Dr. Elaine C. Kamarck, former domestic policy advisor to Vice President Al Gore and co-founder of the U.S. Climate Task Force (CTF), has unveiled a new report that examines lessons learned from past efforts to legislate on climate change and how those precedents can be applied to help pass an emissions policy in the 111th Congress.  Her expert analysis, featured in the report, “Addressing Climate Change: The Politics of the Policy Options“, breaks these lessons into  five categories:

1. Cost – Extent of economic impact on U.S. families
2. Complexity – Scale of system; opportunity for evasion, manipulation and corruption
3. Fairness – Distribution of costs and benefits through all segments of  society
4. Compatibility – Ease of integration of U.S. policy with international efforts
5. Effectiveness – Ability to efficiently curb emissions and mitigate  climate change

“More than 30 years have passed since scientists introduced the notion of global warming into the American political dialogue. And now — with Congress considering a federal emissions bill and the White House preparing to negotiate a new U.N. agreement on climate change — the debate over policies to mitigate domestic greenhouse gas emissions has reached an entirely new level of importance, said Kamarck.   “Many legislators are pushing for a U.S. cap-and-trade system. Though I share their strong resolve to address the risks of climate change, evidence shows that the problems implementing carbon trading measures are so complex that they may not allow Americans to meet our ‘green’ goals, ” she added.

According to Kamarck, the bottom line is we need to put a price on carbon. Using lessons learned from our past efforts to legislate on climate change, my new paper demonstrates how a carbon tax-shift would accomplish that goal.

In addition to rebating its revenues back to the people in ways that shift the burden of taxation from employment to pollution, a carbon tax has the advantage of being simple, transparent and easy to administer, said Kamarck.

Click here to download the full report: “Addressing Climate Change: The Politics of the Policy Options.”

You might also want to check out: Addressing Climate Change Without Impairing the U.S. Economy. The new study authored by Dr. Robert Shapiro, former Under Secretary of Commerce for Economic Affairs, along with Drs. Nam Pham and Arun Malik, has analyzed the environmental and economic consequences of adopting a politically-acceptable approach to carbon-based taxes. By applying a new tax to the use of energy based on its carbon content and returning 90 percent of the revenues in tax relief for the people and businesses using the energy and paying the tax, the U.S. can reduce CO2 emissions to levels consistent with protecting the climate and offset the tax-related costs for most Americans. The remaining 10 percent of the revenues would be dedicated to accelerating climate-related research and development and support for the broad deployment of climate-friendly technologies. Click here to download the full report, Addressing Climate Change Without Impairing the U.S. Economy

© 2009, Tracey de Morsella. All rights reserved. Do not republish.

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Author: Tracey de Morsella (323 Articles)

Tracey de Morsella started her career working as an editor for US Technology Magazine. She used that experience to launch Delaware Valley Network, a publication for professionals in the Greater Philadelphia area. Years later, she used the contacts and resources she acquired to work in executive search specializing in technical and diversity recruitment. She has conducted recruitment training seminars for Wachovia Bank, the Department of Interior and the US Postal Service. During this time, she also created a diversity portal called The Multicultural Advantage and published the Diversity Recruitment Advertising Toolkit, a directory of recruiting resources for human resources professionals. Her career and recruitment articles have appeared in numerous publications and web portals including Woman Engineer Magazine, Monster.com, About.com Job Search Channel, Workplace Diversity Magazine, Society for Human Resource Management web site, NSBE Engineering Magazine, HR.com, and Human Resource Consultants Association Newsletter. Her work with technology professionals drew her to pursuing training and work in web development, which led to a stint at Merrill Lynch as an Intranet Manager. In March, she decided to combine her technical and career management expertise with her passion for the environment, and with her husband, launched The Green Economy Post, a blog providing green career information and covering the impact of the environment, sustainable building, cleantech and renewable energy on the US economy. Her sustainability articles have appeared on Industrial Maintenance & Plant Operation, Chem.Info,FastCompany and CleanTechies.