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A missed opportunity: the Stern review on climate change fails to tackle the issue of non-substitutable loss of natural capital

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image for OpenScout resource :: A missed opportunity: the Stern review on climate change fails to tackle the issue of non-substitutable loss of natural capital

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The Stern Review on The Economics of Climate Change is one of the few cost-benefit analyses of climate change to come out in favour of immediate and decisive action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The choice of a low discount rate is the main reason for the Review’s divergence in conclusions compared to other economic studies. I argue that the Review’s ethical reasons for a low discount rate are defendable, but unlikely to find wider public support. In order to justify spending a large amount of scarce resources for the purpose of limiting climate change it is necessary to move beyond the discounting debate. Unfortunately, the Review did not develop a persuasive argument for why climate change threatens to inflict upon future generations irreversible and non-substitutable damage to and loss of natural capital. This represents a missed opportunity as it would have provided a much more compelling case for drastic action than the Review’s arguments for a low discount rate.

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en

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application/pdf

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http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/3059/1/A_missed_opportunity_%28LSERO%29.pdf

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