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Urban Science

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Climatic changes -- Research, Carbon emissions


Loss and damage (L&D) from climate change result from past and current greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Current definitions of L&D exclude GHG emissions even though they represent L&D to human beings and the environment. This study’s objective was to identify and quantify the L&D from GHG emissions associated with land developments using the state of Florida (FL) in the United States of America (USA) as a case study. All land developments in FL caused various L&D (20,249.6 km2, midpoint 3.0 1011 of total soil carbon (TSC) losses with midpoint $50.3B (where B = billion = 109, USD) in social costs of carbon dioxide emissions, SC-CO2), while “new” land developments (1703.7 km2) in the period from 2001 to 2016 caused a complete loss of midpoint 2.8 1010 kg of TSC resulting in midpoint $4.5B SC-CO2. These emissions are currently not accounted for in FL’s total carbon footprint (CF). Climate-change-related damages in FL include permanent losses (e.g., land losses), with 47 out of 67 FL’s counties potentially affected by the projected sea-level rise and repairable damages (e.g., destruction from hurricanes). Based on the fixed social cost of carbon (C), there appears to be a disconnect between the value attributed to soil-based emissions and the actual market-driven losses from climate-change-associated costs. The social cost of C could be scaled based on the vulnerability of a particular community and the market-based cost of L&D mitigation. Programs for compensation on the international level should be carefully designed to help people who have suffered climate-related L&D, without creating reverse climate change adaptation (RCCA), where compensation causes people to remain in areas that are vulnerable to climate-related L&D.


Copyright: © 2023 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// 4.0/).



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