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The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Board on Environmental Change and Society
Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education
Assessing Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon

Project Description

The Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) is an estimate, in dollars, of the long term damage caused by a one ton increase in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in a given year; or viewed another way, the benefits of reducing CO2 emissions by that amount in a given year. The SCC is intended to be a comprehensive estimate of climate change damages that includes, among other costs, the changes in net agricultural productivity, risks to human health, and property damages from increased flood risks. Federal agencies use the SCC to value the social impacts of regulations.

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine, under the auspices of the Board on Environmental Change and Society, has assembled an interdisciplinary committee of experts to review the latest research on modeling the economic aspects of climate change to further inform future revision to the SCC estimates used in regulatory impact analyses. The study was requested by the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon, co-chaired by the Council of Economic Advisors and the Office of Management and Budget.

The committee’s work will be conducted in two phases, with an interim report expected from the first phase in early 2016 and a final report in early 2017. The first phase will examine the advantages and challenges of potential approaches to a near-term narrow update to the SCC. The committee’s final report will examine potential merits of a range of alternative approaches to updating the SCC estimates, with the goal of ensuring that the estimates continue to reflect the best available science and evidence, and will highlight research priorities going forward.


Background Information

Related Reports:
   
 
  •  
Sustainability Concepts in Decision-Making: Tools and Approaches for the US Environmental Agency
National Academies Press, 2014
 
  •  
Effects of U.S. Tax Policy on Greenhouse Gas Emission
National Academies Press, 2013
 
  •  
America's Climate Choices - Chapter 4:  A Framework for Making America's Climate Choices
National Academies Press, 2011
 
  •  
Climate Stabilization Targets: Emissions, Concentrations, and Impacts over Decades to Millenia
National Academies Press, 2011
 
  •  
Hidden Cost of Energy: Unpriced Consequences of Energy Production and Use
National Academies Press, 2010
 
  •  
Describing Socioeconomic Futures for Climate Change Research and Assessment: Report of a Workshop
National Academies Press, 2010
 
  •  
Informing an Effective Response to Climate Change
National Academies Press, 2010
 
  •  
Advancing the Science of Climate Change
National Academies Press, 2010
 
  •  
Assessing Economic Impacts of Greenhouse Gas Mitigation: Summary of a Workshop
National Academies Press, 2009
   
Related Background Material:
   
 
  •  
Estimating the Benefits from Carbon Dioxide Emissions Reductions, July 2015
 
  •  
Technical Support Document: Technical Update of the Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive Order 12866, July 2015
 
  •  
Response to Comments: Social Cost of Carbon for Regulatory Impact Analysis Under Executive
Order 12866
, July 2015


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