moldybluecheesecurds 2

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Solving global warming: Give up on cap and trade

Courtesy of Energy Roundup, a new study examines the drawbacks of a cap-and-trade system (pdf) for reducing carbon emissions. Among the pitfalls:
  • It targets large, stationary sources of carbon only, such as power plants. This accounts for less than half of U.S. carbon emissions.
  • It traditionally takes up to 10 years for rule-making to establish such a regulatory system. And that's without an administration that has claimed it's not allowed to regulate carbon.
Cap-and-trade shares the same limitations as carbon offsets - they are incomplete solutions. One idea can target all emissions, and pour resources into solutions. A carbon tax.

Taxing carbon means that all sources of carbon in the economy are targeted. Carbon emission is directly linked to higher economic cost. And the revenue from carbon taxes can be used to offer low-income tax credits, revolving loans for energy efficiency improvements, and research into more energy efficiency and low-carbon energy generation. Furthermore, carbon taxes cut out the middleman of a carbon credit trading system or a carbon offset retailer. You emit, you pay. And best of all, the tax can be applied high up the food chain by slapping the carbon tax on fossil fuels based on their carbon content. So no individual will be filing a 1040-Carbon to the IRS at year's end.

No comments: