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The consequences of climate change for society are analysed in this landmark assessment from the IPCC. This book assesses the available knowledge on the many issues that society has to face, including the international decision-making framework; applicability to climate change of techniques for assessing costs and benefits; the significant social costs of projected climate change; and the economic assessment of policy instruments to combat climate change, nationally and internationally. Some important conclusions of this Second Assessment Report indicate that 10 to 30% of greenhouse gas emissions in most countries can be reduced at negative or zero cost - 'no regrets' measures. Also, the literature indicates that climate change will cause aggregate net damage, which provides an economic rationale for going beyond 'no regrets' measures. It also indicates that a portfolio of mitigation, adaptation and research measures is a sound strategy for addressing climate change given the remaining uncertainties. This report speaks directly to the issues that are faced by the many countries committed to limit emissions of greenhouse gases by the year 2000, and currently negotiating actions to be taken beyond that date. Will be of great value to the international community of policymakers interested in the consequences of climate change, as well as to economists, social and natural scientists.
Summary for policymakers
1. Introduction: scope of the assessment
2. Decision-making frameworks for addressing climate change
3. Equity and social considerations
4. Intertemporal equity, discounting and economic efficiency
5. Applicability of techniques of cost-benefit analysis to climate change
6. The social costs of climate change: greenhouse damage and the benefits of control
7. A generic assessment of response options
8. Estimating the costs of mitigating greenhouse gases
9. A review of mitigation cost studies
10. Integrated assessment of climate change: an overview and comparison of approaches and results
11. An economic assessment of policy instruments for combating climate change
"… a wealth of clear, well-organized information that is all in one place … there is much to applaud."
- A. Alan Moghissi, Environment International
"The lack of emotive language and the scientific candour of the reports makes the information useful (especially the excellent summaries) for those keen to get behind the public rhetoric."
- TEG News