Scholarly work on the science of climate gave us the 350 number that forms the basis of our campaign.

Now scholars from other disciplines are chiming in, with remarkable and innovative work. This team from E3 has analyzed the costs of getting to 350, and found that while it won’t be free it also won’t bankrupt the planet. (And compared with the cost of watching global warming proceed unabated, it’s the best bargain you could ask for). It’s detailed and comprehensive, and represents an analysis of one strategy for doing what needs to be done. Please feel free to pass it around–it’s designed in part to help leaders understand that they really can afford to do the right thing.

We are so grateful to the entire team who made this happen–they put their powerful minds to work on behalf of the common good, and we admire them enormously.

Read the report here.

And here’s a message from E3 regarding the report:

Economics for Equity and the Environment Network is pleased to announce its latest report: The Economics of 350: The Benefits and Costs of Climate Stabilization. The report is the first comprehensive analysis of the costs of achieving the 350 ppm atmospheric CO2 target that scientists now recommend.

Scientific research continues to yield evidence that climate change is occurring faster, and that its consequences could be more severe, than previously expected. The costs of climate inaction are growing worse and worse. But our report finds that there is still  reason for optimism amidst the dire warnings: the costs of insuring the planet against climate disaster are not prohibitive. The best estimates of the costs of a vigorous, immediate effort to rebuild the world economy around carbon-free technologies are still in the range of one to three percent of world output (GDP) per year, even with the more stringent emissions reductions required to achieve a 350 ppm target. This amount is less than what countries like the U.S. and China currently spend on the military. If climate policy ends up at the high end in terms of cost, Americans in 2050 would have to wait one additional year, until 2051, to be as rich as they otherwise would have been had they not been steadily investing in the transition to clean energy.

The bottom-line is this: decarbonizing by 2050 is possible with, roughly, the suite of technologies now available or on the near-term horizon. Very aggressive policy, however, will still be required very soon to drive down the costs of renewables, to redesign cities, reimagine transport and agricultural systems, and insure that all efficiencies are captured. Doing all this gets the world to 350 by 2200. Taking the additional steps to achieve negative emissions (and 350 by 2100) would require the development of large-scale, cost-effective sequestration technologies that go well beyond reforestation.

The report, which is available online at,  is authored by eight economists in the E3 Network: Frank Ackerman (SEI-US), Elizabeth A. Stanton (SEI-US), Stephen J. DeCanio (University of California, Santa Barbara) Eban Goodstein (Bard College) Richard B. Howarth (Dartmouth College) Richard B. Norgaard (University of California, Berkeley) Catherine S. Norman (Johns Hopkins University) and Kristen A. Sheeran (Economics for Equity and the Environment Network).

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