Economic damages from on-going climate change imply deeper near-term emission cuts

Schultes, A., Piontek, F., Soergel, B., Rogelj, J. ORCID:, Baumstark, L., Kriegler, E., Edenhofer, O., & Luderer, G. (2021). Economic damages from on-going climate change imply deeper near-term emission cuts. Environmental Research Letters 16 (10) e104053. 10.1088/1748-9326/ac27ce.

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Project: Exploring National and Global Actions to reduce Greenhouse gas Emissions (ENGAGE, H2020 821471), Assessment of Cross(X)-sectoral climate Impacts and pathways for Sustainable transformation (AXIS, H2020 776608)


Pathways toward limiting global warming to well below 2 ∘C, as used by the IPCC in the Fifth Assessment Report, do not consider the climate impacts already occurring below 2 ∘C. Here we show that accounting for such damages significantly increases the near-term ambition of transformation pathways. We use econometric estimates of climate damages on GDP growth and explicitly model the uncertainty in the persistence time of damages. The Integrated Assessment Model we use includes the climate system and mitigation technology detail required to derive near-term policies. We find an optimal carbon price of $115 per tonne of CO2 in 2030. The long-term persistence of damages, while highly uncertain, is a main driver of the near-term carbon price. Accounting for damages on economic growth increases the gap between the currently pledged nationally determined contributions and the welfare-optimal 2030 emissions by two thirds, compared to pathways considering the 2 ∘C limit only.

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Integrated Assessment and Climate Change (IACC)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Transformative Institutional and Social Solutions (TISS)
Depositing User: Michaela Rossini
Date Deposited: 22 Oct 2021 17:59
Last Modified: 26 Jan 2022 10:44

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