Climate change and the precautionary principle

Grant, Simon and Quiggin, John (2014). Climate change and the precautionary principle. In John Quiggin, David Adamson and Daniel Quiggin (Ed.), Carbon pricing: early experiences and future prospects (pp. 167-178) Cheltenham, United Kingdom: Edward Elgar Publishing. doi:10.4337/9781782547747.00025

Author Grant, Simon
Quiggin, John
Title of chapter Climate change and the precautionary principle
Title of book Carbon pricing: early experiences and future prospects
Place of Publication Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Publisher Edward Elgar Publishing
Publication Year 2014
Sub-type Critical review of research, literature review, critical commentary
DOI 10.4337/9781782547747.00025
Open Access Status
ISBN 9781782547730
Editor John Quiggin
David Adamson
Daniel Quiggin
Chapter number 10
Start page 167
End page 178
Total pages 12
Total chapters 10
Collection year 2015
Language eng
Abstract/Summary The problem of climate change has been described as 'a unique challenge for economics: it is the greatest and widest-ranging market failure ever seen' (Stern, 2007, p. i). Among the factors that make climate change a difficult problem, arguably the most important is uncertainty about the future course of climate change, and the effect of policies aimed at mitigating climate change. Although there is a large literature on the economic analysis of choice under uncertainty, many crucial issues are poorly understood by policymakers and the general public. In particular, uncertainty about climate change under 'business as usual' (BAU) policies is commonly seen as a reason for inaction. The widely used 'precautionary principle' suggests the contrary; early action is desirable. To resolve the conflict between these intuitions, it is necessary to consider in more detail the principles for choice in the face of environmental uncertainty and, particularly, the interpretation of the precautionary principle. The concept of the 'precautionary principle' has been the subject of vigorous debate. As with other contested concepts in environmental theory and policy, most notably that of 'sustainability,' the debate has proceeded in the absence of an agreed definition.
Keyword Economics and finance
Environmental economics
Climate change
Environmental economics
Environmental politics and policy
Politics and public policy
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Book Chapter
Collections: Official 2015 Collection
School of Economics Publications
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Created: Mon, 14 Jul 2014, 11:24:06 EST by Ms Dulcie Stewart on behalf of School of Economics