To achieve the greatest possible human welfare, SEI’s Climate and Regional Economics of Development (CRED) model calls for a rapid reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, beginning in the next decade and keeping cumulative twenty-first century carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions below 2,000 Gt (gigatonnes, or thousand million tons).

Key points

  • To make good decisions about an uncertain future, we need to know not only the most likely pace and economic impacts of global warming, but also the worst-case risks. In these crucial areas, the latest findings of climate scientists paint a more ominous picture than conventional climate economics.
  • A society that cares about the well-being of future generations will embrace an active policy of climate mitigation. The longer we take to reduce emissions, the more likely we are to bequeath serious climate damages to future generations.
  • Unless rich countries are willing to pay for emission-reduction efforts outside their borders, the high cost of lowering emissions will clash with the urgent need for poorer countries to raise living standards. International resource transfers are essential to achieving a good chance of staying below 2°C.

SEI’s CRED model addresses these goals in an economic analysis of climate policy options.

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