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Transcript
New approaches to decision-making
under uncertainty in the economics
of climate change
Simon Dietz
Director, ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy
Co-Director, Grantham Research Institute
Examples of economic decisions that
depend on climate predictions
• Investment in flood defence and other means
of adapting to climate change
• Investment in weather-sensitive methods of
energy supply, e.g. wind and nuclear
• Growing new markets for insurance against
weather
• National and global greenhouse gas emissions
reductions targets
Examples of economic decisions that
depend on climate predictions
• Investment in flood defence and other means
of adapting to climate change
• Investment in weather-sensitive methods of
energy supply, e.g. wind and nuclear
• Growing new markets for insurance against
losses from extreme weather
• National and global greenhouse gas emissions
reductions targets
In the beginning…
Source: Nordhaus (1993)
Probabilities and expected utility
2050
0
2100
2150
2200
% loss in GDP per capita
-5
-10
-11.3
-15
-20
-25
-30
Baseline Climate, market impacts
+ risk of catastrophe + non-market impacts
5 - 95% impacts range
-35
Source: Stern (2007)
But are our climate predictions of sufficient
quality to sustain expected utility approaches?
Source: Malte
Meinshausen
Never mind about climate change, what about
our predictions of its economic consequences?
Source: Tol (2012) in Env. &
Res. Econ.
An alternative: the smooth model of
decision making under ambiguity
2nd order
probabilities
1st order
probabilities
…
Another alternative: robust control
max min Some concluding thoughts
• Recent developments have enabled research into
the economics of climate change to be more
realistic and sophisticated about uncertainty
– But realistic and sophisticated enough?
• Policy relevance: general or specific?
– Confirming the precautionary motive behind
emissions targets
– Some specific lessons for adaptation, e.g. real options
story tends to warn against hasty investment in
climate-proofing infrastructure