December 4, 2014

News Tip: U.S. Urged to Regularly Measure Social Cost of Carbon

Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions


Decision-makers are meeting through Dec. 12 at the 2014 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, to develop an agreement aimed at curbing greenhouse gas emissions. Researchers at Duke University and other institutions are urging the United States to regularly evaluate the social cost of carbon, an estimate of the per-metric-ton dollar value of reducing climate change damages.

Billy Pizer, Brian Murray and Jonathan Wiener of Duke are among several coauthors of a Perspectives article on the topic forthcoming in Science magazine on Dec. 5 (

    Billy Pizer
•    Quote:
"In the past five years, government estimates of the social cost of carbon have increased by 40 percent," says Billy Pizer, a professor of public policy at Duke University. "Without a clear timeline of how and when this measurement will be updated again, scientists cannot contribute new research in a timely fashion. Additionally, businesses affected by the social cost of carbon may hesitate to make investments if there is uncertainty about its changes."

•    Bio:
William (Billy) Pizer is a professor in the Sanford School of Public Policy and a faculty fellow in the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions, both at Duke. Previously, he served as deputy assistant secretary for environment and energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury.

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•    For additional comment, contact Billy Pizer at:

Brian Murray
•    Quote:
"As negotiators meet to draft a new international climate change agreement in Lima, and commitments by the U.S. are being used as leverage to attract similar pledges from developed and emerging countries, it is vital to choose a social cost of carbon model that reflects global climate change,” says Brian Murray, director of economic analysis at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. "This approach diverges from the traditional focus on domestic, U.S.-only impacts, to provide strategic support for international efforts."

•    Bio:
Brian Murray is director of economic analysis at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and research professor of environmental economics at Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment. Widely recognized for his work on the economics of climate change policy, Murray served on a National Academy of Sciences panel to examine the role of energy subsidies on greenhouse gas emissions.

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•    For additional comment, contact Brian Murray at:

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