Science Group Lauds White House Plan for US Government to More Fully Account for Climate Change Costs

Statement by Dr. Rachel Cleetus, Union of Concerned Scientists

Published Sep 21, 2023

Media Contact

WASHINGTON—The Biden administration announced today that it will be expanding its use of social cost of carbon calculations beyond regulatory analyses to budgeting, procurement, and other government agency decisions, as recommended by the Interagency Working Group on the social cost of greenhouse gases and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. The social cost of carbon is used by the U.S. government to calculate the economic damages across society associated with the release of each ton of heat-trapping emissions, as well as the benefits of cutting carbon.

Below is a statement by Dr. Rachel Cleetus, the policy director and a lead economist for the Climate and Energy Program at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS).

“Today’s announcement from the White House that the federal government will more fully account for climate change in a wider range of its actions, including budgeting, procurement, and environmental reviews, is most welcome. With the mounting devastation and costs of climate change clearly evident around us, it’s simply commonsense for the federal government to take this step. Using the latest science and economics to guide us toward decisions aligned with a low-carbon and climate resilient future—and away from those that aren’t—is critical to limit harms to people, the economy and the planet.”

Earlier this year, UCS delivered a letter, signed by approximately 400 experts, to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in support of their draft report updating the social cost of carbon. The letter is available here.

If you would like to talk to Dr. Cleetus or another UCS expert, please contact UCS Climate and Energy Media Manager Ashley Siefert Nunes.