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12/06/2013

The social cost carbon is double what previously estimated

The U.S. government has just updated its estimates concerning the impact of carbon emissions on economy. According to the latest report drafted by a working group in close contact with the White House, the previous estimated costs were too low from 50 to 100% depending on the year and the estimate.

This report made for President Obama defines the "social cost of carbon" as the estimate of the damages caused by carbon emissions expressed in dollars. The estimate takes into account the impacts on health, agriculture, environment and climate. In this way it is possible to calculate scientifically the real benefits of greenhouse gas emission reduction.

The numbers we are talking about reflect more accurately the real impact of carbon in different scenarios. What has changed compared to previous estimates? For example, today many experts think that sea level rise will result in greater economic damage.

These new estimates are likely to lead to more stringent measures to limit CO2 emissions in the United States. For instance, considering they will allow to make more realistic cost-benefit analysis stating the real impact of energy infrastructures based on fossil fuels (coal, pipelines...). Moreover, measures to improve energy efficiency and the use of renewables will show their reasonability even better thanks to these new estimates. 

Last but not least, these updated numbers dismantle a topic relevant to those wanting to maintain the current energy mix based on fossil fuels, that is renewables have a harmful effect on economic growth. Actually, it is exactly the opposite. We hope that Europe and Italy will take these numbers to heart and act accordingly.

To download the report, please click here.

Source: www.thinkprogress.org