Energy, Climate & Environment


What is the economic cost of one more ton of CO2 emissions?

Bending the threatening trajectory of global climate change surely seems daunting. Max Auffhammer argues that a single powerful tool can generate major change worldwide: price incentives. His focus is the social cost of carbon --an estimate, expressed in dollars and cents, of the damage that one ton of CO2 emitted into the atmosphere has on the entire globe. One ton of CO2 is roughly the amount you emit by driving your Camry from San Francisco to Chicago. Of course, this is not a dollar figure that anybody ever pays. Instead it is a number that governments should use to evaluate the benefits and costs of new regulations that affect greenhouse gas emissions. Max Auffhammer stresses that over the next five to ten years we need to determine what this number is so that every government on the planet can use it to help arrive at better policies to avert a global climate crisis.

Keywords/Tags: climate

Max AufhammerMax Aufhammer

Max focuses on environmental and resource economics, energy economics and  applied econometrics. He is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research in the Energy and Environmental Economics group, a lead author for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and a Humboldt Fellow. Read more.