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Monday, April 1, 2013

Strategic CSR - Climate Change

There is consensus among scientists that climate change is real and man-made. There is consensus among economists that a carbon tax (rather than cap-and-trade scheme, for example) is the most effective way to pay for the costs climate change will impose on us as a society. Where there is no consensus anywhere is how much temperatures will rise and how much it will cost us—only that it will be expensive:
“The price tag last year for the drought was about $35 billion, according to the reinsurer Aon Benfield. Hurricane Sandy cost a further $65 billion. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said that last year ranked as the second-costliest in terms of natural disasters since 1980 — lagging only 2005 when Hurricane Katrina swamped New Orleans. And yet this is nothing compared with what the future will bring.”
Within this framework, which is accepted as given in all developed countries except the U.S., the response of Washington D.C. remains astonishing. The U.S. federal government’s irresponsible agnosticism can be expressed in many ways; the article in the url below does so in terms of its failure to prepare for the bills that everyone knows are coming:
“Among the 34 industrialized nations of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, [energy] taxes average about $68.4 per metric ton of carbon dioxide. The United States, by contrast, has a gas tax to pay for highway improvement, and that’s about it. Total federal taxes on energy amount to $6.30 per ton.”
That places the U.S. 33rd out of the 34 OECD countries (see:, with only Mexico placing a lower tax rate on carbon emissions.
Take care
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Taxes to Tackle Climate Change
By Eduardo Porter
January 30, 2013
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final