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Flammable Planet: Wildfires and the Social Cost of Carbon

Climate change is expected to make wildfires more frequent and intense, with new areas facing wildfire risk. This could take a serious toll on the U.S. economy by expanding the area that wildfires burn 50 percent by 2050—and raising projected damages by tens of billions of dollars a year. This report surveys the scientific and economic literature on wildfires and climate change, and provides the first estimate of the future economic costs of wildfires that will be magnified by climate change. Currently these costs are omitted from the government’s social cost of carbon estimate. Flammable Planet lays the groundwork for the future inclusion of wildfire costs in the models that underlie the social cost of carbon.