Global warming and the Scottish economy: crisis or opportunity?

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It is not the intention of this paper, to investigate the consequences of global warming. I assume on the basis of the best information available (represented by the papers of the 1988 Toronto Conference, for example) that the human welfare costs of unhindered global warming will be so high (if not for this generation, then certainly for the next and later ones), that action will have to be taken both to prevent some additional warming and to adapt to warming that will already have occurred. Furthermore, the magnitude of global warming damage costs will be so high that the majority of technically feasible solutions (or at least ameliorative measures) will generate positive net returns to society. If these axioms are correct, then there is no need to assess each policy proposal for economicviability. That does not mean, however, that every feasible project to limit global warming should be undertaken. Such projects are costly, and so it is important to choose a package of measures that is the least costly for achieving any target level of limitation. In other words, we should choose cost effective measures. One aim of this paper is to provide some insight into how this cost effectiveness may be assessed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)53-60
Number of pages8
JournalQuarterly Economic Commentary
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 1990


  • global warming
  • Scottish economics
  • damage costs


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