Carnegie Mellon University

photoLee Branstetter

Heinz College, School of Public Policy and Management, and Department of Social and Decision Sciences

Confronting the challenge of climate change is considered by many to be the most serious public policy challenge of our generation -- and of the next several generations. The challenge is great, in part, because our current industrial economy depends so heavily on technologies that emit greenhouse gases. The transition to a greener economy is necessary, but it will not be an easy or rapid transition. The discipline of economics has much to contribute to the intelligent management of this transition. Economists working on the climate change issue have shown how market forces can be effectively harnessed by public policy to speed the transition to a greener economy and to limit the costs of this transition on the livelihoods and incomes of ordinary working people in both advanced industrial economies and developing economies. Intelligent policy choices must always be guided by a careful consideration of economic costs and benefits. The emerging discipline of the economics of climate change empowers us to undertake these considerations carefully, rationally, and rigorously.