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Unread 2019-02-13, 12:38   #1
aarkieboy's Avatar

Feb 5 2003
85,138 posts
Age 63
Somewhere on this ball we call "Earth"

"After years of failing to pass a carbon tax, climate hawks are now rallying behind a bold new proposal for tackling global warming. Known as the Green New Deal, this economic stimulus package for the planet promises to dramatically cut carbon emissions through government spending on clean energy jobs, technologies, and infrastructure. The main selling point of the Green New Deal has been its politics. While carbon pricing has long been touted as the most cost effective policy for reducing emissions, it has struggled to gain legislative traction. By contrast, advocates of the Green New Deal believe their proposal can build a winning coalition by reframing climate policy as a story of economic growth and opportunity.

A Green New Deal is not just good politics. It is good economics. Society can combat climate change by using existing clean technologies to cut emissions today or by innovating new clean technologies to cut emissions in the future. We need both strategies to address global warming. Every second that we delay in reducing our carbon footprint imposes costs on ourselves and on countless future generations. If we want to avoid climate catastrophe, we need to make deep cuts in emissions soon. On the other hand, the challenges and costs of relying solely on current technologies to address climate change are prohibitively high. We need investments in clean innovation to make it cheaper to reduce emissions in the future.

We could achieve the twin goals of slashing emissions and spurring innovation by putting a very high price on greenhouse gases. Carbon taxes can encourage industries to both reduce their footprints and develop cheaper clean technologies. However, carbon pricing by itself is not the most efficient climate policy. As we explain in a recent paper, the cheaper and faster approach for our society is to combine a moderately sized carbon tax with significant federal spending on the development and deployment of clean technologies. While carbon pricing is the most cost effective way to reduce emissions today, government subsidies are the most cost effective way to advance clean technologies tomorrow.

The intuition behind all this is simple. Policies work best when they are narrowly tailored to the behavior that they seek to alter. Thus, if we want markets to produce more clean innovation, we should reward innovators rather than penalize polluters in the hopes that doing so will indirectly induce them to produce innovation." (More)
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