17 December, 2007


Opinions differ.

John Quiggin:

The outcome of the international climate talks in Bali has been a huge win for the planet. Given the participation of the Bush Administration, we were never going to get firm short-term targets in the agreement of this round of negotiations (except as the result of a US walkout, and a deal struck by the rest of the world). But on just about every other score, the outcome has been better than anyone could reasonably have expected, including:

* Agreement in principle on a 2050 target of halving emissions
* Agreement to negotiate a binding deal in 2009, when Bush will be gone, and short-term targets back on the table
* Agreement to provide assistance to developing countries for both mitigation and adaptation
* Agreement by China to pursue emissions-cutting actions that are “measurable, reportable and verifiable.”
Paul Krugman:
So the headline today says that the United States, under pressure, has agreed to — well, not to actually do anything about climate change, but to talk about doing something about climate change.
In other environmental news, Greg Mankiw brings an important point about carbon taxes to our attention:
Applied to a carbon tax, this logic implies that the tax should be border adjustable. That is, a carbon tax would include a tax on imports from countries without a carbon tax based on the goods' carbon content and a similar tax rebate for exports. The policy would provide an incentive for Americans to reduce their carbon consumption, but it would not induce tradable goods industries to migrate toward nations without a carbon tax.
The idea is that, while companies can move their operations abroad to avoid a domestic carbon tax, citizens of the United States cannot really move their consumption. So, tax the consumption of carbon-heavy items, not the production.


TonyGuitar said...

If a carbon tax..,and *worldwide is laughable*, can not be enforced, then there is no policy at all.

In some areas economists have no real effect when they are politically overridden.

Oil prices for example. When hybrid vehicles are running in the millions, when GM eco- buses in 56 cities are using 50% less diesel fuel, when e-fuels are booming everywhere, [Brazil 80% E-fuels], when 98 eco-locomotives supplied to Texas alone burn 30% less fuel, when the EU is running EVs for mail delivery and battery operated truck fleets are expanding in the UK and France [Check AutoblogGreen.com],

How does Opec and ExxonMobile keep oil at $90 a barrel?

Guess governments need the taxes and ExxonMobile, Chevron and the gang need our donations to pay off new distribution overhead and to finance future ventures like Lithium Ion battery films research.

Econmists seem to avoid this whole area somewhat, I notice. = TG

TonyGuitar said...

Saving face for Bali?

President Bush Signs 35 mpg CAFE into law.

December 19, 2007
Now it's pen-on-paper official:


= TG