Scientists at the Postdam Institute for the Study of Climate Change in Germany and Columbia University in the United States have figured out how to reduce the economic costs that both future climate change and efforts to prevent can bring. According to the experts' conclusions, the balance is achievable by limiting the temperature rise by two degrees Celsius. This was announced in a press release on EurekAlert !.
Replacing coal-fired power plants with wind turbines and solar panels or imposing a carbon tax impose economic costs. At the same time, weather-related disasters due to global warming, such as floods, droughts and hurricanes, also cause damage. To avoid a catastrophe and reduce damage, it is necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but so far experts have not taken into account how seriously climate change affects economic production.
Scientists used a dynamic integrated model of economy and climate, which was developed by the Nobel laureate in economics William Nordhaus. They included the results of recent studies on the economic damage caused by climate change. In addition, the behavior of people who are not inclined to delay consumption was taken into account.
It turned out that limiting the temperature rise to two degrees Celsius is the most economical from the point of view of costs, as well as the entire range of climate sensitivity to carbon dioxide emissions. However, global temperatures have already risen by more than one degree, which requires immediate action, the researchers conclude. “Our analysis is based on the observed relationship between temperature and economic growth, but there may be other effects that we cannot yet anticipate,” writes Anders Levermann, one of the authors of the paper.