Category Archives: academic publications

List of peer reviewed papers, briefing notes and other academic publications.

Climate Change in a myopic world

May 2009  Climate Change in a myopic world (economics & CC) – Tyndall Briefing Note
Anderson argues that the abject failure of economists and the economic hegemony to tackle carbon emissions, leaves no option but to “escape the financiers’ myopia” and return the problem to scientists, engineers, social scientists and civil society. He proceeds to suggest that “If we are prepared to exchange our current self delusion for a more honest recognition of the scale of the challenge, the message is one of hope not of despair, with a prosperous future measured, if at all, by a range of metrics of which money is just one.”

This is a modified version of an article previously published in “Science & Public Affairs” March 07

Reframing climate change – paper published by the Royal Society

Aug 2008  Reframing climate change – Royal Society’s Philosophical Transactions

The international community repeatedly relates its commitments around 2°C with endpoint  2050 reductions in  emissions (e.g. 50% by 2050).  While such endpoint targets dominate the policy agenda, they are without scientific merit and are leading to dangerously misguided policies. This paper argues that for policies to be scientifically credible they must be informed by an understanding of cumulative emissions and associated emission pathways. It proceeds to analyse international commitments around 2°C in relation to emissions already released since 2000, when emissions may peak and post-peak reduction rates. It concludes that despite the vociferous rhetoric around the prospects for 2°C, the current framing of climate change policies are much more aligned with 4°C futures. Significantly, it notes that “unless economic growth can be reconciled with unprecedented rates of decarbonisation,  it is difficult to envisage anything other than a planned economic recession being compatible with stabilization at or below 650 ppmv CO2e” – that is around 4°C.


Emission scenarios underplay current fossil-fuel trends and prospects

Oct 2011  Emissions and migration  Government Office for Science

The full report is also available.

In this report on ‘Migration and Global Environmental Change’, Anderson demonstrates how representing emission scenarios (such as A1FI and RCP 8.5) as being at the high end of emission prospects is contributing to complacent mitigation policy. Such scenarios more appropriately fall somewhere between moderate mitigation and business-as-usual emissions growth. They certainly do not capture the current rapid expansion of fossil-fuel use across the non-Annex 1 (poorer) nations and how the accompanying infrastructure is locking them into high-carbon futures. If policies are to be more evidence-based, there is urgent need for a family of higher emission scenarios to guide the development of national policies and inform international negotiations.

The report was commissioned as part of the UK Government’s Foresight Project on Migatation and Global Environmental Change.