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Earth China

Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them 322

Posted by Soulskill
from the you-got-to-do-it,-why-can't-we dept.
mdsolar writes: 'Paul Krugman, who won a Nobel Prize for understanding world trade, has proposed carbon tariffs as a way to get China to cut greenhouse gas emissions. He wrote, "China is enormously dependent on access to advanced-country markets — a lot of the coal it burns can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to its export business — and it knows that it would put this access at risk if it refused to play any role in protecting the planet. More specifically, if and when wealthy countries take serious action to limit greenhouse gas emissions, they're very likely to start imposing "carbon tariffs" on goods imported from countries that aren't taking similar action. Such tariffs should be legal under existing trade rules — the World Trade Organization would probably declare that carbon limits are effectively a tax on consumers, which can be levied on imports as well as domestic production. Furthermore, trade rules give special consideration to environmental protection. So China would find itself with strong incentives to start limiting emissions." As I read it, Article XX of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade does indeed allow us to unilaterally impose tariffs on China.'
mdsolar continues, "I'd suggest that there should be a ramped approach. First, we should acknowledge that dangerous climate change has come early and we are already suffering damages. The growth in Federal crop and flood insurance payouts is owing to the effects of climate change. Instead of increasing premiums, we should use climate damage tariffs to cover this increase. That amounts to a pretty small tariff, but it firmly establishes the liability connection. Non-Annex I countries (as listed in the Kyoto Protocol) are becoming the main contributors to cumulative emissions just as climate change has turned dangerous, that makes their emissions the cause of dangerous climate change. An accident of timing? Yes. But deliberately increasing emissions, as China is doing, eliminates safe harbor as well.

This small tariff could be used as a stepping stone to larger tariffs imposed cooperatively with other Annex I countries if China does not turn around. The larger tariffs could be used to assist with adaptation costs in countries with low per capita emissions where vulnerability to dangerous climate change is high. Lack of a clear funding mechanism for this sort of thing has been a sticking point at climate negotiations. This would essentially get funds from those who are causing the damage."
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Fixing China's Greenhouse Gas Emissions For Them

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  • Re:Per capita tariff (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @03:15AM (#47189177)

    To illustrate this:

    CO2 per capita (2009) [metric tons]:
    USA 17,2
    China 5,3

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_carbon_dioxide_emissions_per_capita [wikipedia.org]

  • Re:Better idea (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday June 08, 2014 @03:23AM (#47189191)

    People don't give a shit. Some things can NOT be solved voluntarily, because most individuals are morons who can't be arsed.
    Yes, I'm an elitist asshole and a "statist". I'm also right.

  • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @04:06AM (#47189249) Journal

    Krugan certainly knows more about global economics than I do, but he's not shy about the fact that his writings are as much about promoting a liberal agenda as they are about understanding how global markets actually work.

    Not understanding global markets indeed.
    Neither Krugman nor mdsolar seem to mention that China has the world's 2nd largest (by trading volume) carbon market.
    And that's just their pilot program.

    You'd think that since these two care so much about the issue, they'd follow the news:
    China's Chongqing to launch carbon market trading on June 13 [reuters.com]
    Thursday Jun 5, 2014

    The southwestern city of Chongqing will be the seventh region in China to launch carbon trading when its market opens on June 13, the local carbon exchange said Thursday, in a move designed to curb the city's greenhouse gas emissions.

    The market is the last of China's planned pilot CO2 markets ahead of the launch of a nationwide scheme later this decade as the world's biggest-emitting nation steps up efforts to slow down rapid emissions growth.

    China is already moving in the right direction and a hard cap is definitely in their future....
    If for no other reason than China is planning to increase its nuclear power production by more than an order of magnitude over the next 10~15 years.
    If everything goes to plan, China will be producing more nuclear power than #1 and #2 (USA & France) combined.

    Proposing a carbon tariff seems like a big middle finger to a government that is pouring tens of billions into solar, wind, and nuclear power.
    (Did I mention that China is #1 in wind power?)

  • by ixuzus (2418046) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @04:27AM (#47189283)
    Uh, you do understand we're talking about tariffs, not sanctions, right? Sanctions are generally restrictions on trade and/or financial transactions. I suspect Iraq is the example you're thinking of. Tariffs are simply are tax on export. or (more commonly) imports. I honestly don't know where sanctions stand constitutionally in the United States but any argument that tariffs are unconstitutional is utter crap. Pretty much the first piece of major legislation passed after the introduction of the constitution was the Tariffs Act.
  • by elwinc (663074) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @06:51AM (#47189561)

    Exactly. For example, every time Krugman gets involved in a debate about the banking sector, it becomes clear why he got the award. The Honorary Nobel Prize he got was handed to him by the head honchos at the Swedish Central Bank, so it shouldn't come as a surprise when his views are heavily leaned towards a more finance sector friendly Keynesian way of thinking.

    So trying to boost his credibility with this "Nobel Prize" will only work on people who don't know what kind of a rigged anti-prize it is.

    Absolutely false. The Riksbank gets its authority from the Swedish Parliament. [europa.eu]

    As you can see in this photo, Krugman is being handed his Nobel by King Carl XVI Gustaf [finfacts.ie] who is a strictly ceremonial head of state. [wikipedia.org] The King may be a customer of the bank, but he isn't a honcho at the bank; Parliament controls it.

    However, figurehead Carl XVI Gustaf has no say in who gets the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences; that is decided by this group of professors. [nobelprize.org] Not the Sveriges Riksbank at all. Yeah, I know, you've got a conspiracy theory to explain why all these professors are puppets of a bank. Bullshit.

    I just don't get why people post lies on the internet that are so easily checked on the internet. Makes no sense dude; for a ten second chuckle, you've branded yourself a liar in the Slashdot community. Where's the win in that?

  • by stenvar (2789879) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @12:47PM (#47190549)

    Actually, the US is twice as efficient at GDP/ton of GHG, about the same as Canada, Australia, and Finland.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L... [wikipedia.org]

  • by wiggles (30088) on Sunday June 08, 2014 @01:00PM (#47190613)

    Umm, you do realize that the constitution specifically provides for the government to levy tariffs in Article 1 Section 8, right? Tariffs were the main source of revenue for the federal government until the income tax was established.

  • by symbolset (646467) * on Sunday June 08, 2014 @03:08PM (#47191251) Journal
    US annual CO2 per capita is three times China. Considering how much of our manufacturing they do, we can probably assign responsibility for some of their carbon output to US end users also. Tariff them? They should tariff us!

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