Can We Price Carbon?
376 pp., 6 x 9 in, 9 graphs
- Published: April 6, 2018
- Published: March 30, 2018
- Published: April 13, 2018
A political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing from North American, European, and Asian case studies.
Climate change, economists generally agree, is best addressed by putting a price on the carbon content of fossil fuels—by taxing carbon, by cap-and-trade systems, or other methods. But what about the politics of carbon pricing? Do political realities render carbon pricing impracticable? In this book, Barry Rabe offers the first major political science analysis of the feasibility and sustainability of carbon pricing, drawing upon a series of real-world attempts to price carbon over the last two decades in North America, Europe, and Asia.
Rabe asks whether these policies have proven politically viable and, if adopted, whether they survive political shifts and managerial challenges over time. The entire policy life cycle is examined, from adoption through advanced implementation, on a range of pricing policies including not only carbon taxes and cap-and-trade but also such alternative methods as taxing fossil fuel extraction. These case studies, Rabe argues, show that despite the considerable political difficulties, carbon pricing can be both feasible and durable.
Barry Rabe provides the most balanced look to date into the complex realities of carbon pricing. The benefits of pricing carbon are evident, but the pre-conditions for doing so are still under construction. Rabe provides an essential starting point for serious thinking about how to make progress on climate policy. This book is a triumph; the project continues on.
Dallas Burtraw, Darius Gaskins Senior Fellow, Resources for the Future
This is an extremely well-written, impressive, balanced, and up-to-date examination of the competing values underlying carbon pricing debates with profound implications for environmental policy around the world.
Rosemary O'Leary, Director and Distinguished Professor, School of Public Affairs, University of Kansas; coeditor of Environmental Policy Reconsidered: Challenge, Choices, Opportunities
Fitting of the diverse and complex histories of carbon pricing, Rabe offers no silver bullet. However, his careful scholarship and thoughtful analysis yield many important and nuanced insights.
Nature Climate Change