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The Economics and Politics of Climate Change Paperback – 15 Sep 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: OUP Oxford; Reprint edition (15 Sept. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0199606277
  • ISBN-13: 978-0199606276
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 3.3 x 15.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 483,418 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


Review from previous edition Successfully illustrate[s] the immense complexity of the problem...a valuable compendium (Sir Crispin Tickell, Financial Times)

Impressive (Roger Pielke Jr, Nature)

About the Author

Dieter Helm holds a number of advisory board appointments, including Chairman of the Academic Panel of the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and member of the Advisory Panel on Energy and Climate Security, Department for Energy and Climate Change. He was a member of the DTI Sustainable Energy Policy Advisory Board 2002-7 and of the Prime Minister's Council of Science and Technology 2004-7. He is an associate editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy. Dieter Helm's career to date has spanned academia, public policy, and business. He founded Oxera in 1982 and has published extensively on environmental, energy, infrastructure, and regulation topics.

Cameron Hepburn has advised several governments and international institutions on climate and environmental policy, and he currently serves on UK Defra's Academic Panel. He is an Associate Editor of the Oxford Review of Economic Policy, a Research Fellow at New College, Oxford, and he has over a decade's experience working on environmental issues and climate change, with a particular focus on emissions trading and carbon markets. He holds a DPhil (PhD) in economics from Oxford, and undergraduate degrees in law and engineering from the University of Melbourne.

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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Dr Stanislav Shmelev on 26 Jan. 2010
Format: Hardcover
A comprehensive treatise on economics and politics of climate change. The editors assembed a well-balanced collection of contributions from leading authors covering subjects as diverse as why so little has been achieved so far in the field of climate change policy; how counting consumption related emissions (as opposed to production based) in China leads to more accurate redistribution of responsibility for causing climate change; how limited are policy conclusions obtained with the help of the MARKAL energy system model; what are the the costs of renewable energy technologies, why energy efficiency is not free and what is a rebound effect; how the US experience in cap and trade systems and carbon taxes could help in reducing emissions and how the EU climate change policy has been evolving in recent years. A stimulating read, highly recommended.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Prashant Vaze on 26 April 2010
Format: Hardcover
It should come as no surprise that Helm and Hepburn two of the smartest thinkers in the energy, economics and climate have produced such a fine book. There are a number of chapters with some genuinally fascinating insights. Scott Barrett's chapter on the weaknesses on climate treaties enforcement has uncovered material that shows the Montreal Protocol on ozone depleting gases has had a greater effect on curbing greenhouse gas emissions (HCFC is an active greenhouse gas and an ozone depleting gas) than Kyoto and he shows what we can learn. Stern's chapter reflects on the changes in climate science since the third assessment report (which Stern's famous 2007 review was largely premised on). These suggest that targets should be tougher than current goals and we should seek to stabilise levels at 450-500ppmCO2 equivalent.

Helm himself has contributed a number of excellent chapters. His critique of the EU-ETS is devastating. He attacks it for its political gimmicks - like the alliterative 20% emissions cuts by 2020, for the short duration of phases 2 and 3 relative to the time horizon investment in new infrastructure is made, the lack of floor price for carbon. These are all valid criticisms but they don't answer the counter criticism of what better alternative we have and which we could negotiate in the few years in which we need to reduce emissions.

The chapters on Chinese climate policy and carbon capture and storage - largely drawn from existing US techniques - are an uncomfortable reminder to European readers about just how far ahead the US is in actually putting in place policies to make a decisive reduction in their emissions, and the validity of Chinese arguments that they should not be punished for being the world's workshop.

So why only four stars and not five?
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By L. Brisley on 10 Dec. 2009
Format: Hardcover
I highly recommend this book.

This book has 20 chapters written by some of the leading academic economists and political scientists in the field. In addition to the chapters by Dieter Helm and Cameron Hepburn, the authors include Nicholas Stern (who wrote the "Stern Review"), Ross Garnaut (who wrote the "Garnaut Review" in Australia), Robert Stavins (at Harvard) and a host of other leading academics from Harvard, MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, LSE etc etc. It takes the science as given, and looks at the economics (and politics) of doing something about climate change.

With such a high-powered list of authors, you'd expect it to be a good book, and it really is. But I have two main points to note:
1) Is that there really isn't all that much political science in the book, although the 2 chapters at the end are pretty readable and interesting.
2) My second is that it is pretty "serious" text that is probably directed at a more scholarly audience, rather than the average reader. In other words, this book is not a brief and simple overview of climate change policy. You probably need to know some economics (and maybe political science) to follow everything.

Also, not all the authors agree with each other, but you do get a sense of the debate among the experts. But despite my complaints, it nevertheless comes highly recommended and is a great source of info on the big questions like the merits of carbon taxes or emissions trading, or the economics of carbon capture and sequestration, or the idea that we should account for "imported emissions" embodied in goods that we bring in from abroad.The Economics and Politics of Climate Change
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 1 review
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Excellent book 28 Jan. 2011
By Interested student - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a relatively new student to the scene I found the book very informative. It is nicely broken down into a number of different topics, each of which is well discussed. I have read it cover to cover, it is a lot of material so it would serve as a good reference but also a relatively good read in its own right, very thought provoking. Occasionally it goes beyond the laymans expertise, especially with some economics but not for too long. As a new student it is easy to get a good picture from the book and I imagine if I was more informed I may have gleaned a bit more, nonetheless, it was my first environmental read and it has definitely ignited an interest in the subject.
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