Annual Ely lecture at AEA by Stern: is a copy available?

January 6, 2008 at 7:51 am | Posted in AEA, Climate change, Costs, Economics, Emissions reductions, Ethics, Greenhouse gases, Stern | 2 Comments

Climate Report Warnings ‘Underestimated’ Risks
January 5, 2008, David Wessel, WSJ

Sir Nicholas Stern says the warnings in the high-profile — and controversial — report he wrote on global climate change for the United Kingom government weren’t dire enough.

“We underestimated the risks,” he says.Sir Nicholas, now head of the U.K. Government Economic Service and Adviser to the Government on the economics of climate change and development, delivered the annual Richard T. Ely Lecture at the American Economics Association meeting in New Orleans on Friday [4 January 2008 – inel]. (Ely was one of the founders of the AEA.)

“We underestimated the flow of emissions from developing countries, especially China,” he said, observing that emissions of greenhouse gases from China over the next 25 years will equal the total emissions from the U.S. and Europe over the last century. Emissions from developing countries and developed countries must be capped, he said, but the ethics of allocating the pain are delicate. “If you’re consuming the goods, you can’t blame the location of the factory,” he argued.

Sir Nicholas said the cost of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases from the current trajectory would cost about 1% of global gross domestic product, a cost he said is manageable without undermining global prosperity. “This is not a low growth story. It’s a low carbon growth story,” he said.

That’s all from the Wall Street Journal blog. I wonder whether the full text of his lecture will be published online. It would be interesting to read the rest of his remarks, though I could not find any last night when I searched for a while. Any news?


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  1. I just found the new 2008 AEA Conference Papers Listings webpage that I guess Stern’s lecture may link from … I hope it does, in due course, appear as full text under this section:

    Friday, January 4, 4:45 PM
    Session: Richard T. Ely Lecture (AEA)
    Presiding: Avinash Dixit (Princeton University)

    Economics of Climate Change
    Nicholas Stern (HM Treasury, UK Government)

  2. Couldn’t find it either, but he discusses it in a submission to the Garnaut Review (with Cameron Hepburn).

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