Every metric ton of carbon dioxide emitted by humans comes at a price-not only the economic loss caused by floods, heat waves and droughts, but also the cost of human life.Significantly reduce emissions today Can prevent tens of millions of people from dying prematurely According to a new study that calculates the “death cost of carbon” in the course of the 21st century.
The research was published on Thursday in Nature Communications, Lists part of the social cost of carbon (SCC), which is an indicator that calculates the future damage to the carbon emitted today in order to price these emissions. SCC helps governments weigh the costs and benefits of climate regulations, mitigation projects, and fossil fuel infrastructure.The Biden administration is currently revising the U.S. federal government’s estimate of this indicator to incorporate the latest science on climate impacts, as 2017 report of the National Academy of Sciences, Academy of Engineering, and School of Medicine. These effects include the expected premature death. The Biden administration temporarily set its SCC estimate at around US$51 per metric ton, which is close to the Obama-era level—before the Trump administration cut it to US$1 per ton.
R. Daniel Bressler, Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University and author of the new study, is interested in studying how the SCC estimates will change if researchers include the latest science of temperature-related deaths related to climate change. He also disassembled the component separately to get a clearer picture of the casualties. To this end, Bresler updated the model created by economist William Nordhaus (who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2018 for this model). It effectively links various climate scenarios with their economic impact to calculate the social cost of carbon and determine the best plan to reduce emissions. Bressler hopes to adjust the model to make climate-related mortality a greater contributor to the total cost of climate change, and to incorporate recent extensive research on this matter. “Literature really exploded [on the topic] In the past ten years or so,” he said.
When Bressler included this latest study, he calculated that—with emissions continuing to grow—by 2100, every 4,434 metric tons of carbon dioxide added to the atmosphere in 2020 would cause too many global deaths. (In contrast, 3.5 Americans emit so much in their lifetime.) More broadly, one million metric tons of carbon dioxide2 Exhaust emissions by 2020 — or the release of 35 commercial airplanes, 216,000 cars, or 115,000 American households in a year — will cause 226 premature deaths by the end of the century.
Considering these deaths, the social cost of carbon has increased from US$37 to US$258 per metric ton, effectively making it economically advantageous to reduce emissions. Compared with the cone method originally recommended by the Nordhaus model, it can also make rapid emission reductions and complete decarbonization by 2050 more cost-effective. The result is that “there is a big difference in the proposed climate policy,” Bresler said. Following a faster path of emission reduction, rather than letting emissions continue unabated, the number of premature deaths will be reduced from approximately 83 million to 9 million by 2100.
Bressler pointed out that his research has wide-ranging uncertainties, and the mortality figures only include temperature-related deaths. Ideally, disease transmission, flooding, and other climate-related impacts should also be taken into account, but these factors have been less studied. Maureen Kropper, an economist at the University of Maryland and co-chair of the group that wrote the 2017 National Academy of Sciences, said that Bresler’s work with other scientists (including those in collaboration with the Climate Impact Laboratory) is doing to modify the social cost of carbon. The work is similar. Report. Kropper added that Bresler’s estimate of SCC is much higher than that of the Climate Impact Laboratory because he made various economic assumptions, but this aspect of the social cost of converting carbon from a more abstract dollar figure is valuable. “When you look at things from a human perspective,” she said, “I think it does resonate.”