June 01, 2017

To sell the Paris Climate Agreement as a real solution to our pied-a-terre’s environment problems, that’s a disgrace

Sir, Pilita Clark writes: “Mr Trump has exposed the fragile nature of the Paris accord. Countries face no legal obligation to meet any emissions-reduction target in their national climate blueprints, including the US. Nor is there anything legally to prevent them from submitting weaker plans” “US dithering exposes fragility of Paris accord” June 1.

If so then all those who sell us the illusion of the Paris Climate Agreement being a real solution, are more in fault hanging on to it, than Trump reneging it.

I have of course not read the Agreement. Who has read it all? To me this type of global agreements too often just feeds crony statism. To me this type of global agreements becomes too often just another photo-op for politicians.

To have a chance to really dent the environmental problems of the world, we need to come up with incentive structures that are green-profiteers proofed. Otherwise we will most probably not be able to afford it.

My preferred solution is to send the right market signals by means of for instance carbon taxes, and distribute all those revenues to all citizens in order to compensate for the increased costs. That would help many citizens to contaminate less, while affording to do more of something else they could want.

Another example: The Economist writes: “Climate policy, a jerry-rigged system of subsidies and compromises, in America and everywhere, needs an overhaul. A growing number of Republicans want a revenue-neutral carbon tax. [Like the one I suggest] As this newspaper has long argued, that would not only be a better way of curbing pollution but also boost growth. A truly businesslike president would have explored such solutions. Mr Trump has instead chosen to abuse the health of the planet, the patience of America’s allies and the intelligence of his supporters.” “The flaws in Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris accord”, June 1.

The question is then: Why does The Economist not denounce the Paris Climate an Agreement for what it is, a political convenient illusion of a solution? Just because being against Trump trumps all other considerations?