An article released today by researchers at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy in the journal Nature Climate Change introduces a new approach for pricing carbon — Near-term to Net Zero.
An article released today by researchers at Columbia University’s Center on Global Energy Policy in the journal Nature Climate Change introduces a new approach for pricing carbon — Near-term to Net Zero. As policymakers and advocates increasingly focus on net-zero emissions by midcentury, the Near-term to Net Zero approach is a method of setting carbon prices that could ensure net-zero emissions goals are met as one piece of comprehensive climate policies.
A carbon price is a fee on carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere that is unique in encouraging emissions reductions wherever and however they can be achieved at a low cost. How much to charge for each ton of emissions is perhaps the most crucial element of a carbon pricing policy. Economists have long focused on the social cost of carbon to calculate “correct” carbon prices because, in theory, it balances the benefits and costs of emissions reductions. The article highlights how the social cost of carbon, however, cannot be estimated with sufficient precision to provide any practical value to policymakers setting carbon prices.
The Near-term to Net Zero approach estimates the carbon prices needed for consistency with a pathway to a net-zero emissions target, or the point where the overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere equals zero. It uses the reliable information we have now and avoids the uncertainties of long-term changes we can’t predict.
Read more at Earth Institute at Columbia University
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