Showing posts from May, 2020

Carbon and cost

Previous posts have referred to the estimated costs of local decarbonisation programs, such as that of Bristol. A natural response to such plans is to ask what would happen if no action were taken, and to try to express the results of inaction in monetary terms. Unsurprisingly this question is not easy to answer, and this post will attempt no more than to indicate some of the issues and relevant literature.

The costs of failure to control climate change might arise from damage and disruption due to extreme weather events, coastal erosion, the spread of disease, or reduced food supplies, although effects will differ from region to region. One measure that has been used in examining such effects is the social cost of carbon (SCC). This has been defined as “a metric designed to quantify and monetize climate damages, representing the net economic cost of carbon dioxide emissions to society” [1]. SCC figures are intended to help in evaluating whether a policy intended to control climate cha…