Answering questions from Energy Source readers, de Boer said:
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.