In a world with a global carbon price, carbon efficiency will also become a new competitive battleground. Those economies that offer a more energy-efficient operating environment will become increasingly more attractive places to invest. Economies that refuse to act on climate change will run the risk of retaliatory tariffs from others. Read more here from Australia’s Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd.
Larry Fields says
There’s a kind of perverse logic to the retaliatory tariffs idea. Fred Singer has pointed out that an asymmetric (unilateral) ETS–or an asymmetric carbon tax–could have a negligible impact on global carbon emissions. Why? Such policies would provide additional incentives for large corporations to export their manufacturing jobs to China and India. Both countries are Global Warming bah-humbugs (as am I).
The upshot: Decreased carbon emissions from Europe and North America, and increased carbon emissions from Asia. Tilting the playing field in this way will DECREASE the efficiency of our global economy. The solution? Spread the misery with retaliatory tariffs. On the positive side of the ledger, retaliatory tariffs could partially reset the economic playing field to some extent.
On the negative side, an ETS (or a carbon tax), coupled with retaliatory tariffs, would decrease the standard of living for working people everywhere. And there’s another possible fly in the ointment. Retaliatory tariffs are not a one-player game. Trade war, anyone?
Peter Machen says
Regardless of whatever action Australia, or the Global nations, take on reducing CO2 it will not significantly change the temperature of the planet. The science is already out there but the political bandwagon has lost its horses and is careering ahead unrestrained. Just like the GFC, Enron, etc. while there is money to be made by bagginf the carbon based energy sources, greed will find a way.
Larry Fields says
Oops! I left out one of the main points. The primary purpose of the retaliatory tariffs is to ram greenhouse gas emissions reductions down the throats of China and India, so that the regulations would have a truly global effect.