United States Baulks at the Political Cost of a Carbon Price
The Green New Deal was introduced with great fanfare on Capitol Hill by lawmakers Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ed Markey and hailed as the United States’ flagship package to combat climate change in 2019. Notably, for such a package, it did not contain any carbon pricing mechanism. Then, Joe Biden’s $1.7 trillion infrastructure plan launched in May 2021—fundamentally the administration’s central climate change mitigation policy package—also did not include carbon pricing.
The US is becoming an outlier on the international stage. According to the Centre for Climate and Energy Solutions (C2ES), a US environmental non-profit organisation, about half of the nations signed up to the Paris Agreement plan to—or already do—use market-based approaches to help achieve emissions reduction. Globally, 22% of the world’s emissions are already covered by carbon pricing, notes Jessica Green at the University of Toronto and a critic of carbon pricing.
In the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) region—one of the US’s few state-level programmes that spans eleven northeast states—power sector emissions have fallen more quickly on average than the rest of the country while the region’s economies have thrived, notes Jordan Stutt at the Acadia Centre, a clean energy, research and advocacy group in Maine. Without RGGI, emissions would have been 24% higher from 2009 to 2015, a Duke University study found.
Read the full article in Foresight- Climate and Energy here