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Choosing a monetary value of greenhouse gases in assessment tools
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5139-0203
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Sustainable development, Environmental science and Engineering, Environmental Strategies Research (fms).
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2016 (English)In: Journal of Cleaner Production, ISSN 0959-6526, E-ISSN 1879-1786Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

There is a societal need for using monetary estimates of social impacts of CO2 and other greenhouse gases in different assessment tools, such as cost-benefit analysis and life-cycle assessment. A number of estimates are available in the literature. Since these differ by several orders of magnitude, there is ambiguity and confusion about which to use. This review aims to give some guidance on this issue. The variation in carbon value estimates depends on several uncertain aspects – which will remain uncertain – including climate sensitivity, assumptions about future emissions, and decision makers' ethical standpoints. Hence, there is no single correct monetary value for CO2: it will depend on the ethical standpoint of the user. Due to this, estimates of social costs of CO2 emissions cannot be used for calculating an optimal emission level, although they can inform such assessments. It is suggested that marginal abatement cost values are used for emissions capped by binding targets in short-term assessments, and that social cost of carbon values should be used for all other emissions. Benchmark principles for choosing a monetary carbon value are suggested along with associated estimates. Depending on the choices made with regard to ethical standpoints and assumptions about future emissions and climate sensitivity, estimates can be significantly higher than the ones typically used in assessment tools today. The estimates need continuous updating, and there is need for better understanding and communication around the limitations and uncertainties involved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2016.
Keyword [en]
climate change, impact assessment, social cost of carbon, abatement costs, life cycle assessment, economics
National Category
Social Sciences Interdisciplinary
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-185190DOI: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2016.03.163ISI: 000377311200003ScopusID: 2-s2.0-84963976227OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kth-185190DiVA: diva2:919060
Funder
Swedish Energy Agency
Note

QC 20160422

Available from: 2016-04-12 Created: 2016-04-12 Last updated: 2016-07-05Bibliographically approved

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Isacs, LinaFinnveden, GöranHåkansson, Cecilia
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