- Characteristics of the climate system and recent scientific findings imply that stronger action to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions is urgent.
- The urgency of stronger action makes consideration of political feasibility especially important in policy assessments.
- Economists can closely consider political feasibility in their assessments without departing from their roles as economists.
- Attention to political feasibility can affect the cost-rankings of policy alternatives.
- A broader notion of cost-effectiveness recognizes the potential savings from policies that have greater prospects for near-term implementation and for avoiding the costs of delay.
- Under this broader notion of cost-effectiveness, policy “add-ons” (such as compensation to particular stakeholder groups) that increase the likelihood of near-term implementation can pay for themselves by helping avoid costs of delay; under the broader notion, “add-ons” sometimes lower, rather than raise, expected policy costs.