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date: 24 October 2018

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter discusses the importance of a carbon fee and dividend in minimizing the impacts of climate change on humanity and nature. Before outlining the policies needed to produce a rapid phase-out of fossil fuel emissions, it enumerates the fundamental flaws of the Kyoto Protocol from the standpoint of climate science. One flaw is the “cap” mechanism, which purports to reduce carbon emissions at the rate required to stabilize climate but fails to provide universal price signals that would reward efforts to reduce emissions. Another flaw concerns “offsets” that allow nations to limit reduction of fossil fuel emissions. This chapter argues that the Kyoto Protocol’s cap-and-trade-with-offsets approach must be abandoned and replaced with an approach that phases out fossil fuels in an economically efficient manner, such as utilizing carbon-free energy sources like renewable energy and nuclear power. Specifically, it proposes a flat (across-the-board) rising fee (tax) on carbon emissions. It also explains how such an approach may be implemented both nationally and internationally.

Keywords: cap mechanism, carbon dividend, carbon emissions, carbon fee, climate change, fossil fuel emissions, fossil fuels, Kyoto Protocol, offsets, renewable energy

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