Analysis & Opinions - The Hill

Climate Change: Biden Should Establish a Carbon Price Benchmark

| Nov. 23, 2020

 Virtually every form of economic activity and personal behavior has an impact on the global climate, and climate change will affect communities all across America and around the world. Seriously combating climate change will require a whole-of-government approach to ensure that we mitigate risks throughout every corner of our society.

To quickly ramp up an ambitious, transparent and coordinated government approach to climate change after his inauguration, President Biden could adopt a carbon price benchmark to guide U.S. policy. From Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to Pentagon procurement to working with Congress to negotiating with foreign governments, such a benchmark would operationalize a whole-of-government response and lay the foundation for a whole-of-economy effort in combating climate change.

A carbon price benchmark — which could be set initially at $50 per ton and rise over time — would reflect the benefits of reducing the pollution causing climate change. Biden would ensure that decision-makers across government rigorously consider the benefits of mitigating climate change in their every action. Explicitly accounting for the climate impacts of their decision-making would deter them from moving forward with activities that impose significant climate damages. Moreover, the benchmark creates incentives for ingenuity and innovation — as a performance metric, it will encourage agencies to explore new ways of delivering their services while contributing to the fight against climate change....

For more information on this publication: Please contact Harvard Project on Climate Agreements
For Academic Citation: Aldy, Joseph.“Climate Change: Biden Should Establish a Carbon Price Benchmark.” The Hill, November 23, 2020.

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