Has the treasury omitted £300 million per year of extra climate impacts from its fuel duty reduction calculations?

Today the Treasury published its analysis of the dynamic effects of fuel duty reductions. The headline message of its analysis is that ‘these reductions in duty will increase GDP by between 0.3 and 0.5 per cent in the long-term’. Apart from a single short paragraph (section 3.25), the report does not mention pollution. It does not mentionContinue Reading and comment

Extreme Weather, Economics and the Arctic

Last Friday, the Guardian published a short piece by two colleagues and me in its EcoAudit ‘Why has British weather been so bad?’ Here is the complete piece that we sent to the Guardian, which includes a bit more about the scientific programme which is just starting to try to understand and better model theContinue Reading and comment

We need a strong and sustained carbon price to combat climate change

In Business Green last week Tom Burke argued that a narrow cost-benefit analysis and an obsession with carbon pricing is steering politicians away from the action climate change demands , but he appears to misunderstand what he is criticising. It is unfortunate that he should state “We have a very precise idea of what constitutesContinue Reading and comment

What Matt Ridley won’t tell you about climate change impacts

Matt Ridley has a short piece in this week’s Spectator entitled Why climate change is good for the world. In it, he draws heavily on one paper by the Climate Economist Richard Tol, claiming that this paper supports his view that climate change would be beneficial. Let’s leave aside for now that Tol is careful toContinue Reading and comment

‘An evidence-based approach to pricing CO2′ could benefit from some evidence

The Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) is a think-tank associated with noted climate dissentient Lord Lawson. So it is somewhat surprising to see it publishing a paper arguing for a carbon tax today. Most of the paper, by Ross McKitrick, is a standard and sound statement of the reasons why economists tend to favour aContinue Reading and comment

How much will the world benefit from Obama’s climate plan?

On 25 June 2013, President Obama made a major speech on climate change whose over-arching goal was to put the US on track to meet its commitment to cut carbon emissions 17% from 2005 levels by the end of the decade. It is by no means clear that the plan will succeed in this aim, butContinue Reading and comment

Is the US China HFC deal a big deal for the climate?

The BBC today reported a new US China deal to phase out HFCs, and claimed that it ‘could, by itself, curb global temperatures by 0.5 degrees Celsius. No small achievement.’ The White House Press release says the deal could ‘potentially reduce some 90 gigatons of CO2 equivalent by 2050, equal to roughly two years worth of current globalContinue Reading and comment

How do the new estimates of transient climate response affect the social cost of CO2?

A new paper by Otto et al in Nature Geoscience has made an updated estimate of the transient climate response (TCR) implied by the climate change we have observed from 1970 to 2009. It finds the TCR to lie in the range 0.7–2.5 °C, with a best estimate of 1.4 °C. This is somewhat lower thanContinue Reading and comment

The extra climate impacts of melting permafrost

UNEP today published a short report on the Policy Implications of Warming Permafrost. Although it contains a few estimates of the possible economic impacts in arctic communities, amounting to $3 – 6 billion, it does not contain any estimates of the far greater likely impacts around the world from the addition of many Megatonnes (Mt) of greenhouse gasesContinue Reading and comment

What is wrong with Lilley?

The Global Warming Policy foundation today published a pamphlet WHAT IS WRONG WITH STERN? The Failings of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change by Peter Lilley MP. Lilley criticises ‘Stern’s selective emphasis on alarmist interpretations and downplaying of uncertainties’ (p4). Richard Tol in his foreword claims that ’Lilley also reveals that the errors are systematic andContinue Reading and comment