Economist Frank Ackerman has called the “social cost of carbon” the most important number you never heard of. What is the social cost of carbon, where do the numbers come from, and why should policymakers take care when using them?
This policy brief explains the various steps in calculating the social cost of carbon, the weaknesses and strengths of those calculations, and how they are used to inform climate policy. The aim is to help policymakers, regulators, civil society, and others judge for themselves the reliability of using the resulting numbers in making policy decisions.
WRI works with businesses, governments, and researchers of all kinds to ensure that technologies to provide low-carbon energy effectively, efficiently, and inexpensively are available and deployed around the world.
WRI works to inform Congress about the opportunities and impacts of legislative proposals that affect U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and to help shape federal policies that will lead the U.S. on a path of low-carbon growth.