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PHOTO CAPTION: President Obama issued Executive Order 13563, which directs agencies considering a regulation “to assess both the costs and the benefits of any proposed new regulation.

Social Cost of Carbon Double Earlier Estimates

2013 Economic Report to the President now includes estimates on the “health, property damage, agricultural impacts, the value of ecosystem services, and other welfare costs of climate change.”

Published: 09-Jun-2013

U.S. government updated its estimate of how much carbon pollution harms the economy. They found that their previous estimated costs were too low — ranging from 50 to 100 percent depending on the year and the estimate.

An interagency working group coordinated by the White House released something called the “Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis” which is a complicated way of saying that when an agency calculates the economic costs and benefits of a regulation, it now has numbers that reflect more of the true economic impacts of climate change.

This important number has something to do with everything from the proposed Keystone pipeline to what the Obama administration does about climate change to the common microwave.

This year’s Economic Report of the President defined the “social cost of carbon” as a monetized estimate of the damages caused by emitting an additional ton of carbon dioxide in one year. These damages cover “health, property damage, agricultural impacts, the value of ecosystem services, and other welfare costs of climate change.” Heather Zichal, President Obama’s top climate advisor, explained that these values “draw on the best available science to calculate the benefits of reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”

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