In May 2013, the United States government significantly altered
a key economic measure used to assess the damage caused by carbon
emissions and the benefit of carbon reduction, increasing the
"social cost of carbon" (the SCC) by over 60% from
U.S.$22 to U.S.$36 per tonne of CO2. This figure is meant to
approximate externalities, such as property damage from extreme
weather or changes to agricultural productivity and human health,
associated with carbon emissions and global warming. In fact, the
Sustainable Energy and Environment Coalition of the House of
Representatives suggests that extreme weather events stemming from
climate change in 2011 and 2012 cost U.S. taxpayers approximately
U.S.$136 billion, or U.S.$1,610 per taxpayer.
The change reflects updated scientific and economic models of
climate change and it is expected that it will have a
large impact on the cost-benefit analysis of government action.
Government policies or projects that lead to cuts in carbon
emissions will appear more valuable, while those that lead to more
carbon pollution will seem more costly. For example, the U.S.
government states that recent changes to microwave efficiency
standards are expected to generate total net benefits of U.S.$4.6
billion using the new SCC measure, compared to U.S.$4.2 billion
using the previous figure. Even more significant is the way in
which the new SCC value will impact proposed fossil fuel
Canada's approach is largely consistent with that of the
United States. Environment Canada uses an SCC value of Cdn.$28.44
per tonne of CO2 when conducting regulatory impact analysis or
project reviews and is reported to be in the midst of an evaluation
of this figure given the change south of the border. As such,
industry participants on both sides of the border should carefully
consider the impact of these changes on proposed projects.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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Canada is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy and a federation comprised of ten provinces and three territories. Canada's judiciary is independent of the legislative and executive branches of Government.
In Bank of Montreal v Bumper Development Corporation Ltd, 2016 ABQB 363, the Alberta Court of Queen's Bench enforced the "immediate replacement" provision in the Canadian Association of Petroleum Landmen 2007 Operating Procedure...
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