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Publications, Reports & Research

Our publications, reports and research library hosts over 500 specialist reports and research papers on all topics associated with CCS.

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The social cost of carbon
The social cost of carbon

1st March 2011

Organisation(s): Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

Topic(s): Economics, Social cost

This paper surveys the literature on the economic impact of climate change. Different methods have been used to estimate the impact of climate change on human welfare. Studies agree that there are positive and negative impacts. In the short term, positive impacts may dominate, but these are largely sunk. In the longer term, there are net negative impacts. Poorer people tend to be more vulnerable to climate change. There is a trade-off between development policy and climate policy. Estimated aggregate impacts are not very large, but they are uncertain and incomplete. Estimates of the marginal impacts suggest that greenhouse gas emissions should be taxed, and that the emission reduction targets announced by politicians are probably too ambitious.

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International inequity aversion and the social cost of carbon
International inequity aversion and the social cost of carbon

21st September 2009

Organisation(s): Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

Topic(s): Economics, Law and regulation, Policy, Social cost

This paper defines the rate of inequity aversion, distinguishing between the pure rate and the consumption rate. The social cost of carbon is very sensitive to equity weighting and assumptions about the rate of risk and inequity aversion. Estimates for the consumption rate of inequity aversion for recent data suggest that the equity-weighted social cost of carbon is less than 50% larger than the unweighted estimate.

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The economic impact of climate change
The economic impact of climate change

22nd September 2008

Organisation(s): Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI)

Topic(s): Economics

This paper reviews the literature on the economic impacts of climate change, an externality that is unprecedentedly large, complex, and uncertain. Only 14 estimates of the total damage cost of climate change have been published, a research effort that is in sharp contrast to the urgency of the public debate and the proposed expenditure on greenhouse gas emission reduction. These estimates show that climate change initially improves economic welfare. However, these benefits are sunk. Impacts would be predominantly negative later in the century. Global average impacts would be comparable to the welfare loss of a few percent of income, but substantially higher in poor countries. There are over 200 estimates of the marginal damage cost of carbon dioxide emissions. The uncertainty about the social cost of carbon is large and right-skewed. For a standard discount rate, the expected value $50/tC, which is much lower than the price of carbon in the European Union but much higher than the price of carbon elsewhere. Current estimates of the damage costs of climate change are incomplete, with positive and negative biases. Most important among the missing impacts are the indirect effects of climate change on economic development, large scale biodiversity loss, low probability – high impact scenarios, the impact of climate change on violent conflict, and the impacts of climate change beyond 2100. From a welfare perspective, the impact of climate change is problematic because population is endogenous, and because policy analyses should separate impatience, risk aversion, and inequity aversion between and within countries.

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