Synapse in the News: Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton Quoted in NYT Article on Climate Economics in the Developing World

December 10, 2014

New York Times columnist Eduardo Porter quoted Dr. Elizabeth A. Stanton, a senior economist at Synapse, in his recent discussion on the tension between economic development and efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America.

Dr. Stanton has published widely on the topic of climate change and global equity, including the journal article cited by Mr. Porter, which found that optimism about development leads to more stringent climate policies. The article, “Modeling Pessimism: Does Climate Stabilization Require a Failure of Development?” was published in Environmental Development in 2012.

Eduardo Porter writes:

In a 2012 study, Elizabeth A. Stanton, an environmental economist at Synapse Energy Economics, noted that projections by the International Energy Agency, on which leading climate models are based, assume that the least developed countries will fail to close the prosperity gap with the rich of the world.

Income per person in the world’s poorest countries — about one-27th of that of people in the rich world — would inch ahead to one-20th in the year 2105.

“This assumption — that economic development will fail in the poorest countries — results in lower business-as-usual global emissions, allowing emissions reduction targets to be less stringent in richer countries,” she wrote. “What if low-income countries experience genuine economic development?”