The ‘2° target’ – to limit the anthropogenically driven increase of global mean temperature to 2°C compared to preindustrial values – has been embraced under the UNFCCC framework at the Conference of the Parties 2010 in Cancún. In recent years, energy economics have derived welfare-optimal investment streams into low-emission energy mixes and associated costs. According to such analyses, auxiliary targets that are in line with the 2° target could be achieved at relatively low costs if energy investments were triggered rather swiftly.
While such analyses assume ‘perfect foresight’ of a benevolent ‘social planner’, an accompanying suite of experiments explicitly acknowledges the rather uncertain nature of key responses to human decisions within the climate as well as the technology system. We indicate an intrinsic need for generalisation within target approaches under uncertainty and highlight a thereby enforced convergence in approaches within climate economics. The role of uncertainty in decision-making is finally illustrated for the case of tipping point-like climate damages.
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A new experiment to unravel the Impact of Biodiversity and Climate Variability on the functioning of grasslands
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