Recent studies show a carbon tax and dividend approach would increase investment in clean energy technologies, create new jobs, and improve household finances, while reducing carbon emissions. However, some argue carbon pricing would make domestic industries less competitive than countries without carbon pricing. A new report by the Climate Leadership Council dispels this myth through a large data analysis of emissions from the full supply chain of products. It shows the U.S. is more carbon-efficient than China and India as well as the global average, meaning it emits fewer greenhouse gases when producing similar goods. And fully three quarters of goods imported into the U.S. are from less carbon-efficient countries. Rather than hurting the U.S. economy, putting a price on carbon, and placing fees on imported goods would create a competitive advantage. The U.S. would outcompete foreign production while stimulating its own energy transition. This will incentivize other countries to follow suit and introduce their own domestic carbon prices to avoid paying tariffs on their exports. This research dovetails with our own report recommending that the U.S. form a Global Climate Compact to enlist other nations in reducing carbon emissions. Members of the Compact would agree on a minimum carbon price and place tariffs on goods imported from countries outside the Compact. If the U.S. leads, it will attract participation from other economic powers and accelerate the global decarbonization that is urgently needed. Global trade currently favors countries that produce cheaper, dirtier goods, as carbon emissions are not accounted for. It’s time to account for the harm being done to our climate and transition to a healthier future.
Posted in Climate.