A Precauctionary Strategy to Avoid Dangerous Climate Change is Affordable: 12 Reasons

  • Jeroen C. J. M. van den BerghEmail author
Part of the Studies in Ecological Economics book series (SEEC, volume 6)


There is a widespread sense that a sufficiently stringent climate mitigation policy, that is, a considerable reduction of greenhouse gas emissions to avoid extreme climate change, will come with very high economic costs for society. This is supported by many cost–benefit analyses (CBA) and policy cost assessments of climate policy. All of these, nevertheless, are based on debatable assumptions. This paper will argue instead that safe climate policy is not excessively expensive and is indeed cheaper than suggested by most current studies. To this end, climate CBA and policy cost assessments are critically evaluated, and as a replacement 12 complementary perspectives on the cost of climate policy are offered.


Climate change Policy CBA Integrated assessment models Social cost of carbon Solar energy Happiness 



Wouter Botzen, Laurens Bouwer, Frank Geels, John Gowdy, Stijn van den Heuvel, Richard Tol and two anonymous reviewers provided useful suggestions on the original, longer article.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.ICREABarcelonaSpain
  2. 2.Institute for Environmental Science and TechnologyUniversitat Autònoma de BarcelonaBarcelonaSpain
  3. 3.Faculty of Economics and Business Administration and Institute for Environmental StudiesVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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