Author(s): Ackerman, F.; Stanton, E.A.; DeCanio, S.J.; Goodstein, E.; Howarth, R.B.; Norgaard, R.B.; Norman, C.S; Sheeran, K.A.
In: Ackerman, F., E.A. Stanton, S.J. DeCanio, E. Goodstein, R. Howarth, R.B. Norgaard, C.S. Norman, K.A. Sheeran (2009). The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization. Report commissioned by the E3 Network.
Link to SEI author(s):
The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization
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, Ackerman says.
Download report here (pdf, 2,66 mb)