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Greenhouse economics and the costs of global warming

Fankhauser, Samuel; (1994) Greenhouse economics and the costs of global warming. Doctoral thesis (Ph.D), UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

My thesis deals with the economics of global warming. It focuses mainly, but not exclusively, on an aspect which has perhaps gained less attention in the literature so far, the economic costs of "greenhouse damage". The thesis is structured into five parts. Part I reviews the existing literature on greenhouse economics, including a first overview of work dealing with the economic costs of global warming. Part II then assesses the costs of global warming associated with a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration, the benchmark typically used by scientists to assess the physical impacts of climate change. Part III provides estimates of the marginal damage per tonne of emission for several greenhouse gases, figures which are of importance for the assessment of individual abatement projects. The calculations are based on a stochastic greenhouse damage model in which all key parameters are random. It therefore also allows insights into the likelihood of different damage cost scenarios. Part IV picks out one particular aspect of greenhouse damage—sea level rise—and studies it in more detail. Sea level rise is a good example of the fact that a part of greenhouse costs are not damage costs as such, but arise from the implementation of damage mitigation strategies, such as the erection of sea walls. In addition to providing a more detailed assessment of the economic costs of sea level rise, Part IV also analyses the relative role of protection and mitigation expenditures within the total costs of sea level rise. Part V (written jointly with Snorre Kverndokk of Statistics Norway) finally offers an illustration of how the costs and benefits of abatement ought to be put together to determine the socially optimal result. It introduces a stylised model of greenhouse gas negotiations, in which countries negotiate to reach a socially optimal greenhouse treaty.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Qualification: Ph.D
Title: Greenhouse economics and the costs of global warming
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Thesis digitised by ProQuest.
Keywords: Social sciences; Earth sciences; Global warming; Greenhouse economics
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10099601
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