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Climate econometric models indicate solar geoengineering would reduce inter-country income inequality

TitleClimate econometric models indicate solar geoengineering would reduce inter-country income inequality
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsHarding A.R, Ricke K., Heyen D., MacMartin D.G, Moreno-Cruz J.
Date Published2020/01
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number2041-1723
Accession NumberWOS:000511916800005
Keywordsdamages; economic-growth; impacts; science; Science & Technology - Other Topics; temperature

Exploring heterogeneity in the economic impacts of solar geoengineering is a fundamental step towards understanding the risk tradeoff associated with a geoengineering option. To evaluate impacts of solar geoengineering and greenhouse gas-driven climate change on equal terms, we apply macroeconomic impact models that have been widely applied to climate change impacts assessment. Combining historical evidence with climate simulations of mean annual temperature and precipitation, we project socio-economic outcomes under high anthropogenic emissions for stylized climate scenarios in which global temperatures are stabilized or over-cooled by blocking solar radiation. We find impacts of climate changes on global GDP-per-capita by the end of the century are temperature-driven, highly dispersed, and model dependent. Across all model specifications, however, income inequality between countries is lower with solar geoengineering. Consistent reduction in inter-country inequality can inform discussions of the distribution of impacts of solar geoengineering, a topic of concern in geoengineering ethics and governance debates.

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