Reading: The Stern Review on the Economics of Climate Change Part 3

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A reading from the ‘Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change’ by economist Nicholas Stern for the Government of the United Kingdom which contains discussions on the need to stabilise greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations and the subsequents cost of doing the same. The reading is subdivided into seven chapters, as follows:

  1. Projecting the growth of greenhouse gas emissions: This chapter discusses the past drivers of global emissions growth and a future prediction with ‘business-as-usual’ scenario in case of climate policy inaction.  [pp 169 – 192 (as per table of contents) or pp 214- 237 (as per scrolling)]
  2. The challenge of stabilisation: This chapter details steps that can be taken to stabilise GHG emissions and the cost of delay. [pp 193 – 210 (as per table of contents) or pp 238 – 255 (as per scrolling)]
  3. Identifying the costs of mitigation: This chapter looks at how mitigation costs are identified for various methods to reduce GHG emissions, who will pay for them, and what will be the long-term impacts of GHG cost-cutting. [pp 211 – 238 (as per table of contents) or pp 256 – 283(as per scrolling)]
  4. Macroeconomic models of costs: This chapter goes into the modelling approaches to calculate costs, the factors that may impact these costs, and how GHG emission cost-cutting might affect GDP. [pp 239 – 252 (as per table of contents) or pp 284 – 297 (as per scrolling)]
  5. Structural change and competitiveness: This chapter looks at the impacts of climate-change policies about market structure, trade, location and industrial emissions on market competitiveness.  [pp 253 – 268 (as per table of contents) or pp 298 – 313(as per scrolling)]
  6. Opportunities and wider benefits from climate policies: This chapter looks at the benefits and opportunities of climate change action for various industries and services and how it will impact the overall financial market.  [pp 269 -283 (as per table of contents) or pp 314 – 328 (as per scrolling)]
  7. Towards a goal for climate change policy: This chapter looks at cost-benefit analysis and climate change policy in the long run with a focus on fast changes to avoid adverse risks.  [pp 284 – 307 (as per table of contents) or pp 329 – 352(as per scrolling)]

Students will learn the cause of the rise in greenhouse gas emissions and how, due to advancement in energy technology, income growth is no longer solely dependent on emission growth. They will also learn that the benefits of climate change policies for markets and industries outweigh its costs in the long-run. 

Use this tool to help your students find answers to:

  1. What will happen if we continue with the ‘business-as-usual’ scenario of greenhouse gas emissions?
  2. State cost-effective methods and techniques to reduce greenhouse gas emission.
  3. How does The Review calculate marginal costs and marginal benefits of climate change policy?

About the Tool

Tool NamePart III: The economics of stabilisation from Stern Review: The Economics of Climate Change 
Topic(s) in DisciplineEconomics of Climate Change, Macroeconomics, Microeconomics, International Economics, Integrated Assessment Model, Cost-Benefit Analysis, Economic Policy, Competitive Market Policies
Climate TopicEnergy, Economics and Climate Change; Climate Mitigation and Adaptation; Policies, Politics and Environmental Governance
Type of toolReading (pp 168 to 307) –  as per table of content; (pp 213 – 352) – as per scrolling
Grade LevelUndergraduate, Graduate
Developed byNicholas Stern
Hosted atGrupo de Pesquisa em Mudancas Climaticas (GPMC), Brazil
Computer SkillsBasic
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