Global Warming

Global Warming, Kyoto Protocol and sustainable development: methodological, economic and institutional aspects

The scientific debate under way did not succeed so far in integrating the economic analysis of the interaction between economic growth and climate change with the issues concerning the choice of the optimal policy strategy. To do so, it is necessary to clarify a few methodological issues that have been studied insufficiently: in particular the role of uncertainty, the strategic tension between short period and long period and the irreversibility of many consequences of the interaction between climate change and economic growth.
In addition there is the need to better integrate the analysis of economic, energy and environmental policy with the institutional aspects that determine its effective success. This research aims to contribute to filling both gaps.
This should in turn contribute to clarifying which is the best policy strategy to be adopted in order to minimize the economic, environmental and social costs of global warming and, at the same time, to providing some clarification of the optimal institutional framework that should be developed in order to efficiently implement such a strategy.
The approach adopted in this research consists in the implementation of an interdisciplinary and integrated analysis on the several issues raised by the topic at stake from the point of view of sustainable development. The investigation is articulated at two levels in order to cope with the complexity of the theme in the best possible way. The first level of analysis will be based on simple models each of which is meant to shed light on specific crucial issues. At the second level, the insights deriving from such models will be used in order to identify some specific policy suggestions for policy-makers, with a special reference for the EU perspectives, in the way towards the definition of the new climate change institutional, legal and economic regime for post-2012.