Friday, August 28, 2009

OECD Chief Joins "Coalition of the Sane" in Opposing Carbon Tariffs

In a continuing (read: obsessive) effort to chronicle the growing global revolt against the use of carbon tariffs as a complement to domestic climate change measures, I draw your attention to the latest world leader to join the good guys: secretary-general of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Angel Gurria. As BNA (subscription required) reports:
Countries aiming to achieve green growth by implementing carbon taxes should avoid applying border tax adjustments (BTAs) on goods imported from countries that do not have similar policies, the [Gurria] told Mexican officials Aug. 24.

BTAs are economically costly both for countries applying the BTAs and for trading partner countries, due to reduced trade,” OECD's Angel Gurria said at a National Forum on Energy, Environment, and Climate Change Policy for High-Level Mexican Policy Makers, held in Mexico City Aug. 24–25.

Instead, the secretary-general promoted international, sector-wide emissions cap agreements to level the playing field, adding that the most effective measure remains an accord by all large emitting nations and sectors. If all industrialized countries take action, the leakage rate of production, manufacturing, and their related emissions to noncompliant nations drops below 2 percent, he said.

Gurria also urged governments to stop using tax subsidies and other breaks to aid specific technologies, like biofuels, saying it is not economically efficient.

Current support policies for first-generation biofuels in the European Union, the United States, and Canada cost up to $1,000 per ton of carbon dioxide saved, which is too expensive, considering the price of carbon dioxide in the EU Emission Trading Scheme is less than $30 a ton, he said. ...
The OECD is a group of 30 developed, democratic economies (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Korea, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovak Republic, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, United Kingdom, United States). So this is quite the statement from its leader. Granted, one can't say that the Gurria speaks for all OECD members (especially given France's support for carbon tariffs), but his statements are certainly another sign that the worldwide opposition to carbon tariffs is growing, and it's a sentiment shared by developing and developed countries alike.


Now let's update the ol' carbon tariffs scorecard:

Pro carbon tariffs - Ten protectionist Senators, the US House of Representatives (in Waxman-Markey), France, and Paul Krugman.

Anti carbon tariffs - the rest of the world.

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