EERH Public Seminar - Uncertainty, Ethics, and the Economics of Climate Change


Event details

Public Lecture

Date & time

Wednesday 04 November 2009


Lecture Theatre, Innovations Building 124, Eggleston Rd, ANU


Professor Rich Howarth, Pat and John Rosenwald Professor, Dartmouth College, U.S.A.


Meredith Bacon
612 50556
Climate change is a long-term, complex problem involving fundamental uncertainties. Evaluating climate change policies thus depends critically on links among time preference, risk aversion, and the perceived rights of future generations. Economic models assume high time preference rates and low risk aversion, and support only modest reductions in greenhouse gas emissions. This presentation, in contrast, argues that aggressive climate stabilization policies are justified on two grounds. First, people reveal high rates of risk aversion in real-world market decisions, so reducing climate risks provides highly valuable economic benefits. Second, not stabilizing climate would impose large, uncompensated costs on future generations, which violates the moral premise that future generations are entitled to protection against uncompensated, potentially catastrophic harms.

Rich Howarth joined Dartmouth College’s Environmental Studies Program in 1998 and is Editor-in-Chief of Ecological Economics. His work emphasizes the interface between economic theory and the ecological, moral, and social dimensions of environmental issues, with focuses on energy use, climate change, and ecological conservation

Drinks and nibbles will be served after the seminar until 6.45. Please RSVP for catering purposes to, T. 6125 0556, by c.o.b. Friday 30 October.

This public seminar is sponsored by the Environmental Economics Research Hub based at the Crawford School

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