Estimating the Costs of Mitigating Greenhouse Gas Emissions

David Montgomery
Charles River Associates

EDITOR'S NOTE: Montgomery states in his talk that it could be very expensive to try to meet near-term targets and timetables for emissions reductions, based on analyses of the economic impacts. He sites alternatives that can achieve the same climate goals at much lower costs, including: accumulating more scientific information about climate change; investing in research and development on energy efficient carbon-free energy supply technologies; avoiding placement of resources into very expensive near-term emission reductions, but instead putting them as a hedge into finding the kind of technologies that will make it possible to reduce emissions much more cheaply in the future; and planning for only very modest and very low-cost emission reductions in the near term, until these new energy sources become available. His contention is that such alternatives represent the best direction indicated by the analysis of the economic costs of emission reductions.

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