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October 25, 2019 Friday 12:30:16 PM IST

Carbon Tax to Give Equally Good Results as Other Climate Policies

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Introduction of carbon tax can help reduce harmful emissions much better than any other climate change policies, according to a a study by Christopher Knittel, MIT Sloan professor.  According to him, a modest tax of $7 per metric ton of carbon dioxide in 2020 can reduce emissions by the same amount as the flagship climate policies adopoted by the Obama administration.

He has modeled the carbon price needed to achieve projected emission reductions under three Obama-era policies: auto mileage standards, the Clean Power Plan, and a biofuel mandate. All three have been challenged or rolled back in court or by President Donald Trump’s administration.  “This shows the power of a price on carbon,” Knittel said. “As little as a 7-cent price increase per gallon of gasoline and less than half a penny per kWh of electricity could get us the same climate benefits as the fragile, costly, and litigious regulations that represent President Obama’s climate legacy.” 
A carbon tax that increases over time – something all three bills in Congress would do – could reduce emissions by the same amount as all of those regulations combined. 
“We’re still only looking at $22 per ton in 2025 and $36 per ton in 2030 if we include all major greenhouse gases,” Knittel said. “If we get really serious about climate policy, the costs will only rise, and the cost-saving potential of carbon pricing will become even more important.”