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Copenhagen Consensus Center

Second Copenhagen Consensus: Global Warming Assessment, Yohe Toll et al

Assessment Paper

An Assessment Paper on Global Warming was prepared for the second Copenhagen Consensus by Gary W. Yohe, Richard S.J. Tol, Richard G. Richels, and Geoffrey J. Blanford. The working paper used by the Expert Panel is available for download here, the finalized paper has been published in Global Crises, Global Solutions: Costs and Benefits through Cambridge University Press.

Short Summary

Global warming is a major global challenge, which could increase food and water insecurity for many millions of people in the developing world and cause trillions of dollars worth of damage to the world economy. An affordable, cost-effective package of measures would not only start the process of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but would also enable other Copenhagen Consensus challenges to be properly addressed.

Many people believe this is the world’s biggest problem and solving it should be the top priority. This research shows that even the most extreme mitigation efforts (reducing carbon emissions through taxes) would not guarantee the worst damage of warming. 

This is in line with recent IPCC findings – but the paper goes further and fills in the gaps about the mixture of spending that would provide value for money. One solution it proposes is mixing adaptation and mitigation approaches with greater research and development into greener technology resulting in high returns.