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  • Cited by 4594
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
March 2014
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There is now clear scientific evidence that emissions from economic activity, particularly the burning of fossil fuels for energy, are causing changes to the Earth´s climate. A sound understanding of the economics of climate change is needed in order to underpin an effective global response to this challenge. The Stern Review is an independent, rigourous and comprehensive analysis of the economic aspects of this crucial issue. It has been conducted by Sir Nicholas Stern, Head of the UK Government Economic Service, and a former Chief Economist of the World Bank. The Economics of Climate Change will be invaluable for all students of the economics and policy implications of climate change, and economists, scientists and policy makers involved in all aspects of climate change.


'The Stern Review shows us, with utmost clarity, while allowing fully for all the uncertainties, what global warming is going to mean; and what can and should be done to reduce it. It provides numbers for the economic impact, and for the necessary economic policies. It deserves the widest circulation. I wish it the greatest possible impact. Governments have a clear and immediate duty to accept the challenge it represents.'

Sir James Mirrlees - recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1996

'The stark prospects of climate change and its mounting economic and human costs are clearly brought out in this searching investigation. What is particularly striking is the identification of ways and means of sharply minimizing these penalties through acting right now, rather than waiting for our lives to be overrun by rapidly advancing adversities. The world would be foolish to neglect this strong but strictly time-bound practical message.'

Amartya Sen - recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1998

'The Stern Review of The Economics of Climate Change provides the most thorough and rigorous analysis to date of the costs and risks of climate change, and the costs and risks of reducing emissions. It makes clear that the question is not whether we can afford to act, but whether we can afford not to act. … And it provides a comprehensive agenda-one which is economically and politically feasible-behind which the entire world can unite in addressing this most important threat to our future well being.'

Joseph Stiglitz - recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 2001

' … the world is waiting for a calm, reasonable, carefully argued approach to climate change: Nick Stern and his team have produced one.'

Robert M. Solow - recipient of the Nobel Prize for Economics, 1987

'… a comprehensive and authoritative analysis of this issue. ... is an excellent summary of current knowledge of the topic. … presenting excellent case studies and graphices of key issues directly relevant to physical and human geography.'

Source: Geography

'I very much welcome The Stern Review, which provides a much needed critical economic analysis of the issues associated with climate change …'

Paul Wolfowitz - President of the World Bank

‘Nicholas Stern … rose to the challenge admirably. … the Stern report is a landmark publication. It is a wide-reaching report from a man of gravity, and should be taken seriously. … This book is extremely readable, and something that all interested in climate change and its consequences should have.’

Source: Journal of Biosocial Science

'The Stern Review of The Economics of Climate Change is a vital step forward in securing an effective global policy on climate change. Led by one of the world's top economists, the Stern Review shows convincingly that the benefits of early global action to mitigate climate change will be far lower than the costs. The report establishes realistic guidelines for action … The Stern Review will play an important role in helping the world to agree on a sensible post-Kyoto policy.'

Jeffrey D. Sachs - Director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and Special Advisor to UN Secretary General

'The Economics of Climate Change sends a very important and timely message: that the benefits of strong, early action on climate change outweigh the costs. … Congratulations to Sir Nick Stern and his team for producing a landmark review which I have no doubt will strengthen the political will to change of governments around the world.'

Claude Mandil - Executive Director of the International Energy Agency

'The scientific evidence of global warming is overwhelming but some commentators and lobby groups have continued to oppose offsetting actions on economic and competitiveness grounds. This comprehensive and authoritative report demolishes their arguments, explaining clearly the complex economics of climate change. It makes plain that we can cut emissions radically at a cost to the economy far less than the economic and human welfare costs which climate change could impose.'

Baron Jonathan Adair Turner - Former Director of UK Confederation of British Industry and Economic Advisor to the Sustainable Development Commission

'When the history of the world's response to climate change is written, The Stern Review will be recognized as a turning point. … Sir Nicholas and his team have provided important intellectual leadership as humanity engages with its greatest challenge. … While the details will be debated, the main thrust of the report is clear and compelling - the expected benefits of tackling climate change far outweigh the expected costs.'

Cameron Hepburn - Oxford University

'Pay now to fix global warming or risk a worldwide economic depression later … The [Stern] report moves economic discussion of how humanity should deal with global warming to center stage …'

Source: USA Today

'The overwhelming message of … [the] Stern review on the economics of climate change is that it is now time to move on from arguing about statistics to taking drastic action at an international level. … Even if Stern is only half right then … the consequence of doing nothing is still so dreadful that it ought not to be contemplated.'

Source: Guardian

'[The report's] basic point seems unassailable: failure to act now will exact much greater penalties later on … If people and industries are made to pay heavily for the privilege, they will inevitably be driven to develop cleaner fuels, cars and factories… '

Source: The New York Times

'The Stern review makes two invaluable contributions. The first is that it recasts environmentalism as economics … Stern's second serious contribution is to provide a formula for durable environmentalism, one which binds business and government.'

Source: The Times

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