Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

Working Papers in Economics,
University of Bergen, Department of Economics

No 05/10: Climate Engineering: Cost benefit and beyond

Kjetil Gramstad () and Sigve Tjøtta ()
Additional contact information
Kjetil Gramstad: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, 5007 Bergen, Norway
Sigve Tjøtta: University of Bergen, Postal: Department of Economics, Fosswinckelsgt. 14, 5007 Bergen, Norway

Abstract: International efforts on abating climate change, focusing on reductions of greenhouse gas emissions, have thus far proved unsuccessful. This motivates exploration of other strategies such as climate engineering. We modify the Dynamic Integrated model of Climate and the Economy (DICE), and use it in a cost-benefit analysis of climate engineering specifically deposition of sulphur in the stratosphere. The model simulations show that climate engineering passes a cost-benefit test. The cost of postponing climate engineering by 20-30 years is relatively low. Going beyond these standard cost-benefit analyses, climate engineering may still fail. Voters may dislike the idea of climate engineering; they do not like the idea of tampering with nature, and their dislike stands independent of outcomes of cost-benefit analyses.

Keywords: Climate change; climate engineering; cost-benefit analyses; public choice.

JEL-codes: Q54; Q58

25 pages, September 1, 2010

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