E&E News: "EPA's Carbon Metric May Underestimate Climate Change—At Least for Now"

RFF Fellow Brian Prest is quoted in an article about the need for accurate climate damage models.

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July 17, 2023

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“There's a lot of detailed modeling about air quality in the US, but that doesn't mean that you can just plug that in or do a simple extrapolation to the globe, because other countries have different air quality issues, different degrees of exposure, and so on and so forth,” said Brian Prest, a fellow at Resources for the Future.

RFF and others are working to quantify additional impacts in ways that could facilitate the development of more complete social cost metrics in future years. Some of those impacts might be beneficial — like cheaper heating bills or advancements in adaptation.

But each successive revision of the social cost of greenhouse gases is likely to show a steeper cost to heat-trapping emissions as new impacts like biodiversity loss, wildfire and ocean health are quantified and can be included, Prest said.

Drawing attention to the gaps in this year’s edition will “set the stage for people," he said. "So if the number goes up in the future as more things are incorporated that isn't a surprise."

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