Paying for Greenhouse Gas Reductions: What Role for Fairness
A market based approach focusing on a cap and trade system with auctioned permits would raise sums of money in the early years of the program. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the ten year revenue impact of the Clean Energy Jobs and American Power Act (S. 1733) at $854 billion for an emissions system that begins with an initial price of $17 per ton of carbon dioxide and rising to $30 by 2019. Who does that money belong to? The debate over climate policy in Washington DC has as much to do with the answer to this question as it does with the question of the appropriate level of controls on greenhouse gas emissions or safe levels of cumulative emissions over this century. This question transcends U.S. policy making as it is at the core of the debate over responsibility for emission reductions in the global discussion over international greenhouse gas policy.
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