New York Times: “The Price of Carbon Emissions Plunged in 2022, and That‘s Not Good”

A column about new data on carbon prices references important RFF research on the social cost of carbon and quotes former board member Robert Litterman.

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Jan. 12, 2024

News Type

Media Highlight


New York Times

“China is now the world’s largest emitter of carbon dioxide, so its $19-per-ton price dragged up the global weighted average significantly. In fact, the weighted average for all countries excluding China was actually a negative $4.50 per ton in 2022, according to Gro.

‘That’s the headline,’ Robert Litterman, a former top executive at Goldman Sachs, told me. (Sorry for not making it the headline, Bob.) Litterman is a founding partner and risk manager at Kepos Capital, a New York-based investment company with $2 billion under management that has a partnership with Gro. Gros barometer is built on initial research by Kepos.

Economic theory says that the price of carbon dioxide emissions should, for efficiency’s sake, be set to equal the social cost imposed by those emissions in terms of rising sea levels, destruction of habitats and so on. In 2022 in the journal Nature, a group led by Resources for the Future put the social cost of carbon emissions at $185 a ton.

Scientists and economists disagree over whether the social cost is higher or lower than $185 a ton, but just about everyone agrees it’s way higher than the $4.08 a ton that Gro Intelligence estimates for 2022.”

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