College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

UMD Alumnus Casey Wichman, Technical Consultant for New National Academies Report on Estimating the Social Cost of Carbon

Casey WichmanAREC alumnus and Resources for the Future Fellow Casey J. Wichman (Ph.D. '15) served as the Technical Consultant for a report from the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine which recommends a new framework for estimating the social cost of carbon (SC-CO2).

The report recommends that to estimate the social cost of carbon dioxide for use in regulatory impact analyses, the federal government should use a new framework that would strengthen the scientific basis, provide greater transparency, and improve characterization of the uncertainties of the estimates.

The report also identifies a number of near- and longer-term improvements that should be made for calculating the social cost of carbon.

The social cost of carbon (SC-CO2) is an estimate, in dollars, of the net damages incurred by society from a 1 metric ton increase in carbon dioxide emissions in a given year. The SC-CO2 is intended to be a comprehensive estimate of the net damages from carbon emissions —that is, the net costs and benefits associated with climate change impacts such as changes in net agricultural productivity, risks to human health, and damage from such events as floods.

As required by executive orders and a court ruling, government agencies use the SC-CO2 when analyzing the impacts of various regulations, including standards for vehicle emissions and fuel economy, regulation of emissions from power plants, and energy efficiency standards for appliances.

Read the National Academies press release.

Wichman recently received the Wallace E. Oates Outstanding Dissertation Award from the Association of Environmental and Resource Economics (AERE). The award was named for Wallace E. Oates, a distinguished University of Maryland professor emeritus and a university fellow of RFF. Oates died on October 30, 2016.

Wichman previously won the Outstanding Doctoral Dissertation Award from the Agricultural and Applied Economics Association (AAEA) in 2016.

His dissertation, Information and Environmental Policy, is available from the University of Maryland Libraries. 

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