Below is a great video from The Climate Reality Project about the price of carbon -- explaining why we need a price on carbon. The consensus is finally building among the economists, politicians, and the public that putting a price on carbon is the most effective and efficient way to minimize the damage of climate disruption.
The EPA's recently announced rules limiting carbon from existing power plants (The Clean Power Plan) is an important step, and one that will help pave the way for a price on carbon. It's design of allowing states to determine how to meet the rules is the right way to go, and I expect it will result in more states instituting a price on carbon -- either by joining RGGI, or connecting with California or the Western Climate Initiative, or instituting their own pricing schemes, like cap & trade or cap & dividend, or a simple carbon tax like British Columbia.
These state-level precedents are what we need in order to get more comprehensive federal legislation, and from there a meaningful international climate agreement, with the US leading the way. Given the recent results of the National Climate Assessment (and many other reports and studies) this needs to happen fast enough for an agreement in Paris in 2015 that goes into effect by 2020.
Check out the video and share. To get this done we need as many people as possible on board and letting their elected officials know they support a more effective and efficient way of paying for carbon pollution -- through a price on carbon. Obama made it clear in this recent interview with Tom Friedman -- we need a price on carbon, we're not going to burn all of the carbon in the ground, and to enable a smooth ramp to clean energy, we need broad public support. Quoting Lincoln, he said: ‘With public opinion there’s nothing I cannot do, and without public opinion there’s nothing I can get done.’ As this piece in the NYT today shows, leadership on climate is finally becoming a political winner, and we need to keep it that way.