High costs when environmental protection is neglected
One tonne of CO2 emissions causes damage worth 180 euros – German Environment Agency publishes updated cost rates
Excessive amounts of greenhouse gases, air pollutants and other environmental pollutants harm human health, destroy ecosystems and foster the extinction of animals and plants. Another result: economic losses including loss of production, crop losses or damage to buildings and infrastructure. There are established scientific methods which express this damage in monetary terms. The German Environment Agency (UBA) has updated its recommendations for the estimation of such damage and readjusted the costs of environmental impacts in the newly published Methodological Convention 3.0. The cost readjustments claim that one tonne of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, for example, incurs environmental costs of about 180 euros. When annualized for Germany's greenhouse gas emissions in 2016, total costs amount to about 164 billion euros. President Maria Krautzberger of the German Environment Agency said: "Measures to protect the environment and climate can save us and future generations billions of euros due to lower environmental and health costs. This must not be forgotten in the debate about air pollution control or the phase-out of coal."