The Social Cost of Carbon

Measuring the cost of carbon…

We know what carbon emissions cost our environment. How much do they cost our economy?

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The idea of putting a price on carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere is one that exists across the sustainability sector. Whether you are a corporate executive planning your budget and mapping out a plan to reach carbon neutrality, or working in government, calculating a number for and feasibility of a carbon tax, having a concrete cost of carbon would be a valuable asset.

A previous calculation by the US Government had the social cost of carbon sitting at a low $37 per tonne. Now, in a recent study conducted by researchers at Stanford University, a new calculation puts the price at $220 per carbon tonne emitted. With such a huge jump in costs, this new paper has only added fuel to the flame that is heating up the demands for more robust measures of the social cost of carbon and increased carbon emission mitigation efforts.

So how could the calculation of the social cost of carbon have jumped so dramatically (or how could it have been so greatly miscalculated in a previous iteration of research)? With this seeming uncertainty of the social cost of a carbon tonne, how can businesses financially plan for carbon neutral operations?

Read more from Barbara Grady of GreenBiz as she reports in “The real social cost of carbon: $220 per ton, report finds.”

(Image via Pixabay)