A peer-reviewed analysis by two dozen experts more than triples – from $51 per ton of carbon dioxide to $185 per ton – the federal government’s estimate of the “social cost of carbon” (SCC).
The climate science, economics, and statistics experts’ paper in the prestigious journal Nature updates the best estimate of how much each ton of carbon dioxide costs society as a result of climate change damages. Their conservative best estimate is 3.6 times higher than the $51 value currently used by the federal government, and roughly 30 times more than the value previously adopted by the Trump administration.
It’s a critically important number because federal agencies by law are to consider the costs and benefits of proposed regulations. For climate pollutant regulations, the benefits of future climate damages avoided are estimated via the SCC. A higher value would result in larger benefit-to-cost ratios, justifying more aggressive federal climate regulations.
“It suggests there are many more actions we can take to curb carbon emissions that are going to be on the table that were not on the table before,” Stanford University economist Marshall Burke, not involved in the study, told the Associated Press. [Continue reading…]