Thursday, December 17, 2009

Summing Up the Current Debate on Carbon Tariffs

The Old Grey Lady has finally gotten around to reporting on the serious conflict at Copenhagen over the use of carbon tariffs. For readers of this blog, the NYT's report is pretty pedestrian, but it contains one sentence that I think sums up the current debate over carbon tariffs more perfectly - and humorously - than any I've seen (or written for that matter):
Despite threats that border adjustments pose to the global trading system, the provisions continue to fit well with domestic politics in the United States and European countries like France and Italy, particularly at a time when major economies are still reeling from the worst downturn in decades.
The journalist captures the conflict perfectly - one between crass political pandering on the one hand and the future of the global economy on the other. And the "humorous" part is the fact that the line was delivered without a hint of judgment or irony. Indeed, only in today's political environment can destroying the global economy "fit well with domestic politics in the United States."


Finally, today's NYT article is also valuable in one other way: another day has passed, and still no agreement on carbon tariffs.

Tick, tick, tick.

No comments: