The many prices of carbon dioxide
- The social cost of carbon is notional, if sometimes consequential. The costs charged in carbon-pricing schemes are real
Ask an economist what something scarce should cost and they will normally say whatever someone is willing to pay for it. They will go on to say that the best way to establish that willingness is through markets. There are various systems that price carbon dioxide that way. But they do not provide the same answers. And nor do they tally with what economists think might actually be the right answer.