Climate change: Biden should establish a carbon price benchmark

Joseph Aldy

Virtually every form of economic activity and personal behavior has an impact on the global climate, and climate change will affect communities all across America and around the world. Seriously combating climate change will require a whole-of-government approach to ensure that we mitigate risks throughout every corner of our society.

To quickly ramp up an ambitious, transparent and coordinated government approach to climate change after his inauguration, President Biden could adopt a carbon price benchmark to guide U.S. policy. From Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations to Pentagon procurement to working with Congress to negotiating with foreign governments, such a benchmark would operationalize a whole-of-government response and lay the foundation for a whole-of-economy effort in combating climate change.

Agencies could set emission goals, akin to their 2009 and 2015 efforts, based on how their emission reductions would be justified by the benefits associated with the carbon price benchmark. This would reorient government agencies’ strategies and operations. Budget planning would account for climate benefits, and new approaches to the management of vehicle fleets, buildings and other assets that account for climate change would emerge. 

The article's full-text is available here.

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