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Title: Time preference in global warming calculations: A proposal for a unified index
Authors: Fearnside, Philip Martin
Keywords: Climate Change
Emission Control
Global Warming
Index Method
Measurement Method
Issue Date: 2002
metadata.dc.publisher.journal: Ecological Economics
metadata.dc.relation.ispartof: Volume 41, Número 1, Pags. 21-31
Abstract: Many aspects of the calculation of the impacts of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and the costs and benefits of possible response options are highly sensitive to the way in which time preference is incorporated into the computations. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) used global warming potentials (GWPs) to standardize inputs of different gases with differing radiative forcings and atmospheric lifetimes; in the results emphasized by the IPCC's Second Assessment Report, a 100-year time horizon and no discounting is used, and this has been adopted by the Kyoto Protocol for use in the first commitment period (2008-2012). Here an alternative unified index is proposed that assigns explicit weights to the interests of different generations. In contrast to discounting (including the zero discount rate used by the IPCC), the generationally weighted index forces policy makers to face the moral assumptions that underlie their choices related to global warming. © 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. All rights reserved.
metadata.dc.identifier.doi: 10.1016/S0921-8009(02)00004-6
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