News & Media
News and Media
The more aggressive world leaders are in curbing world carbon emissions, the greater the economic benefits will be, America’s largest network of independent climate economists argue.
In a new report entitled The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization, SEI researchers Frank Ackerman and Elizabeth A. Stanton, along with researchers from universities and think-tanks across the US, argue that a worldwide effort to lower atmospheric carbon concentrations to 350 parts per million is affordable: it can create more new jobs, spur more innovation and protect businesses, governments and households from the damages caused by the rapid heating of the earth.
Insurance against catastrophic climate change
The report concludes that the estimated cost of reaching a target of 350 parts per million is roughly equivalent to one to three percent of world gross domestic product. However, the financial, human and environmental cost of not stabilizing the earth at 350 parts per million over the next 200 years will likely be much greater.
- The reason people buy fire insurance is not because they are certain that their house will burn down; rather, it is because they cannot be certain that it won’t. A carbon target of 350 parts per million buys us insurance against catastrophic climate change, says Frank Ackerman, lead author of the report along with Elizabeth Stanton.
Emissions-free by 2050
To reach a target of 350 parts per million by 2200, the report finds that the world would have to be virtually emissions-free by mid-century.
- If we begin aggressive reforestation efforts combined with ending large-scale deforestation, and if we can develop new technologies such as carbon capture and storage to remove carbon from the atmosphere, we can achieve 350-partsper-million sooner and reduce the risks of catastrophic climate change.
Download report here (pdf, 2,66 mb)