[OPE] New Reports on The Costs of Climate Change

From: GERALD LEVY (gerald_a_levy@msn.com)
Date: Mon Jun 02 2008 - 16:05:08 EDT

New Reports on The Costs of Climate Change 
 Researchers at GDAE and SEI-US* have just released two major studies on the costs of climate change. 
“The Cost of Climate Change: What We’ll Pay if Global Warming Continues Unchecked” is a study of the costs of inaction for the U.S. economy by Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton.  Commissioned by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), this report presents both a detailed analysis of four major categories of climate costs, and comprehensive modeling of climate impacts on the economy as a whole.The detailed analysis shows that under business-as-usual conditions, with no new climate policies, the four cost categories – increased hurricane damages, residential real estate losses due to sea-level rise, increased energy costs, and water supply costs – will add up to $1.9 trillion (in today’s dollars), or 1.8 percent of U.S. output per year by 2100.   
The comprehensive modeling employs the PAGE model, used in the Stern Review. A revised version of the PAGE forecasts, created for this study, projects even greater impacts, as much as 3.6 percent of U.S. GDP, or $3.8 trillion in today’s dollars, by 2100. Even this larger figure is probably an underestimate, since some important impacts cannot be adequately captured in the model’s calculations. 
Contributing authors to the study are Jeremy Fisher and Bruce Biewald of Synapse Energy Economics, for the energy analysis, and Chris Hope and Stephan Alberth of Cambridge University’s Judge Business School, for the PAGE modeling.

The executive summary and the full text of the report are both available through GDAE and SEI-US. 

Two supporting technical reports are available for download:
Climate Change and the U.S. Economy: The Costs of Inaction, by the same authors, presents a more technical version of the analysis, which forms the basis for the NRDC report and presents additional explanation and documentation.
US climate change impacts from the PAGE2002 integrated assessment model used in the Stern report, by Chris Hope and Stephan Alberth, presents additional detail on the PAGE model and the modifications made for this report, along with sensitivity analyses.
 “The Caribbean and Climate Change: The Costs of Inaction” is a study by Ramón Bueno, Cornelia Herzfeld, Elizabeth A. Stanton, and Frank Ackerman.  Commissioned by Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), this is the first detailed analysis of the potential economic effects of continued climate change for the entire Caribbean region. The report compares two possibilities -- an optimistic rapid stabilization case and a pessimistic business-as-usual case – and focuses on three categories of effects:  hurricane damages, loss of tourism revenue, and infrastructure damage due to sea-level rise.  
The costs of inaction, or the difference between these two scenarios, are the potential savings from acting in time to prevent the worst economic consequences of climate change.  The report points out that, although Caribbean nations have contributed little to the release of the greenhouse gases that drive climate change, they will pay a heavy price for global inaction in reducing emissions
Key findings of the report include:

The costs of inaction will amount to 22 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for the Caribbean as a whole by 2100;
The costs of inaction will reach an astonishing 75 percent or more of GDP by 2100 in Dominica, Grenada, Haiti, St. Kitts & Nevis and Turks & Caicos; 
The Caribbean’s largest island, Cuba, faces a nearly 13 percent economic hit by mid-century, and a 27 percent loss by 2100, unless there is swift action to address climate change;  
Losses from inaction would be less severe but still significant in Puerto Rico, reaching nearly 3 percent by 2050 and 6 percent by the end of the century;  
The nation of Colombia, with its long Caribbean coastline, faces permanent flooding of 1,900 square miles in low-lying coastal areas, affecting 1.4 million people. 
The executive summary and the full text of the report, in both English and Spanish, are available at GDAE and SEI-US
Read more about GDAE's work on the Economics of Climate Change ____________________*GDAE is the Global Development and Environment Institute; SEI-US is the Stockholm Environment Institute-US Center. Both are research institutes at Tufts University.

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