Environmental Law Program

Visiting Professor Seong Wook Heo On Climate Change and Social Discount Rate

On April 25, 2011, Professor Seong Wook Heo from Seoul National University Law School (SNU) spoke about his work on climate change and social discount rate theories. The talk was co-sponsored by SNU’s Center for Energy and Environmental Law and Policy (CEELP), Pacific-Asian Legal Studies (PALS), Center for Island Climate Adaptation & Policy (ICAP), and our Environmental Law Program (ELP).

(Pictured L to R: ELP Director Denise Antolini, Visiting Professor Tae-ung Baik, Visiting Professor Jae-Hyup Lee, Professor Seong Wook Heo, Dean Avi Soifer, Professor Danielle Conway, Professor Mark Levin, and Professor Maxine Burkett). Professor Heo is a member of SNU’s Center for Energy and Environmental Law and Policy (CEELP), which is a partner with WSRSL’s Environmental Law Program. The two programs have sponsored faculty exchanges and CEELP is planning a future international conference in Hawaii.

Social discount rates refer to certain calculations that assign a certain value to social benefits, such as reducing carbon emissions with regards to climate change. The rates are highly controversial as they attempt to value qualitative factors and are used in cost-benefit analyses, which affect quantitative resource allocation decisions.