The Knowledge to Act


Latest study rebuts critics of Global Commission Report on climate and economics

Share This


WINNIPEG—September 19, 2014—Global warming can be kept to agreed levels (below 2C) without hurting economic development. U.S. policy-makers therefore need to redo their math and can afford to bolster their climate change policies to take more aggressive steps to mitigate climate change.

This is according to a newly released independent analysis based on a leading climate-economics model, and rebuts critics of the recently released New Climate Economy report by the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate.

The DICE Model Reassessment, developed by Dr. Robert Repetto, an International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) and United Nations Foundation senior fellow and Dr. Robert Easton, professor emeritus of applied mathematics at the University of Colorado, analyzed the most prominent climate economics assessment model (DICE), and found that recent estimates used by the U.S. and others prove to be too pessimistic about the ability to balance efforts to fight climate change while maintaining economic growth.

The analysis reveals that if major emitting nations, such as the USA, adopt efficient policies to reduce emissions, world output over the period 2010-2050 would expand at 2.28% percent per year and warming would stabilize below a 2 degree increase. That is virtually the same rate, 2.31% per year, at which GDP would grow if global warming were not kept to safe limits. However, in the more protective scenario, emissions per unit of output would decline more than twice as rapidly.

A subsequent phase of the work is now underway which will apply probability distributions to some of the key variables, to see how incorporating uncertainty in the model (that reflects the uncertainty seen in the climate science and economics literature) will affect the model’s results. 

For more information please contact Sumeep Bath, media and communications officer, at or +1 (204) 958 7740.

About the International Institute for Sustainable Development

The International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD) is an independent think tank that delivers the knowledge to act. Our mission is to promote human development and environmental sustainability. Our big-picture view allows us to address the root causes of some of the greatest challenges facing our planet today – ecological destruction, social exclusion, unfair laws and economic and social rules, a changing climate. With offices in Winnipeg, Geneva, Ottawa and Toronto, our work impacts lives in nearly 100 countries.

For more information, please contact: or +1 (613) 238 2296 ext. 114