Changing Climate, Changing Economy

Changing Climate, Changing Economy

The Cournot Centre series

Edited by Jean-Philippe Touffut

How did climate change become an economic issue? Why is economic discourse so influential on the public policy of climate change? How can it best contribute to the scientific and public debates? Nine eminent scholars explain in this book both how economics has changed environmental understanding and how the study of climate change has modified the economy.

Chapter 6: Round Table Discussion: Economics and Climate Change – Where do we Stand and Where do we go from Here?

Inge Kaul, Thomas Schelling, Robert M. Solow, Nicholas Stern, Thomas Sterner and Martin L. Weitzman

Subjects: economics and finance, environmental economics, environment, environmental economics


Inge Kaul, Thomas Schelling, Robert M. Solow, Nicholas Stern, Thomas Sterner and Martin L. Weitzman Under the chairmanship of Robert Solow (MIT), this round table discussion brought together Inge Kaul (Hertie School of Governance, Berlin), Thomas Schelling (University of Maryland), Nicholas Stern (London School of Economics), Thomas Sterner (University of Gothenburg) and Martin Weitzman (Harvard University). Robert Solow (MIT) This round table is intended as a wind-up discussion, not to summarize what has already been said, but perhaps to draw conclusions and express different points of view. The contributions so far have been lacking one common view of the matter: the conclusion, after a great deal of study and modelling and contemplation of alternatives, that it would be better not to take drastic policy action right away, even if that were possible; that the correct strategy may be to wait, acquire information, invest in physical and human capital, increase the capacity of the world economy to produce and to meet climate possibilities.1 How does this difference of opinion arise? Should we regard the matter as settled? There has been more unanimity in the contributions of this volume than I think there is in the world at large, or in the part of the research world that is interested in this question. I don’t think the differences of opinion arise out of differences in the fundamental science, but out of differences in the economic analysis. So I’m going to ask my colleagues to comment on that matter and then move to...

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