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Brookings Now

Carbon tax imperative if we are serious about climate change

Fred Dews

“Economists widely agree that [a price on carbon] is imperative if we are going to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in any significant way,” says Senior Fellow Adele Morris, who is also policy director for the Climate and Energy Economics Project. As the global climate conference in Paris (COP21) goes on this week and next, she spoke in this audio segment for the Brookings Cafeteria Podcast about what authority President Obama is currently using to achieve environmental goals and why a carbon price that promotes economic growth and protects low-income households is the best policy.

Morris also spoke to the need for additional research & development (and how a carbon price can aid that goal); the necessity of further global coordination on carbon pricing; and the fact that Canada and Mexico—the U.S.’s largest trading partners—are already part of a carbon leadership group.

Morris is the author or co-author of voluminous research, including: “A Carbon Tax in broader U.S. fiscal reform,” “Controlling carbon emissions from U.S. power plants: How a tradeable performance standard compares to a carbon tax,” and “To comply with the Clean Power Plan, states should tax carbon.”

She is also co-author with Warwick McKibbin and Peter Wilcoxen of a new brief on pricing carbon (PDF).

Get more expert research and commentary on the Paris climate talks here.

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