Building political support for carbon pricing—Lessons from cap-and-trade policies

Friday, July 3rd, 2020

The idea of putting a price on carbon dioxide emissions to tackle climate change has been slowly gaining traction over the past two decades. It is an approach to reducing carbon emissions that uses market mechanisms to pass the cost of emitting on to emitters. In a perspective article, Purdue Professor Leigh Raymond, Political Science, offers insights on strategies for greater political support for carbon pricing, based on previous experiences with long-running “auction and invest” programs in the U.S. and abroad, including the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), California’s carbon pricing system, and the EU emissions trading system (ETS). He describes a set of principles for designing and communicating policies for greater public legitimacy and political durability that include reframing the issue in terms of public ownership of the atmospheric commons, and creating tangible, widely distributed and easily recognizable benefits for the public—benefits that are designed to be most salient for the particular groups affected by the new policy.

Raymond, L. (2019). Policy perspective: Building political support for carbon pricing—Lessons from cap-and-trade policies. Energy Policy, 134.

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