Friday, March 13, 2009

Replace Kyoto protocol with global carbon tax, says Yale economist

Speaking of flanking maneuvers... (see post immediately below), this isn't one. This is a direct assault on the cap-and-trade crowd by one of the heavyweights of the environmental econ biz.
Take a look at Professor Nordhaus' c.v.
Here's the story from The Guardian:

The Kyoto protocol is reckless gamble that penalises participating countries, Copenhagen climate change congress told

The world should dump the "inefficient and ineffective" Kyoto protocol and replace it with a global carbon tax, leading economist William Nordhaus said yesterday.

"To bet the world's climate system on the Kyoto approach is a reckless gamble", he told the climate change congress in Copenhagen. "Taxation is a proven instrument. Taxes may be unpopular, but they work. The Kyoto model is largely untested and the experience we have tells us it will not meet our objective — to stablise the world climate system."

This week's meeting of more than 2,000 scientists and policy-makers is intended to lay the groundwork for a major UN summit in Copenhagen in December that hopes to negotiate a new climate treaty to succeed the Kyoto protocol.

Nordhaus, professor of economics at Yale university, critricised the Kyoto system in trenchant terms. "The developed countries that have emissions reductions targets account for only half of the world's carbon emissions. Our models show that a 50% non-participation results in a 250% increase in the cost to those who are participating, and this is a huge penalty we can no longer afford.">>>MORE

The article doesn't say what the use of proceeds would be. As one of Nordhaus' many co-authors over the years was James Tobin (one of at least three Nobelist co-authors in the c.v.), I fear this may lead to an international 'soak the U.S. citizen' plan, à la the Tobin Tax.

But even that might be preferable to the 20% middleman rake-off we'd see under C&T.

The cleanest approach is Tax & 100% Rebate. Keep the money out of the hands of the politicians.