Upon finishing your degree you get a job in the government department responsible for climate change policy. Your senior manager, who does not have a background in economics, argues that developing climate change policy is best left to scientists since climate change is essentially about physical processes.
Write a short briefing paper for your senior manager explaining why human-induced climate change is an economic issue, and how economics can contribute to designing policies aimed at addressing the twin challenges of mitigating against further climate change and helping adaptation to the impacts of climate change.
Your briefing note should include an explanation of why climate change is essentially an economic problem; a description of at least one economic policy that is aimed at climate change mitigation; a description of at least one economic policy that is aimed at promoting efficient adaptation, and; a description of at least two features of climate change that make designing climate change policy particularly challenging.
Your answer should be in the form of a briefing paper addressed to your senior manager who has not studied economics. Note that you are writing this briefing in your role as an applied policy economist, not as a journalist or advocate. While you may draw your own conclusions, they should be based on sound economic thinking and supported by analysis. Avoid using emotive or judgmental language. Briefings are often prepared by economists to provide decision-makers with clear and concise coverage of a policy related issue. Briefing papers are generally prepared for people who are time-scarce so should be written using clear and economical language, have a logical structure and engage the reader. Briefing papers may also include diagrams, figures and or tables, all of which must be explained in the text of your paper. Footnotes and appendices should not be included. Briefing papers must not include spelling and grammatical errors.
All relevant sources must be acknowledged and correctly referenced. While you are encouraged to discuss your ideas with other students you must submit a paper that is entirely your own work. If you use the words or ideas of anyone else in forming your argument or writing your paper the sources must be fully acknowledged. Failure to do so is plagiarism and constitutes academic misconduct.