The Global Development And Environment Institute



Search GDAE

Subscribe for
E-mail Updates

Leontief Prize

Recent Publications

Media Room

Upcoming Events

Publicaciones en Español

Publications en Francais

Publications in Chinese

Jobs and Resources


Law and Economics for a Warming World
Harvard Law and Policy Review volume 1, no. 2, pp.331-362.
by Lisa Heinzerling and Frank Ackerman

Both law and economics offer frameworks for understanding public policy – and both require changes in order to respond effectively to the challenge of climate change. Contrary to implicit conservative assumptions, maintaining the status quo is not an option; “business as usual” will lead to rapidly worsening results as greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise. The causal links between actions and impacts extend across centuries; the most important effects of our actions occur long after our lifetimes. The consequences, and probabilities of damages, from climate change are incalculable in detail, although worsening in general. Each of these problems compels a rethinking of aspects of both law and economics, as Lisa Heinzerling and Frank Ackerman explain in this article.

Economics for a Warming World, an excerpt of this article published by the Real-World Economics Review, can be downloaded here.

Read more about GDAE's work on the Economics of Climate Change

Tufts University Logo

Global Development And Environment Institute
Tufts University
44 Teele Avenue, Somerville, MA 02144 USA
Tel: 617-627-3530 | Email:

Copyright © 2002 – Tufts University