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The treatment of risk and uncertainty in the US social cost of carbon for regulatory impact analysis

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  • Dietz, Simon
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    Abstract

    This note considers the treatment of risk and uncertainty in the recently established social cost of carbon (SCC) for analysis of federal regulations in the United States. It argues that the analysis of the US Interagency Working Group on Social Cost of Carbon did not go far enough into the tail of low-probability, high-impact scenarios, and, via its approach to discounting, it mis-estimated climate risk, possibly hugely. Given the uncertainty about estimating the SCC, the note concludes by arguing that there is in fact much to commend an approach whereby a quantitative, long-term emissions target is chosen, and the price of carbon for regulatory impact analysis is then based on estimates of the marginal cost of abatement to achieve that very target. --

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    File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.5018/economics-ejournal.ja.2012-18
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    Bibliographic Info

    Article provided by Kiel Institute for the World Economy in its journal Economics: The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal.

    Volume (Year): 6 (2012)
    Issue (Month): 18 ()
    Pages: 1-12

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    Handle: RePEc:zbw:ifweej:201218

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    Related research

    Keywords: ambiguity; climate change; discounting; integrated assessment modelling; risk; social cost of carbon; uncertainty;

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    1. Simon Dietz, 2011. "High impact, low probability? An empirical analysis of risk in the economics of climate change," Climatic Change, Springer, vol. 108(3), pages 519-541, October.
    2. Peter Klibanoff & Massimo Marinacci & Sujoy Mukerji, 2002. "A smooth model of decision making under ambiguity," ICER Working Papers - Applied Mathematics Series 11-2003, ICER - International Centre for Economic Research, revised Apr 2003.
    3. Pizer, William A., 2002. "Combining price and quantity controls to mitigate global climate change," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(3), pages 409-434, September.
    4. Ackerman, Frank & Stanton, Elizabeth A., 2012. "Climate risks and carbon prices: Revising the social cost of carbon," Economics - The Open-Access, Open-Assessment E-Journal, Kiel Institute for the World Economy, vol. 6(10), pages 1-25.
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