We Earthlings: You Borrowed $219 Billion From Your Kids in 2018

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"Every ton of CO2 produced borrows $42 from your children."

Here’s how we arrived at the $219 billion figure in this graphic

The National Academy of Sciences recently released a study of the cost of climate damage, Valuing Climate Damages: Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide. The review of damages concluded: “The [Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases]’s current estimate of the SC-CO2* in the year 2020 for a 3.0 discount rate is $42 per metric ton of CO2 [carbon dioxide] emissions in 2007 U.S. dollars. If, for example, a particular regulation was projected to reduce CO2 by 1 million metric tons in 2018, the estimate of the value of its CO2 emissions benefits in 2020 would be $42 million dollars.”

The U.S. Energy Information Administration reports that the U.S. produced 5,237 million metric tons in 2018, for a total future social cost of $219 billion.

*social cost of carbon

This post was originally published on July 10, 2019

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