NC State Ag Economist Dr. Mike Walden – “Changes in Climate Rules”

Mary:  I’m Mary Walden with economist MW welcoming you to the economic perspective.  Today’s program looks at changes in climate rules.  Mike, recently the Trump Administration made headlines with some announced revisions in the rules that guide US climate policies.   Can you summarize what these changes were?

Mike: Summary Answer

  1. They actually involve economics
  2. Big issue is how to derive the value of policies about the environment
  3. Two questions – who to include in benefits, and how to measure
  4. Trump Adm. now says will only include domestic beneficiaries – rather than domestic plus international
  5. Second converting future benefits to today, agencies had been using a discount rate of 3%
  6. Trump Adm. says 3% isn’t mandated – agencies can use other rates also – possibly as high as 7%
  7. Import of this is that higher discount rates make future benefits worth less today
  8. So new directive looks like will reduce measured benefits from climate change rules
  9. I’m MW

Mary:  And I’m Mary Walden for the North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service