Carbon pricing critical to saving our planet
To the editor
Although the recently concluded Paris climate talks may yield significant results, perhaps the most important measure to be considered was not on the agenda. Carbon pricing offers the most flexible and effective means to reduce carbon emissions on a global scale. Economists across the political spectrum, as well as the World Bank, are calling for nations to institute some form of carbon pricing as a first strike in the fight against climate change.
Here in Massachusetts, Sen. Michael Barrett has crafted legislation that would introduce an economy-wide price on carbon. This bill, S.1747, now in committee, would phase in a carbon fee over seven years, reaching a level of $40 per ton of CO2-equivalent. The purpose of the bill is to lower the demand for fossil fuels, and to improve the competitiveness of other energy sources, such as our fledgling wind and solar industries.
It should be noted that Sen. Barrett's bill is revenue-neutral. All receipts are returned to businesses and households uniformly. The bill includes measures to ensure that the impact is greater for higher in the upper deciles of the incomes scale, where energy consumption is higher.
Carbon pricing is already being adopted in many places around the globe. We have an opportunity here in Massachusetts to join this effort, and to steer our economy toward the power sources of the future.