News » Tax Carbon Or We’re Cooked, Says U.N. Report

Tax Carbon Or We’re Cooked, Says U.N. Report

Bangkok, Thailand - October 12, 2015: Bangkok, Thailand, Oct 12 2015: The car navigating through the flood after the heaviest monsoon rain in the capital on Oct 12,2015 Bangkok, Thailand.

October 9, 2018

A U.N. report, the first to be commissioned by the Paris agreement, details a massive global crisis as soon as 2040 unless the world is able to “turn on a dime,” as one of the author’s describes it. Under current emissions rates, the report says that a 2.7 temperature increase by 2040 is likely, and with it worldwide coastal flooding, wildfires, droughts, and major die off of coral reefs. At 3.6 degrees, the devastation would ratchet up to include massive migration of people from the tropics to the point where in some parts of the world national borders would become irrelevant, according to said Aromar Revi, director of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements and an author of the report. “You can set up a wall to try to contain 10,000 and 20,000 and one million people, but not 10 million,” he said. The report says that putting a big price on carbon through taxes or other means is the only way to significantly alter this scenario. The U.S. State Department joined 180 other countries in accepting a summary of the report, but it added in a statement that it didn’t necessarily endorse “specific findings or underlying contents of the report,” and it reiterated that the U.S. intends to withdraw from the Paris agreement “at the earliest opportunity absent the identification of terms that are better for the American people.” A carbon tax is strenuously opposed in the U.S. not just by the coal industry, but by powerful industry groups, including Americans for Prosperity, the political advocacy group funded by the Koch brothers Charles and David Koch, and the Competitive Enterprise Institute, an industry-funded group that has long opposed efforts to recognize climate change as a problem and has worked closely with the Trump administration.

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