The importance and cost of the Paris climate deal
Re: “Trump’s climate plan might not be so bad after all,” Nov. 27 Perspective article.
Bjorn Lomborg opines that the Paris Agreement on climate change is “ineffective,” that it may be scuttled without hard consequences and that we should rely on green R&D instead.
This is a false choice. The Paris Agreement is the first time that nearly 200 countries have agreed to take action to limit warming to 2 degrees Celsius (and preferably less). The agreement is devoid of hard and fast plans to achieve the targets. These come later under the agreement. However, that does not make the agreement any less significant, because it is a first-ever, solemn contract among virtually all countries, developed and developing, to act to limit climate change consistent with the science.
No doubt there is a need for more green R&D, as Lomborg says, but now there is an internationally adopted framework, context and motivation for doing so. So, we need to keep and comply with the agreement and invest more in green R&D.
Bruce Driver, Boulder
Bjorn Lomborg notes that human-caused climate change “should not need to be restated in 2016,” and that the Paris accords will not be an adequate response.
However, I disagree with his assessment that implementing the Paris pledges will necessarily be expensive. Consider this three-part approach: a gradually increasing carbon fee on fossil fuels, collected at the point of extraction or import; refund of all fee revenues to U.S. households via monthly per capita rebates; and border tariff adjustments to keep U.S. businesses competitive internationally.
Economic analysis shows that this policy cuts U.S. greenhouse gas emissions in half over 20 years (exceeding our Paris pledge), increases GDP by $80 billion per year, increases employment by 1 percent, and significantly improves health.
Details of the analysis behind these results can be found on Citizens’ Climate Lobby’s website at http://citizensclimatelobby.org/remi-report/.
David M. Kline, Boulder