New Report Examines Higher Social Cost of Carbon
Kate Sheppard summarizes "The Cost of Carbon Pollution" report, which argues that the Obama Administration's $37 estimate for the social cost of one ton of carbon dioxide emission fails to include key environmental impacts such as "loss of labor productivity due to extreme heat, potential climate change impact on crop-destroying pests, and climate-fueled wildfires. Impacts on fisheries are also largely omitted from government models, including problems caused by ocean acidification, warmer ocean temperatures and algae blooms. Because the fishing industry is a major part of the economy in many parts of the world, with many people relying on it for jobs and for food, climate change is likely to bring significant costs."
The proponents of a higher estimate, including the report authors (Environmental Defense Fund, New York University's Institute for Policy Integrity, and the Natural Resources Defense Council) recognize that "The [social cost of carbon emission] figure is used in cost-benefit analyses for proposed regulations, allowing agencies to evaluate the economic benefits of new rules…The higher the number, the more benefits are derived from a new rule limiting those emissions."
While the "Cost of Carbon Pollution" report does not propose a specific dollar amount, "it highlights areas where there is increasing scientific and economic research that could be used in future estimates."