Is Carbon Pricing, Taxation Necessary To Boost Global Climate Accountability?
Recent reports show that a climate crisis is underway and the human footprint is indisputable.
Countries' climate plans submitted last month are not nearly enough to achieve the goal of the 2015 Paris Agreement to prevent average global temperatures from rising beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius.
Nearly half of the 200 nations that originally signed on failed to submit new climate pledges by the United Nations' July deadline.
What more can be done to increase global climate accountability? An idea gaining momentum is to hit countries where it really hurts — in their wallets — through carbon pricing and taxes.
Carbon pricing would define a tax rate on greenhouse gas emissions or on the carbon content of fossil fuels.
Carbon border taxes would impose fees on imports from countries that are not doing enough to cut emissions.
How would these policies work in practice? What are the pros and cons? Where is it being done now and how is it working?
Who sets the price for carbon? How do we know it's the right price? How could carbon pricing impact the U.S. and global economies?
What are U.S. Democratic lawmakers' proposals for a border carbon tax as part of the budget package? Is the GOP on board?
How would this work to address climate change? Would it have a meaningful enough impact? How soon would it need to happen?
- Thornton Matheson, Ph.D., senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center
- Lisa Friedman, climate and environmental policy reporter for The New York Times
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*This interview was recorded on Tuesday, August 17.