Climate Policies Under Climate Model Uncertainty: Max-Min and Min-Max Regret

Jan 2017 | 187

Authors: Rick Van der Ploeg Armon Rezai


Temperature responses and optimal climate policies depend crucially on the choice of a particular climate model. To illustrate, the temperature responses to given emission reduction paths implied by the climate modules of the well-known integrated assessments models DICE, FUND and PAGE are described and compared. A dummy temperature module based on President Trump’s climate sceptic view is added. Using a simple growth model of the global economy, the sensitivity of the optimal carbon price, renewable energy subsidy and energy transition to each of these climate models is discussed. The paper then derives max-min, max-max and min-max regret policies to deal with this particular form of climate uncertainty and with climate scepticism. The max-min or min-max regret climate policies rely on a non-sceptic view of global warming and lead to a substantial and moderate amount of caution, respectively. The max-max leads to no climate policies in line with the view of climate sceptics.

JEL Codes: H21, Q51, Q54

Keywords: carbon price, renewable energy subsidy, temperature models, climate model uncertainty, climate sceptics, max-min, max-max, min-max regret


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