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Broader frameworks are necessary for climate mitigation policies

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In their article on climate policies, Aldy et al. (1) assert that the focus should be on social costs of carbon and that a “proposed shift away from SCC is ill advised”. The authors dismiss approaches based on cost-effectiveness analyses as being “misguided”. These blunt and seemingly superficial statements presumably stem from an emphasis on “macro” approaches (2) for modeling the effects of atmospheric greenhouse gases concentrations for average global surface and “deep-ocean” temperatures. By contrast, “micro” analyses underlying cost-effective policies will generally entail the use of in situ and remote sensing longitudinal data for analyzing the interrelationships between climate indicators such as GHG concentrations, ambient temperatures, ocean acidification, deoxygenation and current velocities, melting of sea and polar ice, and increased salinity and floods in coastal regions (3). From a broader analytical standpoint, the two approaches may be complementary especially since the assessment of long-term benefits of climate mitigation policies is complex. 

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