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Tag Archives: climate change

Carbon Prices, not Monetary Policies, Are the Tools to Fight Climate Change

TweetJanuary 23, 2020 —  Everyone agrees that Climate Change is at the top of the list of most important policy issues that we face – everyone, with a few exceptions such as Trump supporters who call it a hoax.  Identifying the problem, however, is not much use unless we also identify the appropriate tools to address the problem. Financial institutions In my own field of specialization, central bankers have caught Climate Change fever.  Perhaps the first was Governor Mark Carney —...

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Some thoughts on Labour’s campaign

The importance of this election cannot be overstated. Voters have a choice between re-electing a government that since 2010 has done untold damage to this country and which will be led by someone totally unsuited to be Prime Minister, or giving a minority Labour government a chance to do better for a few years. The fact that the polls suggest the public want more of the same illustrates how close we are to becoming an authoritarian, populist (in the Jan-Werner Müller sense) right wing state...

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How to pay for the Green New Deal

The Green New Deal has recently been promoted by a group of Democrats including the inspirational Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. I first came across it in a reportin 2008 by the Green New Deal group, most of whom are pictured above a decade later (HTAndrew Simms). The view that we face a potentially existential climate change crisis, which politicians seem currently reluctant to sufficiently tackle, and which therefore requires a government led programme on the scale in each country of Roosevelt’s...

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Buy (or Rent) Coal! The Coasean Climate Change Policy

Since climate change and what to do about it are in the news it’s time to re-up an underrated idea, buy coal! Carbon taxes increase the price of carbon and induce economic and technological substitution towards lower-carbon sources of fuel in the countries that adopt them. As carbon-tax countries reduce fuel use, however, non carbon-tax countries see the price of their fuel decline. Thus, unless all countries join the tax-coalition, there is leakage. Supply-side policies are an...

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Designing Carbon Dividends

Carbon dividends are the hottest idea in climate policy. A diverse mix of progressive and conservative voices are backing the idea of returning carbon tax revenues to households in the form of regular “dividend” payments. So are a range of businesses and environmental groups. Two weeks ago, six House members—three Democrats and three Republicans—introduced carbon dividend legislation. Here is the idea: A robust carbon tax would cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are...

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Designing Carbon Dividends

Carbon dividends are the hottest idea in climate policy. A diverse mix of progressive and conservative voices are backing the idea of returning carbon tax revenues to households in the form of regular “dividend” payments. So are a range of businesses and environmental groups. Two weeks ago, six House members—three Democrats and three Republicans—introduced carbon dividend legislation. Here is the idea: A robust carbon tax would cut emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that are...

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Can market based regulation reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Evidence from the United States

Market-based mechanisms such as ‘cap-and-trade’ have become increasingly popular policy tools for reducing harmful emissions. But designing these schemes so that emissions are curbed efficiently requires understanding key elements of an industry’s structure, notably the degree of market power and the extent to which unregulated foreign producers compete with domestic firms. This research investigates these issues in the US cement industry, an emissions-intensive sector exposed to...

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Trump: Misleading the People

Introduction (added 10/11/16)I originally wrote this piece with a start and ending that assumed Trump had lost (yes, I know), and re-wrote it after he had won. I mention that because I think an unfortunate consequence of that is that many will read this as another 'why did he win' piece. It is not that, It is more a 'how did someone who was openly despised by most Republican politicians (included past Presidents), who broke all the normal rules, and generally acts like the dictator of some...

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Helping the broadcast media be informative on politicised issues

The broadcast media in the UK, and particularly the BBC, can do an excellent job at providing information in an accessible way. However, the moment a subject gets politicised, this ability seems to collapse. This is because the moment a subject becomes politicised, the non-partisan media puts ‘balance’ above all else, which in turn allows politics rather than reality to define what is understood as true. I’ve called this the politicisation of truth, and have identified four ways this happens:...

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More on Brexit and the politicisation of truth

I watched the BBC’s early evening news on Saturday: not something I would normally do but for the football. (Unfortunately I cannot find a recording of it.) The bulletin reported the IMF post-Brexit forecasts, and then (for balance) had Patrick Minford saying why the IMF had got it all wrong. The impression most non-economists viewers would have received is that the long run economic impact of Brexit could go either way. I think we can talk about at least four types of politicisation of...

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