gwagner6_GettyImages_chinasmokefactory Getty Images

The No DICE Carbon Price

If there is a single issue that matters more than any other in the broader debate about climate change, it is how to price carbon dioxide emissions. The battle against catastrophic global warming will have already been lost if those advocating a low figure come out on top.

NEW YORK – If there is a single metric that captures the complexity, ambition, and desperation of climate policy, it is the “social cost of carbon” (SCC). How much does each ton of carbon dioxide emitted into the atmosphere cost society? How much should it cost each of us who emits CO2 through the course of our daily activities? And where does one draw the line between “is” and “ought” – that is, between known facts about climate change and political judgements about who should bear which costs?