National Academies Panel Co-Chaired by Professor Cropper Issues Report on Estimating the Social Cost of Carbon
Distinguished University Professor and Economics Department Chair Maureen Cropper served as co-Chair for a National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that recently issued a report recommending a new framework for estimating the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2).
The report recommends that to estimate the social cost of carbon dioxide for use in regulatory impact analyses, the federal government should use a new framework that would strengthen the scientific basis, provide greater transparency, and improve characterization of the uncertainties of the estimates. The report also identifies a number of near- and longer-term improvements that should be made for calculating the social cost of carbon.
The social cost of carbon (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. The SC-CO2 is intended to be a comprehensive estimate of the net damages from carbon emissions —that is, the net costs and benefits associated with climate change impacts such as changes in net agricultural productivity, risks to human health, and damage from such events as floods. As required by executive orders and a court ruling, government agencies use the SC-CO2 when analyzing the impacts of various regulations, including standards for vehicle emissions and fuel economy, regulation of emissions from power plants, and energy efficiency standards for appliances.