Discounting the Benefits of Climate Change Policies Using Uncertain Rates

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2002-01-01

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Abstract

Evaluating environmental policies, such as the mitigation of greenhouse gases, frequently requires balancing near-term mitigation costs against long-term environmental benefits. Conventional approaches to valuing such investments hold interest rates constant, but the authors contend that there is a real degree of uncertainty in future interest rates. This leads to a higher valuation of future benefits relative to conventional methods that ignore interest rate uncertainty.

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