Less Carbon Can Mean More Growth
THE HAGUE – Although the global recession is serious and its duration uncertain, the world must nevertheless continue to focus on the far-reaching threat of climate change. Indeed, if we are smart, public policy can serve the twin goals of stimulating growth and fighting global warming.
Governments hammering out a successor agreement to the Kyoto Protocol at the United Nations climate conference in Copenhagen later this year should adopt strong incentives to cut greenhouse-gas emissions. Doing so could kick-start private investment and help to fuel economic recovery.
The broad outlines of an effective and efficient response to global warming have been clear for years. A system to cap CO2 emissions and trade emission allowances would channel resources toward the most cost-effective reduction measures. And widespread adoption of efficiency standards for appliances, vehicles, and buildings would help companies and individuals use less energy.