House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee


020 7219 6968


The Economic Affairs Committee has decided to conduct an inquiry into 'Aspects of the Economics of Climate Change'.

Evidence is invited by 31 March 2005. The Committee will welcome written submissions on any or all of the issues set out below.

Following the recent ratification of the Kyoto Protocol, the Committee has decided to inquire first into the ways in which the problem of climate change has been assessed.

  • How are the current estimates of the scale of climate change damage derived?

  • How far do the estimates of damage depend on assumptions about future global economic growth, and how valid are those growth assumptions?

  • How does uncertainty about the scale of the problem and its impact affect the economics of climate change?

The Committee will also inquire into the key role of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in compiling and assessing technical information on climate change.

  • What has been the approach within the IPCC to the economic aspects of climate change, and how satisfactory has it been?

  • Is there sufficient collaboration between scientific and economic research?

  • Could IPCC member governments, and the UK in particular, do more in future to contribute to the robustness of the economic analysis?

The Committee then plans to go on to consider the question of who bears the brunt of climate change and of the costs of controlling it.

  • In monetary terms, the impact of change and the costs of control may be greater in rich countries than poor ones. But is this an adequate measure?

  • What would be the relative costs and benefits of using resources, otherwise expected to be allocated to climate change control, instead to expand international development assistance?

  • When are damages likely to occur and how satisfactory is the economic approach to dealing with costs and benefits that are distant in time?

  • What other associated benefits might there be from reducing greenhouse gas emissions?

At this stage the Committee does not intend to investigate the comparative merits of different policies for the control of climate change.

Please note:

Evidence submitted becomes the property of the Committee, and may be published. Witnesses may publicise their written evidence themselves, but in doing so should indicate that it was prepared for the Committee.

Evidence should be clearly printed or typed on single sides of A4 paper, unstapled, and should be set out in numbered paragraphs. The submission should be signed and dated, together with a note of the author's name and status and of whether the evidence is submitted on an individual or corporate basis. Submissions by e-mail are preferred (as attachments in Word), with a signed, hard copy to follow.

Concise submissions of 6 pages or fewer are preferred; longer submissions should include a single page summary. Annexes may be submitted, but will not necessarily be published.  Relevant material prepared for other purposes (such as reports or submissions to other inquiries and consultations) may be submitted to the Committee for information, but will not be printed. Witnesses who submit original written evidence may be invited to give oral evidence at Westminster; transcripts of such sessions are published. 

Evidence and inquiries should be addressed to:

The Clerk to the Economic Affairs Committee
House of Lords
London SW1A 0PW

Telephone 020 7219 6968; facsimile 020 7219 4931; email

6 January 2005