William Nordhaus shared the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis,” with Paul Romer, "for integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis."
Economics Nobel Highlights Climate Action Necessity
“The first thing is that people have to come to grips with the difficulties we face. I think the scientists have and many of the people have, but the governments have to.”
Yale University’s William Nordhaus, who on October 8th shared the 2018 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, "for integrating climate change into long-run macroeconomic analysis.” He spoke by phone to a representative of the Nobel Prizes.
“And then the second thing that’s most important is that we take some kind of economic steps—I have advocated for many years a carbon tax as a way of implementing policies. And then the third thing is we’ll have to have a significant technological transformation. Of course, those first two would help the third. But those three have to go together. You can’t do it without public support. But you can’t do it without some kind of economic signals, in the form of a carbon tax. And then all of those will help induce the technological changes that are necessary to make a transition to a low-carbon world.”
Nordhaus shared the prize with Paul Romer of New York University, for his work “integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis."
Nordhaus continued: “The most recent work I’ve done is studying actual trends in abatement and in policies, suggests we’re doing much less than what needs to be to reach any of the targets, whether it’s a 1.5-degree or 2-degree or even a 3-degree target. I think the policies are lagging very very far, miles, miles, miles behind the science and what needs to be done…but it’s not too late. But the steps we have to take are more difficult now than if we’d started earlier.”
[The above text is a transcript of this podcast.]