Study: US Seriously Underestimating Consequences of CO2
12:17 - September 03, 2022

Study: US Seriously Underestimating Consequences of CO2

TEHRAN (ANA)- The US government is drastically underestimating the social cost of carbon dioxide emissions, which is 3.6 times higher than the estimate currently used to inform many of Washington's key climate policies, a study suggested.
News ID : 74

Carbon dioxide is the greenhouse gas chiefly responsible for global warming and therefore negatively affects human wellbeing. US economists call this the "social cost" and they calculate it in dollars, considering repercussions such as changes in agricultural productivity, damages from sea level rise and worsening human health, Reuters reported.

The US currently puts that cost at around $51 per metric ton — a figure which dates back to the Obama administration, adjusted for inflation. But in research published Thursday in the journal Nature, a team of American scientists said the reality of such damages is likely far greater, at $185 per ton.

That's important because "higher estimates of the social cost motivate more ambitious mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions," said co-author Brian Prest, an economist at the non-profit Resources for the Future.

The US federal government relies on the social cost figure to inform standards for vehicle and power plant emissions and the energy efficiency of appliances. It is also used as a basis for federal tax credits on carbon capture and storage, zero emission credit payments for nuclear generators and in proposed federal carbon tax legislation.


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