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Robert N. Stavins
A.J. Meyer Professor of Energy and Economic Development
phone: (617)495-1820
Book Chapters
Stavins, Robert N. "From the Science to the Economics and Politics of Climate Change: An Introduction." Our World and Us: How Our Environment and Our Societies Will Change. Ed. Katinka Barysch. Allianz Group, 2015, 20-36.
The science on climate change is pretty clear: if we stay on the current path and continue burning oil, coal and gas at present rates, the earth will eventually warm to what could be a catastrophic degree. Although many politicians and scientists largely agree on what would constitute a “safe” path towards mitigating climate change, there are economic consequences of such action. These consequences would be expensive, but they would not be unwarranted – given the alternatives. However, the fiendishly complicated politics of climate change have held back progress, in particular the once strict distinction between developed countries – which committed to cutting CO2 – and developing ones – which did not. Now that this distinction is blurring, the chances of moving towards a meaningful global agreement are rising.




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