One approach to climate policy is to specify a maximum allowable increase in mean global temperature and then determine a path of carbon emissions that will satisfy that target. This approach, adopted by the High-Level Commission on Carbon Prices, suggests that carbon should be priced to achieve a temperature-based emissions target. In the United States emphasis has been put on estimating the Social Cost of Carbon—the damages associated with emitting an additional ton of carbon dioxide. Dr. Cropper’s talk will focus on why we should calculate a Social Cost of Carbon (SCC), on the role it should play in climate policy, and on recent progress in estimating the SCC.
Maureen Cropper is a Distinguished University Professor of Economics at the University of Maryland, a Senior Fellow at Resources for the Future, and a former Lead Economist at the World Bank. Dr. Cropper has served as chair of the EPA Science Advisory Board Environmental Economics Advisory Committee and as president of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research has focused on valuing environmental amenities (especially environmental health effects), on the discounting of future health benefits, and on the tradeoffs implicit in environmental regulations.