We heart carbon pricing, wish everyone did:
President Obama stood in the chamber of the United Nations General Assembly last week and urged the world to follow his example and fight global warming. But a major new declaration calling for a global price on carbon — signed by 74 countries and more than 1,000 businesses and investors — is missing a key signatory: the United States.
The declaration, released by the World Bank the day before Mr. Obama’s speech at the United Nations Climate Summit, has been signed by China, Shell, Dow Chemical and Coca-Cola. It calls on all nations to enact laws forcing industries to pay for the carbon emissions that scientists say are the leading cause of global warming. ...
Although the nonbinding World Bank declaration is meant largely as a show of resolve ahead of a 2015 climate summit in Paris, it signals the broadest, most explicit effort to date of world leaders and financial institutions to push all nations to enact new taxes on old forms of energy. The declaration notes that governments can either directly tax carbon pollution or create market-based cap-and-trade systems, which force companies to buy government-issued pollution permits. ...
In order to avoid more opposition from conservatives, Mr. Obama and other top administration officials no longer call publicly for a national price on carbon. But they have nonetheless signaled their support for international and state efforts. ... The Obama administration has also enacted a policy signaling its readiness to price carbon should the politics of Congress ever shift: a metric it calls “the social cost of carbon,” designed to account for the cost of one ton of carbon dioxide pollution. Mr. Obama’s economists have determined the cost to be $37 a ton. Secretary of State John Kerry, a longtime advocate of government policy to fight climate change — and the chief author of the failed 2010 cap-and-trade bill in the Senate — last week told a meeting of the Major Economies Forum that “when it comes to climate change, we know exactly what it takes to get the job done.”
“On carbon pricing, there’s a perfect storm taking place,” said Robert N. Stavins, director of the environmental economics program at Harvard. “There is increasing recognition that approaches that have been taken in the past haven’t worked, and that the only way one can affect the hundreds of millions of decisions is through price signals.”
For the newbies, here is our primer: http://www.env-econ.net/carbon_tax_vs_capandtrade.html