U.S. Judge Upholds Social Cost of Carbon Analysis for Specific Projects
A district court judge in Colorado has endorsed the use of social cost of carbon (SCC) calculations in evaluating projects under the U.S. National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). “The SCC puts a dollar figure on the damages done or damages avoided for possible scenarios resulting in discrete amounts of carbon dioxide emission,” Climate Law Blog explains. In deciding on an exploration permit request from two coal companies, several U.S. government agencies concluded that SCC analysis was “controversial,” and could only be used to assess the project’s environmental benefits, not its impacts. Judge R. Brooke Jackson “concluded that the agencies’ explanation that an SCC analysis was impossible was inaccurate because the SCC protocol is, in fact, an available tool for the purpose of appraising project-specific GHG impacts,” Cho writes.