Journal article

Near-linear cost increase to reduce climate-change risk

Michiel Schaeffer, Tom Kram, Malte Meinshausen, Detlef P van Vuuren, William L Hare

PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA | NATL ACAD SCIENCES | Published : 2008

Abstract

One approach in climate-change policy is to set normative long-term targets first and then infer the implied emissions pathways. An important example of a normative target is to limit the global-mean temperature change to a certain maximum. In general, reported cost estimates for limiting global warming often rise rapidly, even exponentially, as the scale of emission reductions from a reference level increases. This rapid rise may suggest that more ambitious policies may be prohibitively expensive. Here, we propose a probabilistic perspective, focused on the relationship between mitigation costs and the likelihood of achieving a climate target. We investigate the qualitative, functional rela..

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University of Melbourne Researchers