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A Response to Climate Change and U.S. Interests

August 2011

Citation: ELR 10717

Author: Kristen A. Sheeran, Ph.D.

Economic analysis occupies a central role in national debates over climate and energy policy. As the scientific consensus on climate change becomes clear and unambiguous, the case for inaction on climate change is increasingly argued on grounds that it will be too costly to initiate more than token initiatives. While many scientists advocate stringent emissions targets aimed at stabilizing atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations during this century, recent economic models of climate change recommend a more cautious approach, involving only modest early actions to limit emissions with gradually increasing limits over time. Freeman and Guzman provide an excellent reckoning of the “fatal flaws” in economic analyses of climate change impacts that explain the disconnect between climate science and economics.

Kristen A. Sheeran is Executive Director of the Economics for Equity and the Environment Network.

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