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Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change

Aurélie Méjean (), Antonin Pottier (), Stéphane Zuber and Marc Fleurbaey ()
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Aurélie Méjean: CIRED - Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement - Cirad - Centre de Coopération Internationale en Recherche Agronomique pour le Développement - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - AgroParisTech - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - Université Paris-Saclay - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Antonin Pottier: CES - Centre d'économie de la Sorbonne - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
Marc Fleurbaey: PSE - Paris School of Economics - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement, PJSE - Paris Jourdan Sciences Economiques - UP1 - Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne - ENS Paris - École normale supérieure - Paris - PSL - Université Paris sciences et lettres - EHESS - École des hautes études en sciences sociales - ENPC - École des Ponts ParisTech - CNRS - Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique - INRAE - Institut National de Recherche pour l’Agriculture, l’Alimentation et l’Environnement

Université Paris1 Panthéon-Sorbonne (Post-Print and Working Papers) from HAL

Abstract: Climate change raises the issue of intergenerational equity. As climate change threatens irreversible and dangerous impacts, possibly leading to extinction, the most relevant trade-off may not be between present and future consumption, but between present consumption and the mere existence of future generations. To investigate this trade-off, we build an integrated assessment model that explicity accounts for the risk of extinction of future generations. We compare different climate policies, which change the probability of catastrophic outcomes yielding an early extinction, within the class of variable population utilitarian social welfare functions. We show that the risk of extinction is the main driver of the preferred policy over climate damages. We analyze the role of inequality aversion and population ethics. Usually a preference for large populations and a low inequality aversion favour the most ambitious climate policy, although there are cases where the effect of inequality aversion is reversed.

Keywords: Climate change; Catastrophic risk; Equity; Population; Climate-economy model (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-11-29
Note: View the original document on HAL open archive server: https://halshs.archives-ouvertes.fr/halshs-03029883
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Related works:
Working Paper: Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change (2020)
Working Paper: Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change (2020)
Working Paper: Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change (2020)
Working Paper: Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change (2017) Downloads
Working Paper: Intergenerational equity under catastrophic climate change (2017) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:hal:cesptp:halshs-03029883

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