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Integrating Political Science into Climate Modeling: An Example of Internalizing the Costs of Climate-Induced Violence in the Optimal Management of the Climate

1
Hoover Institution, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305-6003, USA
2
Woodrow Wilson Department of Politics, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA 22904, USA
Academic Editor: Baojie He
Sustainability 2021, 13(19), 10587; https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910587
Received: 4 August 2021 / Revised: 9 September 2021 / Accepted: 14 September 2021 / Published: 24 September 2021
(This article belongs to the Topic Climate Change and Environmental Sustainability)
Extant modeling of the climate has largely left out political science; that needs to change. This paper provides an example of how a critical political concept—human security—can be accounted for in climate modeling. Scientific evidence points to an active link between climate change and the incidence of interpersonal and inter-group violence. This paper puts forth a new method to internalize the costs of climate-induced violence in the optimal management of the climate. Using the established MERGE integrated assessment model, this paper finds that based on the median estimates of the climate–violence relationship, such internalization can roughly double the optimal carbon price—the carbon price at which the net social benefit of carbon emissions would be maximized—consistently over time in most sensitivity scenarios. Sub-Saharan Africa is estimated to be the biggest beneficiary of such internalization in terms of avoided damages related to climate-induced violence as a percentage of the regional GDP, avoiding up to a 27 percent loss of GDP by 2200 under high-end estimates. That is significant for many African countries that have been suffering from underdevelopment and violence. The approach of this paper is a first for the climate modeling community, indicating directions for future modeling that could further integrate relevant political science considerations. This paper takes empirical findings that climate change mitigation can reduce violence-related damages to the next step toward understanding required to reach optimal policy decisions. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbon externality; climate management; climate impact; violence; avoided damages; integrated assessment modeling carbon externality; climate management; climate impact; violence; avoided damages; integrated assessment modeling
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MDPI and ACS Style

Shen, S.V. Integrating Political Science into Climate Modeling: An Example of Internalizing the Costs of Climate-Induced Violence in the Optimal Management of the Climate. Sustainability 2021, 13, 10587. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910587

AMA Style

Shen SV. Integrating Political Science into Climate Modeling: An Example of Internalizing the Costs of Climate-Induced Violence in the Optimal Management of the Climate. Sustainability. 2021; 13(19):10587. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910587

Chicago/Turabian Style

Shen, Shiran V. 2021. "Integrating Political Science into Climate Modeling: An Example of Internalizing the Costs of Climate-Induced Violence in the Optimal Management of the Climate" Sustainability 13, no. 19: 10587. https://doi.org/10.3390/su131910587

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