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Modeling Climate Policies: The Social Cost of Carbon and Uncertainties in Climate Predictions

  • Mathias Frisch
Chapter

Abstract

This chapter examines two approaches to climate policy: expected utility calculations and a precautionary approach. The former provides the framework for attempts to calculate the social cost of carbon (SCC). The latter approach has provided the guiding principle for the United Nations Conference of Parties from the 1992 Rio Declaration to the Paris Agreement. The chapter argues that the deep uncertainties concerning the climate system and climate damages make the exercise of trying to calculate a well-supported value for the SCC impossible. Moreover, cost-benefit analyses are blind to important moral dimensions of the climate problem. Yet it is an open question to what extent an alternative, precautionary approach can result in specific policy recommendations such as the temperature targets of the Paris agreement.

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathias Frisch
    • 1
  1. 1.Institut für PhilosophieLeibniz Universität HannoverHannoverGermany

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