Former UN climate chief – No chance of a global carbon tax

Yvo de Boer, the former head of the UN’s climate change department and the man who led the UN’s efforts at Copenhagen, has said he doesn’t think a global carbon tax will ever be agreed.

Answering questions from Energy Source readers, de Boer said:

Personally, I don’t see a global carbon tax ever being agreed.

Although he added:

One could argue that putting a price on carbon through national trading schemes amounts to pretty much the same thing.

The argument about a taxing carbon has been at the centre of US debate on climate change since the Obama administration’s cap-and-trade plans failed, and de Boer’s words would appear to fuel the gloom that many green lobbyists have felt since then.

But de Boer said there were grounds for optimism:

The prospect of a comprehensive global treaty is not vanishing – on the contrary, countries have gathered in Cancun with renewed effort… In a way we are beginning to see regional approaches: Europe has an emissions trading scheme for example, and Norway has a partnership addressing deforestation.

The full text of the Q&A session is posted here.

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