Gauging economic consensus on climate change

The authors conducted a large-sample global survey on climate economics, which we sent to all economists who have published climate-related research in the field’s highest-ranked academic journals; 738 responded. To their knowledge, this is the largest-ever expert survey on the economics of climate change. The survey findings suggest that economic experts are increasingly alarmed about the threat that climate change poses to the global economy, even compared to significant levels of concern expressed five years ago. Respondents in our survey predict a number of problematic impacts from climate change, including increased inequality both between and within countries, a reduction in the global economic growth rate, and significant economic damages under all climate scenarios presented. This survey reveals a strong consensus that bold climate mitigation strategies (including mid-century net-zero GHG targets) are likely to be economically justified. These findings help clarify the level of consensus on key climate issues among economic experts. The results can be useful to both policymakers and economic researchers; both groups should heed the clear call for immediate and meaningful efforts to reduce emissions and limit the enormous economic risks of climate change.

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