Author Gilbert E. Metcalf of Tufts University argues that a carbon tax should be the centerpiece of any portfolio of policies that aim to achieve zero net emissions. However, a carbon tax alone is insufficient to achieve zero net emissions, and argues that regulation, federal support for innovation, and reforming current energy tax incentives and regulatory rulemaking should be part of a comprehensive climate policy agenda.
The Economic Strategy Group's third annual policy volume focuses on the economics of the middle class, geographic disparities in economic opportunity, and U.S. policy options to address climate change.
The United States is currently gripped by deep uncertainty and economic anxiety. At the time of this writing, the United States is six months into the COVID-19 pandemic. More than 190,000 Americans have died from COVID (CDC 2020); more than 13 million Americans remain unemployed (Bureau of Labor Statistics 2020); and tens of thousands of businesses remain closed (Grossman 2020). Meanwhile, protests against racial injustice continue across the country, and in a number of tragic instances, they have been overtaken by violence. Wildfires rage through the northern Pacific states. In Oregon, 40,000 people have been evacuated and more than 1,500 square miles have burned. California has already experienced three of the top four largest wildfires in its history in this year alone. Perhaps more than any time in recent memory, the economic future of our country feels uncertain.
Trevor Houser of the Rhodium Group summarizes current forecasts of climate damages in the years ahead and their implications for the global economy, inequality, and health.
David Keith (Harvard) and John Deutch (MIT) discuss mechanisms to manage climate risks, which they call the climate control mechanisms: emissions reduction, carbon dioxide removal (CDR), adaptation, and solar radiation modification (SRM).