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Valuing Climate Damages

  • September 13, 2018
  • 12:00pm–1:30pm
  • Impact Hub San Francisco, 1st Floor | 1885 Mission St. | San Francisco, CA

Decisionmakers at all levels of government and business must choose how to allocate resources to address the threats of climate change. What values should they use when quantifying climate impacts, and what are the implications?

On September 13, the Institute for Policy Integrity will host a panel discussion in San Francisco that will look at how countries, states, and companies are using climate damage estimates to inform their decisionmaking. Decisionmakers from all of these sectors will discuss the lessons they have learned from using various climate damage estimates, and their plans for how to carry these estimates forward into the future.

This panel is a Global Climate Action Summit affiliate event.

Lunch will be provided.



Scientists, economists, and government officials have worked together to develop estimates of the costs to society of each additional ton of greenhouse gas emissions. Decisionmakers have, in turn, used these estimates to craft rules and policies, value the benefits of clean energy resources, and assess the environmental effects of proposed actions. Notably, between 2009 and 2016, the U.S. federal government’s Interagency Working Group on the Social Cost of Greenhouse Gases developed standardized estimates for use across federal government agencies. These estimates have been applied not only by the U.S. government, but also by Canada, Mexico, and a variety of state and local government agencies.

The Trump administration has created a new “interim” estimate that obscures the vast majority of these climate damages, and has used this value to justify deregulatory actions. As the U.S. federal government turns away from the science and economics underlying climate change, the baton has been passed to states and municipalities, businesses, and other groups that can help ensure that climate impact estimates continue to reflect the best available science and economics.



Emily Wimberger, Chief Economist, California Air Resources Board
Karine Hertzberg, Counselor for Climate and Environment at Norway’s Embassy to the United States
Trevor Houser, Partner, Rhodium Group and Co-Director, Climate Impact Lab
Kevin Rennert, Fellow and Director, Social Cost of Carbon Initiative at Resources for the Future