The $10 trillion value of better information about the transient climate response

Philos Trans A Math Phys Eng Sci. 2015 Nov 13;373(2054):20140429. doi: 10.1098/rsta.2014.0429.


How much is better information about climate change worth? Here, I use PAGE09, a probabilistic integrated assessment model, to find the optimal paths of CO(2) emissions over time and to calculate the value of better information about one aspect of climate change, the transient climate response (TCR). Approximately halving the uncertainty range for TCR has a net present value of about $10.3 trillion (year 2005 US$) if accomplished in time for emissions to be adjusted in 2020, falling to $9.7 trillion if accomplished by 2030. Probabilistic integrated assessment modelling is the only method we have for making estimates like these for the value of better information about the science and impacts of climate change.

Keywords: climate change; integrated assessment modelling; value of information.