13
Sep
2016

Public lecture | Climate (and other) catastrophes

Date:
13 September, 2016 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Speaker:
Professor Robert S. Pindyck
Venue:
London School of Economics and Political Science, Clement House, Room CLM.2.02, 99 Aldwych, London, WC2B 4JF

LSE Deparment of Government and Grantham Research Institute public lecture, introduced and chaired by Dr Kai Spiekermann

Attendance at this event is by registration only, if you would like to attend please register here.

How great is the risk of a climate catastrophe, and what should we do about it? The likelihood and possible impact of a catastrophic climate outcome is what drives the social cost of carbon (SCC), and thus the case for a stringent climate policy. But what is that likelihood, and what kinds of outcomes might occur? Might the impact of a catastrophic climate outcome be limited to a sharp reduction in GDP and consumption (as most climate models assume), or might the impact also include the deaths of large numbers of people? The answers to these questions are necessarily speculative, but we must address them. To complicate matters, there are other potential catastrophes that we must also worry about, such as nuclear or bioterrorism, or the spread of a “mega-virus.” I discuss the policy implications of these threats, and consider how we might respond to the risk of climate – and other – catastrophes.

Professor Robert
 S.
 Pindyck
 is
 the
 Bank
 of 
Tokyo‐Mitsubishi
 Professor
 of 
Economics
 and
 Finance
 in
 the
 Sloan
 School 
of 
Management 
at 
MIT.
 
He 
is 
also 
a 
Research
 Associate
 of 
the 
National 
Bureau
 of 
Economic
 Research
 and
 a
 Fellow
 of
 the
 Econometric
 Society,
 and
 he
 has
 been
 a
 Visiting 
Professor
 at
 Tel‐Aviv
 University,
 Harvard
 University,
 and
 Columbia
 University. 
 Professor Pindyck’s
 research
 and
 writing
 have
 covered
 topics
 in
 microeconomics
 and
 industrial
 organization,
 the
 behaviour
 of
 resource
 and
 commodity
 markets,
 financial
 markets,
 capital investment
 decisions,
and
 econometric
 modelling.
 His 
recent 
work
 in 
economics 
and 
finance 
has 
examined
 the
 determinants 
of 
market
 structure
 and 
market 
power, 
the 
dynamics 
of 
commodity spot 
and 
futures 
markets,
 criteria
 for 
investing
 in 
risky 
projects,
 the 
economics 
of 
R&D 
and 
the value
 of
 patents,
 environmental
 policy,
 and
 the
 economic
 and
 policy
 implications
 of
 global catastrophic events.

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