On his first day in office, President Joe Biden took a number of early actions to address climate change, including signing an “Executive Order on Protecting Public Health and the Environment and Restoring Science to Tackle the Climate Crisis.” A key component of that order focuses on accounting for the benefits of reducing climate pollution—including revisiting and recommitting to the social cost of carbon (SCC), which estimates economic damages that would result from greenhouse gas emissions.
Under the order, the federal government is reconvening an interagency working group to oversee the process for updating estimates of the social costs of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide, taking into account near-term recommendations from the National Academies of Sciences (NAS). The group is tasked with publishing interim estimates within 30 days and a final set of updated estimates by January 2022.
Over the past four years, the Social Cost of Carbon Initiative at Resources for the Future (RFF) has been a key hub for SCC scholarship to implement the NAS recommendations. On February 10, 2021, RFF held a live webinar that highlighted the latest SCC-related research from RFF scholars and the Climate Impact Lab. The conversation also featured perspectives from decisionmakers using the SCC to inform policy and highlighted key considerations for the Biden administration’s near-term and final updates of the estimates.
- Trevor Houser, Rhodium Group, Climate Impact Lab
- Maureen Leddy, Office of Climate Change, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
- Richard Revesz, Institute for Policy Integrity, New York University School of Law
- Kevin Rennert, Resources for the Future (moderator)
Data Tool — Feb 10, 2021
Social Cost of Carbon Computing Platform: Models from the Interagency Working Group
RFF's free, open-source computing platform allows users to access, run, and modify the social cost of carbon (SCC) models used by the federal Interagency Working Group to estimate the SCC.
Common Resources — Jan 27, 2021
Science-Based Estimates for the Social Cost of Carbon Will Underpin Sound Climate Policy
RFF's Richard G. Newell and Maureen Cropper—co-chairs of a landmark National Academies of Science report on the social cost of carbon—reflect on how the administration can orient social cost of carbon estimates around regulatory best practices.
Common Resources — Jul 17, 2020
Improving the Scientific Basis for Estimating the Social Cost of Carbon
Alongside a report from the Government Accountability Office that highlights RFF’s work, RFF’s Cora Kingdon and Kevin Rennert expound on efforts led by the Social Cost of Carbon Initiative.
Testimony and Public Comments — Oct 29, 2018
Comments to NHTSA and US EPA on Methodological Considerations for Updated Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide Estimates
Prepared for the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)