Integrating economics into climate change timescales

Economic models of climate change need to apply over timescales that are unfamiliar to economists. For example, consider the fundamental changes in global economic structures from 1900 to 2000. With the climate changing over timescales of 50-100 years, then economic models must also be applicable over this length of time. Conventional economics, used to dealing with immediate timescales, assumes that future economic structure is likely to be constant and at an equilibrium. Climate change researchers need new techniques of modelling non-equilibrium economic systems. Dr Jonathan Köhler from Tyndall Centre HQ and Cambridge University’s School of Applied Economics is exploring nonequilibrium modelling for climate change policy analysis. In particular, he is identifying ways of applying non-equilibrium modelling methods from other disciplines and subject areas, such as mathematical ecology. In 2004, this project will convene an international workshop to set the agenda for the next generation of economic models of climate change policies. The workshop will review current non-equilibrium methods in economics; current methods in the economics of climate change; applications of current methods to the Integrated Assessment of climate change policy, and implications for international negotiations and agreements for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases. The economics workshop provides important input to the Tyndall Centre’s overarching research theme of integrated assessment of climate change. It builds on a previous climate change and economics workshop convened by the Environment Agency on 2003.

The Tyndall Centre is exploring the new economic understanding needed to make climate change policies for long-term timescales.

More information
Contact the lead investigator of Project IT3.16 (Conference on the application of non-equilibrium techniques to the economics of climate change policy analysis): Dr Jonathan Köhler Tyndall Centre HQ Zuckerman Institute for Connective Environmental Research University of East Anglia Norwich NR4 7TJ Tel: 01223 335289 Email: Other researchers involved in this project are: Professor John Schellnhuber and Dr Alex Haxeltine, Tyndall Centre HQ Terry Barker, Department of Applied Economics, Cambridge University

Useful Websites
Technical change for long-term economic models. Tyndall Working Paper 15 How high are the costs of Kyoto for the US economy? Tyndall working Paper 4 Cambridge University’s Department of Applied Economics Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research Environment Agency Project duration: September 2003 – September 2004

Round 3