Eiffel Tower in Paris

Insentif Tepat untuk Masa Depan Rendah Karbon

BERLIN – Perjanjian iklim yang berhasil disepakati oleh pemimpin dunia di Paris bulan lalu telah dikenal secara luas karena menetapkan target ambisius untuk membatasi kenaikan suhu global di bawah 2ºC dibandingkan dengan tingkat pra-industri. Tetapi perjanjian ini hanya satu langkah, meskipun salah satu yang terpenting. Kini pembuat kebijakan harus mencari cara mewujudkan tujuan ini – tentu tidak mudah, apalagi mengingat bahwa bertentangan dengan kebijaksanaan konvensional, kenaikan harga energi konvensional secara terus-menerus tidak dapat diandalkan untuk mendorong terjadinya pergeseran yang diperlukan menuju masa depan rendah karbon.

Secara sekilas, logika insentif ekonomi negatif terlihat dapat diterima. Jika, katakanlah, mengemudikan mobil yang menggunakan banyak BBM menjadi lebih mahal, orang akan cenderung lebih jarang memakainya. Tetapi dampak dari perubahan harga bahan bakar sifatnya parsial dan menunda. Ketika pengguna kendaraan mampu membeli mobil yang hemat bahan bakar dalam jangka panjang, besar kemungkinannya mereka akan mengurangi jenis konsumsi lainnya dalam jangka pendek untuk mengimbangi kenaikan biaya. Bicara tentang pemecahan masalah sebesar perubahan iklim, diktum yang dipopulerkan oleh Keynes – “In the long run, we are all dead” – jelas berlaku.

Selain itu, walaupun konsumen menanggapinya secara efisien, harga bahan bakar fosil sangat bergantung pada pasar yang heavily financialized, yang cenderung sangat fluktuatif. Turunnya harga minyak secara tajam selama 18 bulan terakhir merupakan contoh nyata. Tidak hanya harga minyak sendiri gagal memicu pengurangan konsumsi; tapi juga melemahkan insentif untuk mengembangkan sumber energi alternatif. Contohnya investasi pada tenaga surya mungkin terkesan berharga ketika harga minyak $100 per barel, namun daya tariknya merosot ketika harga jatuh di bawah $50.

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