From The Hill (EPA report touts big benefit to US from global climate policies):
The Obama administration unveiled a new weapon Monday in its fight against climate change, with a report showing billions of dollars in domestic benefits from aggressive international climate policies.
The report from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cuts across many areas of concern and sectors of the economy, including public health, electricity, water resources and agriculture.
It’s meant to show Americans and world leaders alike what could happen by the end of the century if climate change goes unabated and what it would look like to cut greenhouse gas emissions significantly.
It comes at an important time for President Obama’s climate agenda, as House Republicans vote this week on a pair of bills to significantly weaken or outright repeal the administration’s limits on power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions, the main and most controversial pillar of Obama’s second-term climate push....The analysis specifically looks at the benefits in the United States by the year 2100 if world leaders successfully limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
It finds billions of dollars in avoided problems and costs in each of six areas: health, infrastructure, electricity, water resources, agriculture and forestry and ecosystems.
It does not account for the costs of the carbon controls, since it does not analyze specific policies. But officials said the costs would pale in comparison to the benefits.
The last sentence begs for more explanation so I went looking. Here is what they say about benefits (first paragraph) and costs (second paragraph) in the Key Findings section:
This report includes as many climate change impacts as feasible at present, but is not all-inclusive. It is not intended to be as comprehensive as major assessments, such as those conducted by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), which capture a wider range of impacts from the published literature.7 By using a consistent set of socioeconomic and climate scenarios, CIRA produces apples-to-apples comparisons of impacts across sectors and regions – something that is not always achieved, or even sought, in the major assessments. Also, the assessments typically do not monetize damages, nor do they focus on quantifying mitigation benefits. CIRA’s ability to estimate how global GHG mitigation may benefit the U.S. by reducing or avoiding climate change impacts helps to fill an important literature and knowledge gap.
The CIRA analyses do not serve the same analytical purpose nor use the same methodology as the Social Cost of Carbon, an economic metric quantifying the marginal global benefit of reducing one ton of carbon dioxide.8 In addition, the costs of reducing GHG emissions,9 and the health benefits associated with co-reductions in other air pollutants, are well-examined elsewhere in the literature10 and are beyond the scope of this report.
Here is footnote 9:
9. The CIRA project estimates the benefits to the U.S. of global action on climate change. Importantly, the costs of GHG mitigation are not assessed in the project. As such, the analysis presented in the report does not constitute a cost-benefit assessment of climate policy. The costs of reducing GHG emissions have been well examined in the scientific literature (see references below), where recent assessments have used multiple economic models to investigate the sensitivity of costs to policy design, assumptions about the availability of low carbon-emitting energy technologies, socioeconomic and demographic changes, and other important sources of uncertainty. The one instance in the CIRA project where mitigation costs are considered is in the electricity sector (see Electricity section for details). For that sector, the impact of climate change on costs to the U.S. electric power system is estimated along with the costs associated with GHG emission reductions in that sector. See: Fawcett, A., L. Clarke, and J. Weyant. 2013. Introduction to EMF 24. The Energy Journal. DOI:10.5547/01956574.35.SI1.1; White House Council of Economic Advisors. 2014. The Cost of Delaying Action to Stem Climate Change. Executive Office of the President of the United States; CCSP. 2007. Scenarios of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Atmospheric Concentrations (Part A) and Review of Integrated Scenario Development and Application (Part B). A Report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research, Clarke, L., J. Edmonds, J. Jacoby, H. Pitcher, J. Reilly, R. Richels, ... and M. Webster (Authors). Washington, DC: Department of Energy; Kriegler, E., J.P. Weyant, G.J. Blanford, V. Krey, L. Clarke, J. Edmonds, ... and D.P van Vuuren. 2013. The role of technology for achieving climate policy objectives: overview of the EMF 27 study on global technology and climate policy strategies. Climatic Change. DOI:10.1007/s10584-013-0953-7; and Kriegler, E., K. Riahi, N. Bauer, V.J. Schwanitz, N. Petermann, V. Bosetti, ... and O. Edenhofer. 2015. Making or breaking climate targets: the AMPERE study on staged accession scenarios for climate policy. Technological Forecast and Social Change. DOI:10.1016/j.techfore.2013.09.021; Energy Economics. Volume 31, Supplement 2, Pages S63-S306 (2009). International, U.S. and E.U. Climate Change Control Scenarios: Results from EMF 22. Edited by Leon Clarke, Christoph Böhringer and Tom F. Rutherford.
Yikes! I guess I need to wait for an economist better than me to dig through those references to get some benefit and cost comparison.
And, from the Methods of Analysis page, here is where you go to read the peer-reviewed background:
The methods and results of the CIRA project have been peer reviewed in the scientific literature, including a special issue of the journal Climatic Change entitled “A Multi-Model Framework to Achieve Consistent Evaluation of Climate Change Impacts in the United States.”1 The research papers underlying the modeling and results presented herein are cited throughout this website and are listed in Section B of the Technical Appendix.
There is no section B at the Technical Appendix link ... but footnote 1 says this:
- Martinich, J., J. Reilly, S. Waldhoff, M. Sarofim, and J. McFarland, Eds. 2015. Special Issue on “A Multi-Model Framework to Achieve Consistent Evaluation of Climate Change Impacts in the United States.” Climatic Change.
Google Scholar gets you to the journal article which is open access, so there is no excuse not to read it (other than the time costs).
The brochure [PDF] is a good place to get a summary without getting lost in the webpages.