Press Release

Biden Updates Measure of Economic Damage from Climate Change

Jake Thompson
jthompson@nrdc.org, 301-602-3627

Elizabeth Heyd
eheyd@nrdc.org, 202-813-8315

WASHINGTON –The Biden administration today is issuing an interim estimate of the “social cost of carbon,” the government’s measure of the benefits of curbing emissions of carbon and other climate changing air pollutants.

This important interim measure sets aside a grievous Trump administration move to essentially deny that climate change causes any economic harm. In addition, President Biden’s January 20th Executive Order instructed agencies to make further improvements by the end of the year assessing the estimated economic toll from climate disruption.   

The following statement is from Starla Yeh, director of the policy analysis group in the Climate & Clean Energy program at NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council):

“This action replaces an egregious act of climate denial by the former administration. This interim estimate is an appropriate first step in providing improved tools to account for the massive economic damage wrought by climate change—including from droughts, wildfires, rising ocean levels and the ever-growing extreme weather events that destroy lives and property.

“The Biden administration has committed to more work to update the science and develop a more complete estimate of the climate harm our children and grandchildren face, along with the billions of people who live in the rest of the world. We urgently need that more effective tool measuring the cost of climate disruption, so we can protect our children and communities of color here and abroad, from climate catastrophe.”

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NRDC (Natural Resources Defense Council) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, San Francisco, Chicago, Bozeman, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at www.nrdc.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​

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