Integrating the Social Cost of Carbon into Michigan's Selection of Development Projects
De Witt, Eric
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Climate change caused by anthropogenic carbon emissions is a growing global issue. Many costs associated with carbon emissions are not realized in cost analyses, including the strategic selection of economic development projects in the State of Michigan. This paper will attempt to determine the implications of incorporating carbon emissions as a cost in order to compare potential development projects, by industry, within the State of Michigan. Furthermore, it will look at the necessary steps required for an organization, like the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), to integrate carbon emissions data into their selection process to make more informed decisions regarding Michigan's future. Specifically, to build this carbon cost into the Site Selection Cost Model (SSCM), which is one of the MEDC's cost models used to directly compare the monetary impacts of different development projects. There are several methods of calculating carbon costs that can be integrated into the SSCM; the goal of this paper is to assess the different carbon costs assigned to emissions in order to provide a holistic approach. Finally, this paper will seek to establish whether carbon emissions data should be utilized and the associated benefits and drawbacks of its inclusion in the MEDC's selection of development projects for the State of Michigan.