August 11, 2008

The Amazon Fund could be incorporated into an emissions taxation scheme

An idea I've floated here a few times in postings on climate change is that instead of putting faith in emissions trading schemes, which do not provide sufficient incentive for development of technologies such as carbon capture, emissions could simply be taxed. They are an external cost borne by the rest of the planet, when the cost should be borne by the polluter.

Taxes could be ring-fenced (or hypothecated, to use the jargon) for spending on measures to address climate change. One contender could be the Amazon fund created at the end of July by Brazil. See The Economist:

Countries can certainly gain kudos from contributing to the fund even now, as Norway is doing, but not as a way to excuse further pollution. That seems to be the motivation for a recent fund in support of the Congo Basin Forest. See:

As Aubrey Meyer, of the Global Commons Institute, explained at one of Simpol's policy fora, without action to contract greenhouse gas emissions pretty quickly, carbon sinks such as the Amazon could become carbon sources, as a drier forest experiences fires that release carbon. His proposal for a 'contraction and convergence' approach to emissions is on of the best supported in annual voting amongst Simultaneous Policy Adopters, so far. See:

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