Peter Howard and Jason Schwartz provided an expert report on Colorado’s Zero Emission Vehicle program, which will reduce millions of tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually. They demonstrate how the program’s climate benefits can be monetized and how those estimates can provide useful context for decisionmakers and the public.
Beginning in the 2023 car model year, Colorado’s ZEV program allows automakers to earn credits for selling electric vehicles. The state’s analysis found that pollution reductions from model years 2023 to 2030 will be about 2.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide and about 710 metric tons of methane. Howard and Schwartz encourage Colorado to monetize the climate benefits of the ZEV and Low Emission Vehicle programs, which would almost certainly amount to billions of dollars. They explain how monetized impacts of emissions changes facilitate comparisons with other costs and benefits, helping the public more readily understand the consequences of the regulatory choice.