VX2016: Pricing Carbon to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Mary NicholsChair, CARB
Robert Fleming, Assistant Deputy Minister, Climate Change and Environmental Policy Division, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change of Ontario
Jonathan Weisgall, Vice President, Government Relations, Berkshire Hathaway

Around the world, nearly 40 nations, including the 28-member European Union, and many smaller jurisdictions, are engaged in some form of carbon pricing. In North America, British Columbia, Quebec, California and nine northeastern states have raised the cost of burning fossil fuels without damaging the economy. Alberta, Canada’s biggest oil and gas producer, and Ontario have said they will adopt similar policies. Jurisdictions using the cap-and-trade approach include California. The nine Northeastern states and Quebec are investing the revenue generated by auctioning emission permits in mass transit, energy efficiency, renewable energy and other strategies to reduce carbon emissions. Some of the revenue is also dedicated to helping low-income families cope with higher energy costs. But carbon pricing comes in two forms: a direct tax on emissions or a cap on emissions. British Columbia, for instance, has levied a tax on emissions from fuels like gasoline, natural gas and heating oil. Which pricing regime is likely, if any are, to become the world’s template?


Pricing Carbon