Author(s): Stanton, E. A., R. Bueno, and M. Davis.
In: Stanton, E. A., R. Bueno, and M. Davis. 2011. Real People, Real Impacts: The Climate Impact Equity Lens. SEI Policy Brief.
Type: Policy brief
Link to SEI author(s):
Real People, Real Impacts: The Climate Impact Equity Lens (Policy brief)
CIEL compares an individual’s climate damages in a given year to her savings from not reducing emissions, based on the best information at our disposal. CIEL does not predict exact dollar impacts in the future, but rather seeks to illustrate the extent of potential climate damages on individuals and the surprising diversity of projected impacts on people in different places and under different circumstances around the world.
- Policymakers often rely on economic models of climate change impacts on the world as a whole, or large regions, but these aggregate figures – and the per capita averages they produce – do not reflect the wide range of projected climate outcomes, or the severity of impacts on some people.
- The Climate Impact Equity Lens (CIEL), developed by SEI, makes it possible to look at climate impacts for real people instead of regional averages. It looks at a future in which nothing is done to prevent dangerous climate change and identifies net “winners” and “losers” based on whether the emission-reduction costs avoided are greater or lower than climate damages.
- Climate policy focused on protecting the most vulnerable individuals – some of whom are already suffering net losses – would be far more stringent than policy based on global or regional averages. In the short run, however, most people worldwide still have net gains from inaction.
- In the long run, almost everyone will be a net “loser” from climate change. By 2100, the majority of the global population will be suffering net losses from climate change in the absence of a deliberate, far-reaching climate policy to control greenhouse gas emissions.
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