the visible hand

it is the theory which decides what can be observed – einstein

A Carbon [Consumption] Cap That Starts in Washington

Posted by ecoshift on December 16, 2007

Here’s a bit of good news. Not that it’s been adopted, but in the current climate it’s a relief just to be able to link to a proposal that makes sense. This article below is a bit of rational thinking that deserves support.

Hopefully there is still a place for rational proposals in national politics…

Now if we could just address the labor standards issue — “A global minimum wage that starts in Washington” — maybe US businesses could be truly competitive again. I won’t hold my breath.

Economic View: A Carbon Cap That Starts in Washington – New York Times
Published: December 16, 2007

THE United Nations conference on climate change wrapped up in Bali, Indonesia, last week without a firm commitment from the United States or China to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. While a binding global agreement would be the best way to cut back on those emissions, a more limited but still useful approach is available, and it is wending its way through Congress…

Indeed, a study by the Tyndall Center for Climate Change Research in Britain estimated that in 2004, net exports accounted for 23 percent of Chinese greenhouse gas emissions.We know where most of those Chinese exports are headed — to developed countries, like the United States, which accounts for about a quarter of them. A rough calculation suggests that almost 6 percent of Chinese carbon emissions are generated in the production of goods consumed here. That is the rough equivalent of the total emissions produced by Australia or France.

The Tyndall Center argues that carbon reduction policies should focus on carbon consumption, not emissions. That makes sense, especially in the absence of a binding global agreement…

If the United States adopted a tradable permit system that treated emissions from domestic producers identically to emissions associated with imported goods, then products that are more emissions-intensive, whether domestic or imported, would require more permits and thus be more expensive. Producers in the United States and abroad would have an incentive to reduce greenhouse gases to make their goods more competitive…

“FROM an environmental point of view,” Mr. Keohane said, “it would ensure that the pollution we cut here at home doesn’t simply end up coming out of a smokestack somewhere else. It levels the playing field for American companies in the global economy. And it also helps us move toward a truly international system, by providing an incentive for developing countries to take on binding caps of their own.”


One Response to “A Carbon [Consumption] Cap That Starts in Washington”

  1. Jane Doe said

    Oceans’ Growing Acidity Alarms Scientists

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