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A New Framework Suggested for Sc-Co2 Estimation

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is a net estimate, in dollars, of the damages caused by society in the form of carbon dioxide emissions in a given year.

It takes into account both the benefits and disadvantages associated with per metric ton of CO2 emissions. Factors such as human health risks, net agricultural productivity, and damages incurred by calamities like floods are included. In 2010, Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases (IWG) designed a methodology for estimating SC-CO2.

A new report by the National Academics of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recommends a new framework instead. According to it, SC-CO2 estimation should evolve as one of four distinct but integrated “modules” viz., the socioeconomic module, the climate module; the damages module; and the discounting module.

This would strengthen the scientific basis, offer higher transparency, and enhance characterization of unpredictability of the estimates, says the report. 

The report also adds that roughly every 5 years the SC-CO2 should be updated using the process. This would ensure that for each update, each module’s components, module observations and interactions, and the SC-CO2 framework itself are in line with the latest scientific knowledge. 

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