Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda

28 Pages Posted: 16 Nov 2006

See all articles by Richard S. J. Tol

Richard S. J. Tol

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM); Carnegie Mellon University - Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change; University of Hamburg - Centre for Marine and Climate Research (ZMK); Princeton University

Date Written: November 2006

Abstract

Estimates of the marginal damage costs of carbon dioxide emissions suggest that, although climate change is a problem and some emission reduction is justified, very stringent abatement does not pass the cost-benefit test. However, current estimates of the economic impact of climate change are incomplete. Some of the missing impacts are likely to be positive and others negative, but overall the uncertainty seems to concentrate on the downside risks and current estimates of the damage costs may have a negative bias. The research effort on the economic impacts of climate change is minute, and should be strengthened, with a particular focus on the quantification of uncertainties; estimating missing impacts, interactions between impacts and higher-order effects; the valuation of biodiversity loss; the implications of extreme climate scenarios and violent conflict; and climate change in the very long term.

Keywords: Climate Change, Impacts, Valuation, Cost-benefit Analysis

JEL Classification: Q54

Suggested Citation

Tol, Richard S. J., Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda (November 2006). FEEM Working Paper No. 136.06, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=945044 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.945044

Richard S. J. Tol (Contact Author)

VU University Amsterdam - Institute for Environmental Studies (IVM) ( email )

De Boelelaan 1115
Amsterdam, 1081 HV
Netherlands
+31 20 444 9555 (Phone)
+31 20 444 9553 (Fax)

Carnegie Mellon University - Center for Integrated Study of the Human Dimensions of Global Change

Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890
United States

University of Hamburg - Centre for Marine and Climate Research (ZMK)

Troplowitzstrasse 7
D-22529 Hamburg
Germany

Princeton University ( email )

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Princeton, NJ 08544-0708
United States

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