What is it about?

Regulators in Canada and the United States use a damages-based valuation to price carbon emissions (the social cost of carbon) for regulatory rule-making. We argue the social cost of carbon could assist in calculating the costs of climate harms (loss and damage) around the world and support access to remedies. We also argue that both the social cost of carbon and climate loss and damage should inform impact assessment processes and decision-making. This could help prevent climate harms in the first place, build coherence across climate change law and policy, and provide a basis for calculating loss and damage fund contributions.

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Why is it important?

As the impacts of climate change are increasingly being felt around the world, it is vital to both prevent future climate harms and to remedy the harms that are arising today. By linking the social cost of carbon with loss and damage and impact assessment, we believe our paper can help set regulators on a better path of appraising, assessing, and redressing harms from climate change and supporting climate justice.


This paper is the result of earlier collaborations by each of the authors with our colleague and friend Dr. Meinhard Doelle. It is a memorial article dedicated to him and published by Climate Law.

Sara Seck
Dalhousie University

As the international loss and damage regime develops, the social cost of carbon represents an existing tool and body of information that is highly relevant and potentially useful. In this article, we take an initial step to identify potential applications, emerging questions, and next steps. We hope policy-makers, negotiators, leaders, and scholars find it useful.

David Wright
University of Calgary

This article envisions practical areas of application for the realization of the promises of the social cost of carbon (SCC). In the contexts of loss and damage and the consideration of climate change in impact assessment, we show how SCC can be adopted as an instrument of redress rather than merely a tool for appraisal.

Adebayo Majekolagbe
University of Alberta

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Exploring the Application of the Social Cost of Carbon in Loss-and-Damage and Impact Assessment, Climate Law, July 2023, Brill,
DOI: 10.1163/18786561-bja10039.
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