NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Climate Policy Dilemma

Robert S. Pindyck

NBER Working Paper No. 18205
Issued in July 2012
NBER Program(s):   EEE

Climate policy poses a dilemma for environmental economists. The economic argument for stringent GHG abatement is far from clear. There is disagreement among both climate scientists and economists over the likelihood of alternative climate outcomes, over the nature and extent of the uncertainty over those outcomes, and over the framework that should be used to evaluate potential benefits from GHG abatement, including key policy parameters. I argue that the case for stringent abatement cannot be based on the kinds of modeling exercises that have permeated the literature, but instead must be based on the possibility of a catastrophic outcome. I discuss how an analysis that incorporates such an outcome might be conducted.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w18205

Published: Robert S. Pindyck, 2013. "The Climate Policy Dilemma," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 7(2), pages 219-237, July. citation courtesy of

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