Tuesday, May 31, 2016

What is the Social Cost of Climate Change?

Expert Consensus on the Economics of Climate Change (41 page pdf, Peter Howard and Derek Sylvan, Institute for Policy Integrity, New York University School of Law, Dec. 2015)

 Today we review a survey of 365 leading economists from around the world on the economic and social impacts of climate change and how they expect this cost will grow in the future. Most believed that there will net negative global impacts by 2025, hitting agriculture, fishing, utilities (electricity, water, sanitation), forestry, tourism/outdoor recreation, insurance, and health services. The social cost was projected to start at $100/metric ton in 2015, rising to above $300/ton in 2050 and this cost was suggested as a basis for carbon pricing to reduce emissions which most thought should be above $37/ton to start. Currently in Canada, the highest price put on carbon is in British Columbia at $30/ton (and frozen at that level for the last 3 years) with some provinces (Quebec, Ontario, Alberta) setting it between $10 and 15/ton, leaving others with no price (Saskatchewan, Manitoba and the Atlantic provinces).

  social cost by year from cl ch  

Key Quotes:

Some key findings:
  • “experts believe that climate change will begin to have a net negative impact on the global economy very soon – the median estimate was by 2025”
  • ”A majority predicted negative impacts on agriculture (94%), fishing (78%), utilities (electricity, water, sanitation – 74%), forestry (73%), tourism/outdoor recreation (72%), insurance (66%), and health services (54%)”
  • ”three-quarters of respondents believe that climate change will have a long-term, negative impact on the growth rate of the global economy”

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