Ein neuer Weg hin zu einer kohlenstoffextensiven Wirtschaft

NEW YORK: Ob wir den von uns Menschen verursachten Klimawandel bewältigen, hängt davon ab, ob uns der Übergang zu einer Stromproduktion gelingt, die anders als die Verbrennung von Öl, Erdgas und Kohle wenig oder gar kein Kohlendioxid – das wichtigste für die globale Erwärmung verantwortliche Treibhausgas – freisetzt. Eine kohlenstoffarme Stromproduktion ist möglich mit Solar-, Atom- und Windenergie oder durch Kohlekraftwerke, bei denen die CO2-Emissionen aufgefangen und gespeichert werden.  

Das politische Problem dabei ist einfach: Kohle ist im Vergleich zu den anderen Energien eine billigere und einfacher zu nutzende Energiequelle. Sie ist billig, weil es so viel davon gibt. Sie ist einfacher zu nutzen als Wind- oder Sonnenenergie, weil sich mit ihr rund um die Uhr Strom erzeugen lässt, unabhängig von den Wetterbedingungen.

Um unseren Planeten zu retten, müssen wir die Stromanbieter dazu bringen, kohlenstoffarme Energiequellen einzusetzen – trotz des geringeren Preises und der einfacheren Nutzbarkeit der Kohle. Der offensichtliche Weg dabei ist, Kohle zu besteuern oder von den Kraftwerksbetreibern zu verlangen, dass sie Emissionsrechte für die Kohleverbrennung erwerben, und die Steuern bzw. den Preis der Emissionsrechte hoch genug anzusetzen, um zum Umstieg auf kohlenstoffarme Alternativen zu ermutigen.

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