel

Garth Heutel

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics

Juan Moreno-Cruz

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development

Soheil Shayegh

RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economy and the Environment (EIEE)

Date Written: September 2015

Abstract

We study optimal climate policy when climate tipping points and solar geoengineering are present. Solar geoengineering reduces temperatures without reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Climate tipping points are irreversible and uncertain events that cause large damages. We analyze three different rules related to the availability of solar geoengineering: a ban, using solar geoengineering as insurance against the risk of tipping points, or using solar geoengineering only as remediation in the aftermath of a tipping point. We model three distinct types of tipping points: two that alter the climate system and one that yields a direct economic cost. Using an analytic model, we find that an optimal policy, which minimizes expected losses from the tipping point, includes both emissions reductions and solar geoengineering from the onset. Using a numerical simulation model, we quantify optimal policy and various outcomes under the alternative scenarios. The presence of tipping points leads to more mitigation and more solar geoengineering use and lower temperatures.

Suggested Citation

Heutel, Garth and Moreno-Cruz, Juan and Shayegh, Soheil, Climate Tipping Points and Solar Geoengineering (September 2015). NBER Working Paper No. w21589, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2666357

Garth Heutel (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina (UNC) at Greensboro - Department of Economics ( email )

Greensboro, NC 27402-6165
United States

Juan Moreno-Cruz

University of Waterloo - School of Environment, Enterprise and Development ( email )

Waterloo, Ontario N2L 3G1
Canada

Soheil Shayegh

RFF-CMCC European Institute on Economy and the Environment (EIEE) ( email )

Via Bergognone, 34
Milan
Italy

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
7
Abstract Views
310
PlumX Metrics