THE CULTURAL COST OF CARBON
An extension of the social cost of carbon, the caculation used to estimate the economic damages associated with a small increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, conventionally one metric ton, over the gas’s lifetime. This dollar figure also represents the value of damages avoided by not emitting the gas in the first place. The estimated social cost of carbon used by the United States government is USD$21. However, that figure has been recently suggested to actually be as high as over $200. Recognising a cultural cost of carbon acknowledges the financial impacts on cultural assets – such as the preservation of sites of historical significance, the production of art and other cultural forms, and the value of the relationship of people to place. When calculating the social cost of carbon, less tangible things are often overlooked, for example the cultural value of a homeland such as a pacific island threatened by climate change.