Four Reasons to Use Cap and Trade to Fight Global Warming

Michael Oppenheimer and I have a post up on Huffington Post that explains why cap and trade is more effective than a tax at slowing and eventually halting global warming.

Here are just the highlights:

  1. Environmental certainty. Let’s keep our eyes on the prize: avoiding dangerous climate change. A legally binding cap is the only way to assure that this objective will actually be attained.
  2. International opportunity. The atmosphere is indifferent to where carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, is emitted. The ultimate goal, once countries like China and Brazil have adequate systems for monitoring their emissions, is a global carbon market — benefiting both the developing countries and the industrialized countries.
  3. The market, not the government, sets the price. Cap and trade is a smart division of labor: Congress sets the cap, and the market sets the price on carbon needed to achieve it.
  4. Political viability. In our view, cap and trade is the best policy on the merits. But it is also the politically viable path. A recent survey shows that of all regulatory approaches, the public likes taxes least.

Each of these reasons are explained in more detail on Huffington Post. Take a look and add to the comments!

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One Comment

  1. Dr. James Singmaster
    Posted July 15, 2009 at 11:55 pm | Permalink

    You are fooling yourselves that controlling emissions will do something to halt global warming when an overload of GHGs mainly carbon dioxide is already causing serious effects to the biosphere. Some way has to be found to remove some of the overload, and I have proposed using pyrolysis on the massive human waste stream of biochemicals. This has been detailed several times in my comments on EDF blogs and on GreenInc NYTimes blog(Search my name there). How anyone can swallow the idea that just cutting emissions some will cut into the overload is beyond understanding. Mr. Keohane and Dr. Oppenheimer explain how cap and trade will do anything to get some removal of the overload. Perhaps you feel that the effects of the overload are nothing so far so that just slowing its increase will be enough. You should check Dr. E. Chaisson’s article in Eos last July with a further comment of his online at New Scientist environment section blog April 6, 2009 titled “The Heat to Come”. Maybe that’s too real science for EDF people to handle. Dr. J. Singmaster