​Chichilnisky, Graciela & Armon Rezai, eds. (2020) Handbook on the Economics of Climate Change. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar. 464 pp.

​ISBN: 978-0-85793-905-0

Asbjørn Torvanger


Read more about this book: www.elgaronline.com

​Over the last few decades the economics of climate change has grown into a large literature, so a single handbook can only cover a few topics. This handbook includes 18 chapters. The first part – on political economy – analyzes distributional effects due to co-benefits of climate policy (reduced air pollution and recycling of a carbon tax) and provides an assessment of a climate policy toolbox for China. In a suite of three papers a 'resource curse' lens is used to analyze how multinational corporations can induce resource overuse in resource-rich developing countries, where only the last paper has a clear relation to climate, with over-use of the atmosphere as a case. The second part focuses on integrated assessment models with chapters discussing the introduction of a stronger spatial dimension in such models, a methodology to assess adaptation to sea-level rise in coastal cities, the effect on optimal climate policy from different assumptions on climate damage related to economic growth, the need for regional differentiation of a global carbon tax, and the effect of ecological tipping points and choice of reference level. The third part covers climate change and sustainability, with chapters on how democratic processes can handle the risk of a climate crisis, how climate policies and energy growth can lead to cyclical growth and output crashes, the combination of economic growth and sustainability, and building on commonalities and transformational change, the role of altruism across generations to solve the climate problem, combining efficient investments and resource extraction with equity concerns, and a climate modeling strategy putting more emphasis on being less precise but more 'truthful'. Altogether, this Handbook is an interesting and useful supplement to a fast-growing literature.