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Energy & Climate

Valuing Climate Damages


San Francisco, CA

DATE: Thursday, Sept. 13
TIME: 12:00 p.m. — 1:30 p.m. PDT
LOCATION: Impact Hub San Francisco, 1885 Mission St., 1st Floor, San Francisco, California 94103

RSVP: Register here.

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.

*****Lunch will be provided.*****


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

Emily Wimberger, Chief Economist, California Air Resources Board

This panel is a Global Climate Action Summit affiliate event.


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.