Calculating the social cost of carbon


The new biden administration announced on day. One has plans to recalculate the social cost of carbon. It's basically a way of estimating the economic toll of greenhouse gases produced today on future generations staff writer. Paul discusses why this value is so important and how it will be determined next up researcher in barker talks about the sounds of naked mole. Rats you may already know that these amazing mammals are pain and cancer resistant. But did you know that they make these little chirps to identify themselves. As members of their colony as a new administration comes into power in the united states. We're seeing some swift changes in certain scientific areas rejoining the who the paris climate agreement. A new director of the office of science technology and among these early moves the biden administration has also asked for a recalibration of the social cost of carbon staff writer. Paul loosen is here to talk about this change. Hypo hello high. So this was announced on the first day biden was in office that the cost of carbon to future generations needs to be looked at. What exactly are they counting here. This gets pretty pretty quickly. But the social cost of carbon essentially is used in all the big regulatory decisions that the government makes it essentially takes the economic damage which really reflects the damage to our everyday. Lives will come with a policy that allows more greenhouse gas emissions or less greenhouse gas emissions. Now runs it out through the future then comes back to put a number on what those emissions are going to cost us so it's like a price on carbon except it's not it's not a carbon tax or anything what was happening under trump. So obama had put this all together under his administration when trump came in they may to small changes that drastically decrease the number so i instead reflecting the damage done to the entire world. It looked only at the damage. Done the united states in the future and it increase some as called the discount rate which is essentially how we value future generations. And what we can do with when we get wealthier to kind of a combination of those two you increase that enough. You essentially go far enough in a future. You don't care what happens. There was basically a devaluing down to a dollar per tonne of carbon. Co two in some circumstances before. Gets you what it's going to be potentially in the next Four years how will this carbon cost be calculated. Now what are they gonna take an how. What are these numbers that we just mentioned about discount and how far into the future. We look how those going to be calculated before said they'll go back to the global damage feel bama administration news and they have to timespans here. I a rapid thirty day revision and then a year long final update that rapid thirty day revision. They could either go back to the obama era policies or they could even set the discount rate lower. Which many economists think is appropriate and new york state actually in their own calculation late last year. What might devalue be then for this short palpitation. The thirty day one or the yearlong. How would it compare to that one dollar amount that you talked about. Possibly within thirty days it could go up to one hundred. Twenty five dollars per tonne. That discount rate is a powerful thing on its own so that's moving from three percent to a two percent rate everything staying the same including global damages. There are a lot more changes that could happen for that year. Long update that could reflect a lot of new signs and new methods are now going into the bottles that form this number. What are people looking at with respect to climate. Let's take that first. How might that be different than what was considered under the obama administration so these economic models scott integrated assessment models that you're used to produce all this you know they have lots of knobs the climate models like this very simple climate models are built into them didn't really reflect the best science particularly. They warmed to slow compared to more complex models. Now there have been a few new simple models felt by climate scientists that more accurately reflect that consensus so those can probably be used and one big change is. There's been a group of economists and climate scientists who've been putting together these econometric estimates of the future damage of climate change damage from climate pile uncertainty onto uncertainty. They take these massive data sets from as many countries as they could find globally and look at short term variations over a couple of decades or shifting weather use that to try and extrapolate out into the future to some extent so there's more data informing is policies even if they are ultimately uncertain

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