Expert fiddling

Stuart Macdonald 04 April 2010

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Are academics telling porkies? Are drugs really less dangerous than horse-riding? Are Himalayan glaciers really melting? Politicians are beginning to wonder – which can do little for their faith in evidence-based policy.

Of course, academics never could give straight answers to such questions. Modulation is inherent in any answer and is amplified by transfer to the political arena, which should hardly shock politicians.

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Topics:  Environment Frontiers of economic research

Tags:  climate change, Copenhagen, academia

Long live the Kyoto Protocol

Richard S J Tol 23 January 2010

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The 15th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which met last month in Copenhagen, is widely considered to have failed. After two weeks, negotiators returned home with vague pledges and unfinished drafts. The only firm commitment is to meet again in another year.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  Kyoto Protocol, climate change, Copenhagen

Two good news from Copenhagen?

Carlo Carraro, Emanuele Massetti 15 January 2010

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As many analysts predicted, the Copenhagen summit held in December 2009 did not achieve the lofty goals that were set for it years ago. It failed to produce a legally binding agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol after 2012 (Stravins 2009, Doniger 2009). But it did make progress.

Indeed, a realistic assessment must admit that the outcome of the summit could have not been different. Hopes for a more ambitious result were not based on the reality on the ground. There are three insurmountable obstacles:

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  Copenhagen, Global climate cooperation

Identifying a fair deal on climate change

Nancy Birdsall, Arvind Subramanian, Dan Hammer 14 December 2009

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What constitutes a fair deal between the developed and developing countries on climate change – including for example between the US on the one hand and China and India on the other? In the academic and policy literature, the answer to this question is emissions-focussed and mostly arbitrary.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, Copenhagen, climate justice

Kick-starting the green innovation machine

Reinhilde Veugelers, Philippe Aghion, David Hemous 09 December 2009

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The reality of climate change is no longer a contentious issue. The debate concerns the growth consequences of climate-change containment. Economists have not tackled this debate very well, largely disregarding the innovation factor by ignoring the fact that the portfolio of technologies available tomorrow to adapt to and mitigate climate change depends on what is done today.

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Topics:  Environment

Tags:  climate change, innovation, Copenhagen

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