Update: Climate risk

Here’s a brief update to my post on climate risk:  Today’s New York Times reports on the disappearance of climate change from the US policy agenda.  Abandoned by President Obama and scorned by Republicans, climate-change policy is dormant in the US, even while other nations take patient steps to control carbon emissions.  The Times piece observes:

“This fading of global warming from the political agenda is a mostly American phenomenon. True, public enthusiasm for legislation to tackle climate change has flagged somewhat throughout the developed world since the recession of 2008. Nonetheless, in many other countries, legislation to control emissions has rolled out apace. Just last Wednesday, Australia’s House of Representatives passed a carbon tax, which is expected to easily clear the country’s Senate. Europe’s six-year-old carbon emissions trading system continues its yearly expansion. In 2010, India passed a carbon tax on coal. Even China’s newest five-year plan contains a limited pilot cap-and-trade system, under which polluters pay for excess pollution.”

It’s too bad the article overlooked the support that emisisons-control policy enjoys among many US businesses, who recognize the validity of the science backing global warming.  Many of these businesses already participate in cap-and-trade programs overseas and have urged Congress to support it at home.  For an example of what one company has been doing, see this web page from Duke Energy, one of America’s largest utilities and a leader in urging a national approach to carbon regulation.


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