Thursday, November 08, 2007

Brookings: "Economic Approaches to Reforming Energy and Protecting the Environment"

An excellent event and it is good to see Brookings getting involved in climate change via the Hamilton Project.

The event was to discuss how best to promote market mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gases. An excellent agenda and bringing into focus the different approaches between government regulation and private sector incentives.

A Climate of Change: Economic Approaches to Reforming Energy and Protecting the Environment
On October 30, The Hamilton Project at Brookings hosted a two-part forum on mitigating climate change through market mechanisms and new technologies. In addition to the release of a new Hamilton Project strategy paper, the forum highlighted two new discussion papers on how to best design market mechanisms to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and will include proposals to expand —and possibly restructure—the federal research and development program to better promote the development of new greenhouse gas reducing technologies.

Former U.S. Treasury Secretary Robert E. Rubin and Hamilton Project Director Jason Furman, also a Brookings senior fellow, opened the event with a special award presentation, followed with opening remarks by former U.S. Treasury Secretary Lawrence H. Summers on economic approaches to energy security and climate change—the subject of the new strategy paper.

The new Hamilton Project strategy paper argues that the best way to address climate change is to give the private sector the right incentives to undertake emissions reductions. At the same time, the strategy calls for policies to protect low- and middle-income families from the consequences of higher energy prices.

The two new discussion papers feature alternate views on how to best harness market forces to protect the environment. Gilbert E. Metcalf of Tufts University discussed his proposal for a carbon tax and Robert N. Stavins of Harvard University presented his proposal for a cap-and-trade system. John Deutch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and John Podesta of the Center for American Progress discussed their recent proposal for a new federal research and development strategy, and Richard Newell of Duke University and Resources for the Future shared his ideas for creating science and technology policies that would enable new technologies to work effectively.

Additional resources:

Policy papers:

* An Economic Strategy to Address Climate Change and Promote Energy Security
by Jason Furman, Jason E. Bordoff, Manasi Deshpande, and Pascal J. Noel
* An Equitable Tax Reform to Address Global Climate Change
by Gilbert E. Metcalf
* A U.S. Cap-and-Trade System to Address Global Climate Change
by Robert N. Stavins
* View presentation by Richard Newell [PDF]

VIDEO of the event HERE.



smoo said...

Just found this at ClimateProgress: Climate change ‘could bring an end to globalisation’ - “Climate change could bring globalisation to an end by 2040, according to a new report from leading national security experts — with nations turning inwards to save resources as new climate-related conflicts arise.” The article notes: “The Age of Consequences” report, produced by the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in the US, predicts that scarcity of resources may “dictate the terms of international relations” for years to come as rich countries could “go through a 30-year process of kicking [the poor] away from the lifeboat”. More coverage of the CSIS report can be found on Climate Progress earlier this week.

Rob Elliott said...

Thanks smoo, that is an interesting article.

The increasing importance of raw materials and their shortage may impact on the rate of globalisation and it would not be a surprise if we saw some reversal in this trend at some point.