Response to Carter et al.

John F. Mitchell, Julia Slingo, David S. Lee, Jason A. Lowe & Vicky Pope

Published: March 2007

This article has been written at the initiative of UK climate scientists, from both the academic sector and the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in response to an article in the previous issue of World Economics by Carter et al., which was part of a ‘Dual Critique’ of the Stern Review of the Economics of Climate Change. The criticisms of Carter et al. concerning the Stern Review’s presentation of the climate science have been challenged and found to seriously misrepresent the current state of knowledge. Furthermore, the latest Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, whose Summary for Policy Makers was published in February 2007, vindicates the approach used in the Stern Review. The authors show in this paper that the Stern Review did not use an exaggerated response to increases in greenhouse gases nor did it overstate the certainty with which current warming can be attributed to human activities. They therefore conclude that the findings of the Stern Review with respect to the science of climate change are fundamentally sound and form a proper basis for the subsequent analysis of economic risk.

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