Climatic Change

, Volume 100, Issue 3–4, pp 769–778 | Cite as

Counting only the hits? The risk of underestimating the costs of stringent climate policy

A letter
  • Massimo TavoniEmail author
  • Richard S. J. Tol
Open Access


This paper warns against the risk of underestimating the costs—and the uncertainty about the costs—of achieving stringent stabilization targets. We argue that a straightforward review of integrated assessment models results produces biased estimates for the more ambitious climate objectives such as those compatible with the 2°C of the European Union and the G8. The magnitude and range of estimates are significantly reduced because only the most optimistic results are reported for such targets. We suggest a procedure that addresses this partiality. The results show highly variable costs for the most ambitious scenarios.


Climate Policy Abatement Cost Policy Cost Energy Econ Emission Reduction Cost 
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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Princeton Environmental InstitutePrinceton UniversityPrincetonUSA
  2. 2.Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei (FEEM)MilanItaly
  3. 3.Economic and Social Research InstituteDublinIreland
  4. 4.Institute for Environmental StudiesVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  5. 5.Department of Spatial EconomicsVrije UniversiteitAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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