Targets for global climate policy: An overview

Richard S.J. Tol*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalShort surveyAcademicpeer-review


A survey of the economic impact of climate change and the marginal damage costs shows that carbon dioxide emissions are a negative externality. The estimated Pigou tax and its growth rate are too low to justify the climate policy targets set by political leaders. A lower discount rate or greater concern for the global distribution of income would justify more stringent climate policy, but would imply an overhaul of other public policies. Catastrophic risk justifies more stringent climate policy, but only to a limited extent.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)911-928
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Economic Dynamics and Control
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 2013


  • Climate change
  • Climate policy
  • First-best


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