An Updated Social Cost of Carbon: Calculating the Cost of Climate Change
A multi-institutional research team unveils its updated estimate of the social cost of carbon
The social cost of carbon (SCC) has been referred to as the most important number you’ve never heard of. The SCC puts the effects of climate change into economic terms to help policymakers and other decisionmakers understand the value of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The SCC is currently used by local, state, and federal governments, as well as the private sector, to inform billions of dollars of policy and investment decisions in the United States and abroad.
The US government is currently in the process of updating its estimates of the SCC to reflect recent scientific advances. New research on the SCC from Resources for the Future (RFF), the University of California, Berkeley, and eight other top institutions aims to inform the federal government’s efforts. This team of interdisciplinary scholars has now completed a comprehensive, multiyear project to update to the scientific basis underlying the SCC.
At an RFF Live event on September 1, 2022, the RFF–UC Berkeley team revealed its updated SCC estimate and discussed its implications for US and global climate policy. Researchers also unveiled a new interactive tool that allows users to visualize the data underpinning their SCC estimate, including long-term projections of population, economic growth, greenhouse gas emissions, changes in the climate, and their corresponding economic impacts.
- David Anthoff, University of California, Berkeley
- Brian Prest, Resources for the Future
- Kevin Rennert, Resources for the Future
- Maureen Cropper, Resources for the Future, University of Maryland (Moderator)
- Richard G. Newell, Resources for the Future (Introductory Remarks)
Maureen L. Cropper
Maureen Cropper is a a senior fellow at RFF, professor of economics at the University of Maryland, a member of the Board of Directors at the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.
Richard G. Newell
President and CEO, Resources for the Future
Dr. Richard G. Newell is the President and CEO of Resources for the Future. From 2009 to 2011, he served as the administrator of the US Energy Information Administration, the agency responsible for official US government energy statistics and analysis.
Brian C. Prest
Fellow; Director, Social Cost of Carbon Initiative
Brian Prest is an economist and fellow at Resources for the Future specializing in climate change, oil and gas, and energy economics.
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