A major new report commissioned by the governments of China and Brazil has called for a carbon tax -- or a carbon cap-and-trade system that would also impose a carbon price.
Lighting the Way: Toward a Sustainable Energy Future, authored by leading scientists and energy experts from 13 countries including Russia, India, Canada, Kenya, Egypt, Japan, and the U.S., along with Brazil and China, calls for "a wide variety of policy instruments [including] market incentives such as a price or cap on carbon emissions (which can be especially effective in influencing long-term capital investment decisions)." (The quote is from Section 4, The Role of Government and the Contribution of Science and Technology. Our Quote of the Week is drawn from the final "Conclusion" section, Lighting the Way.)
How high a price? Here's what the report authors, who were assembled by the InterAcademy Council, a group representing the world’s 150 scientific and engineering academies, and were chaired by Nobel Laureate Stephen Chu, Director, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, and José Goldemberg, Professor, University of São Paulo, Brazil, had to say:...MOREHT: Portfolio.com's Market Movers who said:
China Approves of Cap-and-Trade
The strongest argument against a cap-and-trade system for carbon emissions (or its cousin, the carbon tax) is that emissions wouldn't actually fall; they'd just be exported to China. To some extent that's already happening, but the trend of heavy industry moving to low-regulation, high-pollution countries would only increase if the US imposed caps on its domestic carbon emissions. "We'd love to do it," is the standard delaying rhetoric, "but there's no point in doing it unless China does it too"....MORE
China has not officially endorsed a carbon price
As I mentioned yesterday, a new report from the InterAcademy Council advocates for a price on carbon (among many other things). I started reading it last night, and it's fantastic -- more on it later.
The report was commissioned by China and Brazil. The foreword is by Lu Yongxiang, president of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Somehow, our own Charles Komanoff extracts from this slender evidence that "China has put its weight behind a carbon tax -- or a carbon cap-and-trade system that would also impose a carbon price." Next thing you know, Portolio.com says "China approves of cap-and-trade" and Matt Yglesias says "Chinese calls for climate change action."
Whoa now. Slow down.It's a looong way from a report-in-which-a-government-scientist-is-involved to government-endorsing-report-recommendations, and longer still to government-implementing-report-recommendations....MORE
The folks at the Carbon Tax Center had one of my favorite headlines: