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Monetary Carbon Values in Policy Appraisal: An Overview of Current Practice and Key Issues


  • Stephen Smith

    (University College London)

  • Nils Axel Braathen



Cost-benefit analyses and other quantitative appraisals are used in many countries to support decision-making in different areas of public policy, including many investment projects in sectors such as transport and energy. These decisions can have significant effects – either negative or positive – on future emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases and it is important whether, and how, countries incorporate estimates of the marginal value of changes in carbon dioxide emissions into these analyses. This paper discusses the range of approaches which can be employed to value changes in carbon emissions in policy appraisals, setting out the key issues in the choice of valuation principles, and presents some case studies and a survey of current practice in OECD countries. Les analyses coûts-avantages et d’autres évaluations quantitatives sont utilisées dans de nombreux pays pour étayer la prise de décisions dans différents domaines d’action publique, par exemple dans nombre de projets d’investissement dans les transports ou l’énergie. Ce sont des décisions qui peuvent avoir une influence notable –défavorable ou favorable – sur les émissions futures de dioxyde de carbone et d’autres gaz à effet de serre, c’est pourquoi il importe de savoir si des pays introduisent dans ces analyses des estimations de la valeur marginale des variations des émissions de dioxyde de carbone et comment ils procèdent à cet effet. Ce rapport examine les différentes approches possibles pour attacher des valeurs aux variations des émissions de carbone dans le cadre de l’évaluation des politiques, en signalant les grands problèmes que pose le choix des principes d’évaluation, et il présente quelques études de cas ainsi qu’une enquête sur les pratiques actuelles en la matière dans les pays de l’OCDE.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Smith & Nils Axel Braathen, 2015. "Monetary Carbon Values in Policy Appraisal: An Overview of Current Practice and Key Issues," OECD Environment Working Papers 92, OECD Publishing.
  • Handle: RePEc:oec:envaaa:92-en

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    Cited by:

    1. Ted Gayer & W. Kip Viscusi, 2016. "Determining the Proper Scope of Climate Change Policy Benefits in U.S. Regulatory Analyses: Domestic versus Global Approaches," Review of Environmental Economics and Policy, Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, vol. 10(2), pages 245-263.

    More about this item


    analyse coûts-avantages; climate change policy; cost-benefit analysis; évaluation des politiques;

    JEL classification:

    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate
    • Q51 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Valuation of Environmental Effects
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming
    • Q58 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Environmental Economics: Government Policy

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