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Climatic Change

, Volume 126, Issue 3–4, pp 337–349 | Cite as

Why are climate policies of the present decade so crucial for keeping the 2 °C target credible?

  • Baptiste Perrissin FabertEmail author
  • Antonin Pottier
  • Etienne Espagne
  • Patrice Dumas
  • Franck Nadaud
Article

Abstract

Decision-makers have confirmed the long term objective of preventing a temperature increase greater than 2 °C. This paper aims at appraising by means of a cost-benefit analysis whether decision makers’ commitment to meet the 2 °C objective is credible or not. Within the framework of a cost-benefit type integrated assessment model, we consider that the economy faces climate damages with a threshold at 2 °C. We run the model for a broad set of scenarios accounting for the diversity of “worldviews” in the climate debate. For a significant share of scenarios we observe that it is considered optimal to exceed the threshold. Among those “non-compliers” we discriminate ”involuntary non-compliers” who cannot avoid the exceedance due to physical constraint from ”deliberate compliers” for whom the exceedance results from a deliberate costs-benefit analysis. A second result is that the later mitigation efforts begin, the more difficult it becomes to prevent the exceedance. In particular, the number of ”deliberate non-compliers” dramatically increases if mitigation efforts do not start by 2020, and the influx of involuntary non-compliers become overwhelming f efforts are delayed to 2040. In light of these results we argue that the window of opportunity for reaching the 2 °C objective with a credible chance of success is rapidly closing during the present decade. Further delay in finding a climate agreement critically undermines the credibility of the objective.

Keywords

Climate Policy Climate Sensitivity Abatement Cost Damage Function Social Planner 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Supplementary material

10584_2014_1222_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (420 kb)
ESM 1 (DOCX 175 kb)

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Baptiste Perrissin Fabert
    • 1
    Email author
  • Antonin Pottier
    • 1
  • Etienne Espagne
    • 1
  • Patrice Dumas
    • 2
  • Franck Nadaud
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre International de Recherche sur l’Environnement et le Dveloppement (CIRED)Nogent-sur-MarneFrance
  2. 2.Centre International de Recherche Agronomique pour le Dveloppement (CIRAD)MontpellierFrance

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