Can Carbon Pricing Solve Climate Change: Lessons From Climate Policy Efforts Around The World

Content Tabs


Why politicians and economists are diametrically opposed on the idea of carbon price, and why Secretary Hillary Clinton's platform didn't feature a carbon price. The talk will draw on real world experience with carbon pricing to derive lessons about its potential to mitigate climate change.

This video is from the January 2017 seminar series “Climate Science and Policy: Now More Than Ever!” by graduate students in the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

Emil Dimantchev - Master's student, Technology and Policy Program (TPP)


Rick Shankman's picture

"Why politicians and

"Why politicians and economists are diametrically opposed on the idea of carbon price..."

The Largest Transfer of Wealth in Canadian History

Published on Feb 24, 2017

"OTTAWA, ON — The House of Commons will debate and vote on a Conservative motion requiring the government to release data on the cost of the carbon tax to Canadian households.

The government has admitted it has the calculations, but blacked them out in response to an access to information request by Conservative Work and Opportunity Critic Pierre Poilievre.  

Removing the black ink would allow Canadians to see for themselves if the Prime Minister has kept his signature election promise to lower taxes for the middle class.  It also puts to the test the Liberals’ promise to run an open and transparent government. 

The motion comes a day after a 68-year-old Ontario man exposed the growing problem of “energy poverty” by giving up his truck and home because he could no longer afford heat and gas."

Well, these guys like the idea...

Why carbon pricing matters | Sustainability at Shell

But what did they think 26 years ago?...

Shell Oil's Stark Climate Change Warning from 1991 – Climate of Concern

"... the most favored option [to reduce carbon emissions], and the one thought most cost-effective, is the drive for greater efficiency in the way existing forms of energy are produced and used."

Curt Newton's picture

As Rick and I have amply

As Rick and I have amply demonstrated in prior posts about carbon pricing, we haven't agreed on its merits and risks.  Don't expect to change that today :)

But in the interest of balance, know that Canada is proceeding. The federal government has reiterated its commitment to establish carbon pricing in all provinces, not mandating policy specifics but establishing some benchmarks and other policy "backstop" mechanisms.  (CBC coverage, May 17, 2017). I think the process in British Columbia will be particularly illuminating, as they've had the most experience to date with the realities of making and living with carbon price policies. It could get messy, according to the center-left publication Macleans.

Here in Massachusetts, a pair of carbon pricing bills is making its way through the legislative hearing and committee process. Regardless of what the big multinational companies are saying, our local fossil fuel energy associations are definitely not fans, as this recent "debate" report by WBUR makes clear. 

Rick Shankman's picture

" the interest of

" the interest of balance..."

"The concept for getting carbon out of the energy sources that fuel the state's economy is simple, says Christopher Knittel, [the George P. Shultz] professor of applied economics at MIT.

'Basic economics tells us that the best way to reduce the demand for something is to raise its price,' he says.

Supply and demand affecting price are laws of economics."

This is what you get when you ask an economist how to fix a climate science problem.

You were right Curt, we still don't agree.