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Environmental Values

Values in the Economics of Climate Change

Michael Toman

Environmental Values 15(2006): 365-379. doi: 10.3197/096327106778226310


Economics has played an important role in assessing climate change impacts, and the effects of various individual and policy response strategies. Proponents of a key role for economics in analysis of climate change policies and goals argue that its capacity to incorporate and compare a variety of costs and benefits makes it uniquely useful for normative assessment. Critics of economic analysis of climate change have questioned not only its empirical capacities, but also its fundamental usefulness given some of the important but often implicit assumptions on which it is based. After reviewing this debate and its implications for public policy on climate change, the paper sketches a way in which more technical economic analysis and public dialogue might be combined.

KEYWORDS: Climate change economics, integrated assessment, cost benefit analysis, discounting, sustainability

CITATIONS in other Environmental Values articles

Ethics and Climate Change: A Commentary on MacCracken, Toman and Gardiner.Peter Singer

Editorial. Clive L. Spash

Why Worry About Climate Change? A Research Agenda. Richard S.J. Tol

Wrongful Harm to Future Generations: The Case of Climate Change.Marc D. Davidson

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