The cumulative carbon budget and its implications

Date: 15 April 2016

The cumulative impact of carbon dioxide (CO 2 ) emissions on climate has potentially profound economic and policy implications. It implies that the long-term climate change mitigation challenge should be reframed as a stock problem, while the overwhelming majority of climate policies continue to focus on the flow of CO 2 into the atmosphere in 2030 or 2050. An obstacle, however, to the use of a cumulative carbon budget in policy is uncertainty in the size of this budget consistent with any specific temperature-based goal such as limiting warming to 2°C. This arises from uncertainty in the climate response to CO 2 emissions, which is relatively tractable, and uncertainty in future warming due to non-CO 2 drivers, which is less so. We argue these uncertainties are best addressed through ...

Myles Allen Richard Millar Joeri Rogelj Pierre Friedlingstein

Economics of Sustainability

The cumulative carbon budget and its implications


Type: paper

Millar, R., Allen, M., Rogelj, J., & Friedlingstein, P. (2016). 'The cumulative carbon budget and its implications'. Oxford Review of Economic Policy, 32(2), pp.323-342


View Document