The social cost of carbon (SCC) is a crucial tool for economic analysis of climate policies. The SCC estimates the dollar value of reduced climate change damages associated with a one-metric-ton reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. Although the conceptual basis, challenges, and merits of the SCC are well established, its use in government cost-benefit analysis (CBA) is relatively new. In light of challenges in constructing the SCC, its newness in government regulation, and the importance of updating, we propose an institutional process for regular SCC review and revision when used in government policy-making and suggest how scientists might contribute to improved SCC estimates.
William A. Pizer
Vice President for Research and Policy Engagement
Billy Pizer is Vice President for Research and Policy Engagement at RFF.
Joseph E. Aldy
Joe Aldy is a university fellow at RFF and professor of the practice of public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School. His research focuses on climate change policy, energy policy, and mortality risk evaluation.
David Anthoff is a university fellow at RFF and assistant professor in the Energy and Resources Group at the University of California, Berkeley. As an environmental economist, he studies climate change and environmental policy.
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.
Media Highlight — Jan 12, 2024
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.
Media Highlight — Jan 11, 2024
POLITICO/E&E News: “4 Things to Know about EPA‘s New Climate Damage Metric”
An article in E&E News and POLITICO‘s Power Switch newsletter quote RFF Fellow Brian Prest.
Resources Magazine — Jan 11, 2024
How Much Will the Inflation Reduction Act Reduce Emissions?
Maya Domeshek and Nicholas Roy discuss projected reductions in carbon emissions that the Inflation Reduction Act could achieve for the energy sector.