United States carbon tax : practical, ethical, and effective within the context of global climate policy
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Thus far, international climate policy negotiations have failed to produce a global policy to mitigate climate change. There is strong evidence that human activities are driving climate change and that the expected population and economic growth in the 21st century will further exacerbate anthropogenic climate forcing. The social implications of this make the need for international climate policy clear; however, international law presents difficult challenges for such a policy. Because obligations cannot be imposed on sovereign nations without their consent and there are strong financial incentives to remain outside of a global climate policy, it is unlikely that globally synchronized action will begin with one all-encompassing agreement. However, the implementation of a carbon tax by the United States presents an opportunity for the nation to begin addressing its own heavy dependence on fossil fuels and to coerce all nations that export goods to the U.S. to tax carbon as well. This is the most viable tool for the U.S. and globally to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The U.S. should implement a carbon tax with border tax adjustments for the carbon content of goods imported to the U.S. because it is practical, ethical, and the most effective tool to mitigate serious climate change.
Lucerna, Volume 8, Number 1, pages 18-26