Un nuevo camino hacia una economía de bajas emisiones de carbono

NUEVA YORK – La solución al cambio climático creado por el hombre depende de la transición a una producción de electricidad que, a diferencia de quemar petróleo, gas natural y carbón, emita nada o casi nada de dióxido de carbono, gas de invernadero que es el principal responsable del calentamiento global. Es posible producir electricidad de bajas emisiones de carbono mediante energía solar, nuclear y eólica, o mediante plantas energéticas a carbón que capturen y guarden sus emisiones de CO2.

El problema de política es sencillo: el carbón es una fuente de energía más barata y fácil de usar que sus alternativas. Es barata porque es abundante y su uso es más fácil que la energía eólica o solar porque puede proporcionar electricidad de manera ininterrumpida, independientemente de las condiciones climáticas.

Para salvar el planeta, necesitamos convencer a los proveedores de energía de que adopten fuentes con bajas emisiones de carbono, a pesar del menor precio del carbón y su mayor facilidad de uso. La manera obvia es aplicar impuestos al carbón o exigir a las plantas energéticas que cuenten con permisos para el uso del carbón, y fijar el impuesto o el precio del permiso lo suficientemente alto como para inducir un cambio hacia alternativas de bajas emisiones.

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