FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 29, 2015
32 Leading U.S. Experts Urge Paris Climate Negotiators to Tax Carbon
Four Nobel Prize winners, three former cabinet secretaries, and two former vice-chairs of the Federal Reserve Board of Governors are among the open letter’s signers.
Thirty-two leading U.S. experts in economic, environmental and climate policy today released an open letter urging negotiators at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference to pursue national carbon taxes the most meaningful action to address climate change. The signers, assembled by the nonprofit Carbon Tax Center, outline how world leaders can tackle climate change without undermining economic prosperity.
The signers include Steven Chu, Nobel Prize-winning physicist and President Obama’s first Secretary of Energy; Robert Reich, President Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Labor; George P. Shultz, President Nixon’s Secretary of Labor and President Reagan’s Secretary of State; Nobel Prize-winning economists Joseph Stiglitz, Thomas Schelling and Kenneth Arrow; former Vice Chairs of the Federal Reserve System Board of Governors Alice Rivlin and Alan Blinder; Greg Mankiw, chair of President George W. Bush’s Council of Economic Advisers; and Jerry Taylor, president of the Niskanen Center.
View the letter and a complete list of signers here: https://www.carbontax.org/blogarchives/2015/11/29/a-call-to-paris-climate-negotiators-tax-carbon/
The letter states, “Taxing carbon pollution will spur everyone ― businesses, consumers and policymakers ― to reduce climate-damaging emissions, invest in efficient energy systems and develop low-carbon energy sources. This single policy change — explicitly using prices within existing markets to shift investment and behavior across all sectors — offers greater potential to combat global warming than any other policy, with minimal regulatory and enforcement costs.”
“We are seeing the beginning of a global transformation to sustainable, clean energy,” said Steven Chu. “A clear, rising carbon tax in as many countries as possible is the best way to accelerate this revolution.”
Signers endorse several measures to ensure that national taxes on greenhouse gas emissions can bolster both environmental quality and economic growth. That includes using some carbon tax revenue to offset “unfair burdens to lower-income households” and ending subsidies that “reward extraction and use of carbon-intensive energy sources.”
“Turning the Paris Conference into a true milestone for global climate policy will require negotiators to focus sharply on creating a price for carbon,” said Joseph Stiglitz.
Harvard University Economics Professor Martin Weitzman added, “Focusing on carbon prices could avoid the free-rider trap that has hung up past climate negotiations.” In contrast to the “volunteerism” embodied in cap-based approaches, such as the Kyoto Accord, national carbon taxes apply the universal discipline of price to “attack the critical externality of global warming,” Weitzman noted.
Read the full letter and complete list of signers here: https://www.carbontax.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/11/CTC_carbon_tax_sign_on_letter_28_Nov_2015_posted.pdf
The Carbon Tax Center launched in January 2007 to give voice to Americans who believe that taxing emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases is imperative to combat global warming. CTC is a clearinghouse for research, analysis and advocacy to establish a carbon tax as the centerpiece of U.S. policy to combat catastrophic climate change. It has been the leading NGO advocating for carbon taxing as the key to unlocking low- and non-carbon investment and innovation to drive the global energy system away from fossil fuels to renewable wind, sunlight and efficiency.