Calculation of Monetary Values of Environmental Impacts from Emissions and Resource Use The Case of Using the EPS 2015d Impact Assessment Method

  •  Bengt Steen    


Monetary values of environmental impacts from emissions and from use of natural resources help in understanding the environmental significance of human activities. It is however a complicated and time consuming task to determine these values, and the values are easy to uncritically accept without understanding the many ways they may be determined, the many preferences they may represent and the different contexts for which they may be relevant.

This article aims at increasing the usefulness of monetary valuation and decreasing some of its shortcomings by demonstrating a way to model and calculate monetary values of environmental impacts from emissions and use of natural resources, highlight subjective choices that have to be made in modelling and calculations, and discuss how some of them influence the values assessed.

The method we use is based on the principles of the EPS default impact assessment method, which comply with the requirements of the ISO 14044 life cycle assessment standard.

Monetary values for 98 endpoint category indicators are determined, and calculations of characterization factors are demonstrated for CO2, N2O, CH4, and NOx.

Two methodological choices have proven particularly important for the values obtained. One is the long term perspective and intergenerational equity. The other is the approach to uncertainty. Both is important for what is included in the assessments and to what extent.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.