From Now To 2100 Emission Reduction Policy Costs Greatly Exceed Any Net Benefit From Averted Warming

The benefits of not meeting Paris Accord emissions-reduction targets outweigh the costs associated even with worst-case-scenario global warming throughout the 21st century.

A new comprehensive analysis (Tol, 2023) weighs the cost-benefit of meeting Paris Accord emission policy targets to keep global warming in check, or under 2°C.

The analysis reveals that even in the best case scenarios (that assume emission reduction policies fully meet their avoided-warming targets), as well as in the worst case scenarios (that assume “constant vulnerability” to global-warming-induced climate disasters and widespread economic austerity), the tens of trillions of USD costs associated with moving away from fossil fuel consumption to reach net-zero emissions by 2050 (4.8% of GDP) still outweigh the net benefit losses (3.0% of GDP) in 2100.

“The central estimate of the costs of climate policy, unrealistically assuming least-cost implementation, is 3.8–5.6% of GDP in 2100. The central estimate of the benefits of climate policy, unrealistically assuming high no-policy emissions and constant vulnerability, is 2.8–3.2% of GDP.”

There is a nearly 10 times worse cost versus benefit if we only consider the net impact of best- and worst-case-scenario emissions reduction policies through 2050, which is the year it is assumed the world economy will have reached net-zero targets if all goes according to plan.

“In 2050, the year of net-zero, the best estimate of the benefits of the 1.5C target are about 0.5% of GDP while the costs are almost 5%.”

Of course, if the more realistic outcomes with regard to achieving emissions reduction targets eventuate, and if the global warming on tap for failing to achieve these targets is not as exaggeratedly hot as models assume (e.g., 5°C warming by 2100), the net costs of climate “action” exceed the benefits of avoided warming two-, three- and even four-fold.

Simply put, the “Paris targets do not pass the cost-benefit test.”

Image Source: Tol, 2023

8 responses to “From Now To 2100 Emission Reduction Policy Costs Greatly Exceed Any Net Benefit From Averted Warming”

  1. David Russell

    Once you believe the first lie, all the other lies follow. The first lie is that AGW is science. All the GCMs (official models that predict the future temperature) are running way too hot (past reality has been much less warming that predicted). Thus the whole cost/benefit exercise is moot. The earth is warming, but not from CO2 emissions for the very simple reason that multiple studies show that the warming comes first, then the rise of CO2 ppms. The rise in temperature therefore MUST be due to something other than CO2 emissions. Q.E.D. Thus all money spend to eliminate CO2 ppms is totally wasted.

    1. Richard Greene

      “Once you believe the first lie, all the other lies follow. The first lie is that AGW is science”

      AGW is science, and the science has existed for over a century. Your science claims are all false.

      It is true that CAGW is not science, and “climate change” is nothing more than a data-free predictions of CAGW

      Be careful to differentiate between AGW or CAGW or people will assume you are a crackpot. They will also assume that if you claim manmade CO2 emissions are not a climate forcing. Known for over a century. CO2 can also be a feedback. Both processes happen at the same time. You need to learn the difference. Conservatives who are science deniers, as you are, make it impossible to refute CAGW scaremongering.

      Sorry that I have annoyed you, but we conservatives are losing the CAGW debate and science denying does not help us. There is no science to support CAGW. There is science to support AGW, which includes four or five climate change variables not only CO2 emissions.

      Climate change consists of
      (1) Real Science
      (2) Junk Science
      (3) Wild Guess predictions of Climate Doom

      We conservatives have to learn to tell the difference.
      Leftists can not tell the difference, but we have to be smarter than them to win any debAtes (NOT THAT LEFTISTS ARE LIKELY TO DEBATE)

      The 1970s climate models, on average, when using the reasonable RCP 4.5 CO2 growth rate, have been very accurate for the 70 year predictions (1975 to 2045) so far.

      The publicized computer game predictions, using RCP 8.5 for 400 years, have a warming rate double the RCP 4.5 70 year predictions while using the SAME climate models.

      The model’s predictions are based on assumptions. Worst case assumption create scary predictions. But that does not change the fact that 1970s predictions for the next 70 years have been surprisingly accurate. Probably just a lucky guess.

      The IPCC does not discus the 70 year RCP4.5 predictions because they would not scare anyone. The IPCC was created to make scary climate predictions so that’s what we have heard since 1988.

  2. Just ... Wow!

    And someone still claims that the Irish have no sense of humor! The only catch: “Jeremy” only ever smiles when things get deadly serious for everyone else.

  3. Richard Greene

    Every statement by Mr. Russell is falsw : science denial

    There are no costs of rising CO2 levels related to climate change, only benefits, Greening of our planet, better plant growth and more moderate winter temperatures in colder nations, except Antarctica.

    But rising CO2 does have huge indirect costs: Money wasted fighting climate change and the transition to fascist or communist governments that leftists desire, and will need to try to implement Nut Zero … with claiming fighting climate change as their false excuse for Nut Zero.

  4. Ronald Clutz

    Good that Tol concludes costs of fighting climate change exceed benefits, but his number distort how expensive is the gap. Consider the costs estimated by World Bank

    World GDP is shown as 85 Trillion US$ in 2020. Costs of fighting climate change are projected at 98 Trillion by 2030, and 131 Trillion by 2050. That works out to 115% at 2030 and 151% by 2050.

    Show us the money before we get with the program.

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