Research / BFI Working PaperNov 12, 2021

Updating the United States Government’s Social Cost of Carbon

Tamma Carleton, Michael Greenstone

Since its release in 2010, the United States government’s Social Cost of Carbon (SCC) has played a central role in climate policy both domestically and internationally. However, rapid progress in climate science and economics over the last decade mean that it is no longer based on the frontier of understanding. Specifically, extensive new research about the climate, economy, and their relationship has altered understanding about the magnitudes of the projected physical and economic impacts of climate change, as well as their heterogeneity across space and time. This paper provides concrete recommendations on how to rebuild the SCC based on these new advances and return it to the scientific frontier.

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