17 Sep '12, 7pm

U.S. Government Significantly Underestimating Costs Of Climate Change And Dirty Energy

U.S. Government Significantly Underestimating Costs Of Climate Change And Dirty Energy

The difference in the government’s estimate and our own boils down to one factor: the “discount rate.” While it’s easy to get lost in economic jargon and the mathematics, here is what the discount rate does: it assumes that a dollar today is more valuable than one received in the future, hence when applied to anticipated damages resulting from climate change, it lowers the economic costs we assume will be inflicted on future generations. ... At our two lowest discount rates (1 and 1.5 percent), we find that the real cost (i.e. generation costs inclusive of pollution damages) of building new electricity generation from natural gas (what the market currently favors) is higher than for wind or natural gas with carbon capture and storage technology (CCS.) At 1 percent, solar photovoltaic and coal with CCS would also be cheaper. These findings are driven by differences in clima...

Full article: http://www.desmogblog.com/2012/09/17/u-s-government-signi...

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