Quoted in Climate Wire, “I have long believed that the most elegant way to drive innovation and to reduce carbon emissions is to put a price on it,” Obama said yesterday in a press conference in Paris.
He echoed economists who describe greenhouse gas emissions as “externalities” — things of value that aren’t correctly priced by the market. The economic impact of carbon emissions on sea-level rise, for example, isn’t counted in the price of gasoline.
“And so, you know, I think that as the science around climate change is more accepted, as people start realizing that even today you can put a price on the damage that climate change is doing — you know, you go down to Miami, and when it’s flooding at high tide on a sunny day and fish are swimming through the middle of the streets … there’s a cost to that,” Obama added.
Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) said yesterday that liberal and conservative climate advocates are “unanimous” in their support of pricing carbon.
“There’s a huge move toward a carbon price,” he said yesterday. “Wherever you go where Republicans have come up with a solution on climate change, it’s always a price on carbon, let the market work with that price, make it fair, and bring the revenues back to people with price reductions or other benefits, so we’re not growing the size of government. We’re there.”