GHG Targets as Insurance Against Catastrophic Climate Damages / Martin L. Weitzman.

Author
Weitzman, Martin L. [Browse]
Format
Book
Language
English
Published/​Created
Cambridge, Mass. National Bureau of Economic Research 2010.
Description
1 online resource: illustrations (black and white);

Details

Series
  • Working Paper Series (National Bureau of Economic Research) no. w16136. [More in this series]
  • NBER working paper series no. w16136
Summary note
A critical issue in climate-change economics is the specification of the so-called "damages function" and its interaction with the unknown uncertainty of catastrophic outcomes. This paper asks how much we might be misled by our economic assessment of climate change when we employ a conventional quadratic damages function and/or a thin-tailed probability distribution for extreme temperatures. The paper gives some numerical examples of the indirect value of various GHG concentration targets as insurance against catastrophic climate-change temperatures and damages. These numerical examples suggest that we might be underestimating considerably the welfare losses from uncertainty by using a quadratic damages function and/or a thin-tailed temperature distribution. In these examples, the primary reason for keeping GHG levels down is to insure against high-temperature catastrophic climate risks.
Notes
June 2010.
Source of description
Print version record
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