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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
 Valuing Climate Damages:
Updating Estimation of the Social Cost of Carbon Dioxide

SCC cover

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Report Highlights

Report Highlights for Researchers

SCC Report Brief cover

SCC Report Brief 2 
 This report examines potential approaches for a comprehensive update to the current methodology for estimating the social cost of carbon dioxide (SC-CO2) for U.S. regulatory analysis. The SC-CO2 is an estimate, in dollars, of the net damages incurred by society from a 1 metric ton increase in carbon dioxide emissions in a given year. As required by executive orders and a court ruling, government agencies use the SC-CO2 when analyzing the impacts of various regulations.

This is the Phase 2 report. The Phase 1 report examined the advantages and challenges of potential approaches to a near-term narrow update to the SC-CO2.

Sponsors: Members of the Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Carbon, including the U.S. Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Interior, Department of Transportation, and the Environmental Protection Agency

Press Release 

Updating the Social Cost of Carbon and Valuing Climate Impacts: A Public Symposium
June 14, 2017

The Board on Environmental Change and Society hosted a one-day public symposium on updating the social cost of carbon and valuing climate impacts.

Agenda  Committee's Presentation

Speaker Presentations

David Bael - Using the Social Cost of Carbon to Value Climate Damages in Minnesota
Warren Goodlet - Canada's Approach on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases
Jim Laity - Federal Actions on Valuing Climate Impacts
Kevin Rennert - Resources for the Future's Social Cost of Carbon Initiative
Emily Wimberger - Social Costs in California

Archived Webcast of the Symposium

Public discussion of the report
January 11, 2017 

Committee's Report Release Presentation

Archived Webcast of the Report Release Briefing

 Related Report

Assessment of Approaches to Updating the Social Cost of Carbon: Phase 1 Report on a Near-Term Update

This report advises that there would not be sufficient benefit to updating estimates of the social cost of carbon (SCC) within a year based only on the revision of a specific parameter in the existing framework used by the government’s interagency group to measure the SCC. The committee considered whether a near-term change is warranted on the basis of updating the probability distribution for equilibrium climate sensitivity (ECS). Because ECS is only one input to the framework used to estimate the SCC, updating the ECS alone may not significantly improve the estimates. The report also recommends ways to change the IWG's technical support documents to enhance the qualitative characterization of uncertainties associated with the SCC estimates, which would increase the transparency of the estimates when used in regulatory impact analyses.  
Read or download this report

Report Release Presentation

Project Resources

Background Materials

Meetings of the committee:
August 23, 2016
May 5, 2016
November 15, 2015
September 2, 2015

Committee Members
Members Biosketches

Maureen Cropper (NAS), Co-Chair, University of
Richard Newell, Co-Chair, Resources for the Future
Myles Allen, University of Oxford
Maximilian Auffhammer, University of California,
Chris E. Forest, Pennsylvania State University
Inez Fung (NAS), University of California, Berkeley
James Hammitt, Harvard University
Henry Jacoby, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Robert Kopp, Rutgers University
William Pizer, Duke University
Steven Rose, Electric Power Research Institute
Richard Schmalensee, Massachusetts Institute of
John Weyant, Stanford University


Jennifer Heimberg, Study Director
Casey J. Wichman, Consultant, Resources for the Future
Mary Ghitelman, Senior Program Assistant
Toby Warden, Interim Director, BECS




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