Valuing the impacts of climate change can help us make smarter decisions.

Climate change will have, and in some cases has already had, severe consequences for society. These consequences range from disruption of daily life to major physical destruction, including the spread of disease, decreased food security, and coastal damage.

The social cost of greenhouse gases (SC-GHG) is a metric designed to quantify and monetize climate damages, representing the net economic cost of climate pollution to society. Simply, the SC-GHG is a monetary estimate of the damage done by each ton of greenhouse gases that is released into the air.

The SC-GHG is a powerful tool that can streamline decisionmaking and underpin economically efficient policies. Many decisionmakers—including policymakers in the federal government, numerous U.S. states and foreign nations—are now using the SC-GHG to craft smarter energy and climate policies that benefit society.