ECOSYSTEM MARKETPLACE: Which of the Green New Democrats want to price carbon?

Published 20:39 on January 25, 2019  /  Last updated at 19:07 on January 26, 2019  /  Americas, Carbon Taxes, Conversations, US, Views  /  No Comments

US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) proposal for a Green New Deal has support from dozens of legislators, but it’s hardly the only proposal in the works. The number of candidates vying to be president is growing, and while all advocate for climate action, few have said how they will deliver – let alone whether they favour a price on carbon. Here's Ecosystem Marketplace's first presidential candidate carbon pricing scorecard.

By now, we’ve all heard of freshman US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s (D-NY) proposal to form a Select Committee For A Green New Deal, which is designed to create legislation that will shift the US economy to 100 percent renewables within ten years of passage. It has the support of dozens of other legislators, but it’s hardly the only proposal in the works. Fellow freshman Rep. Sean Casten (D-IL) thinks such high ambition could prove counterproductive, and Senator Ed Markey, who co-sponsored the Waxman-Markey cap-and-trade Bill back in 2009, is reportedly working on his own proposal.

At the same time, the number of viable candidates throwing their hats into the presidential race is growing, and while all of them advocate action on climate change, few have explicitly said how they will deliver – let alone whether they advocate a price on carbon.

In this scorecard, we will be tracking the candidates’ positions on climate and adjusting them as the positions come into focus. We are also reaching out to the candidates directly with specific questions, and we invite feedback from you on the issues we’ve chosen to highlight.

We want to hear from you, so feel free to contact me at szwick@forest-trends.org or utilize our comments section below. We consider this a living document that will expand, contract, and hopefully sharpen over time. We may change the title as themes emerge, and we may expand beyond the Democratic Party, too. For this list, we focused on declared candidates who have already held public office, and added in Andrew Yang because he seems to drawing attention.

Elizabeth Warren

General: Warren has proposed, but not yet introduced, legislation called the Climate Risk Disclosure Act, which would require public companies to quantify and disclose their climate risk exposure. Her proposal builds on the work of Michael Bloomberg’s Task Force on Climate-Related Financial Disclosures, which is a global task force designed to promote climate risk disclosure.

Green New Deal: Supports

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: No public comments yet.

John Delaney

General: Delaney co-sponsored last year’s Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act (HR 7173), along with three other Democrats and three Republicans. The returning sponsors say they will re-introduce it in the new session. The bill, in its current form, calls for a $15-per-ton carbon tax, increasing $10 every year, until it reaches $100-per-ton, with much of the proceeds going to low- and middle-income families hit hardest by rising energy costs. The goal is a 40-percent reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions within 12 years of passage, and a 90-percent reduction by 2050.

Green New Deal: Supports

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: He supports a carbon tax, which makes sense given his sponsorship of HR 7173

Kirsten Gillibrand

General: Gillibrand has supported cap-and-trade  supported cap-and-trade since at least 2009 and has proposed but not yet introduced a  Keep it in the Ground Act, which would ban any new leases for gas or oil drilling on federal lands.

Green New Deal: Supports

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: She vociferously endorses a price on carbon, and is agnostic on whether it should be a tax or cap-and-trade.

Richard Ojeda

General: Ojeda is an Army vet and former West Virginia State Senator who acknowledges the reality of climate science but also says he wants to protect the coal sector.

Green New Deal: Not clear

Paris Agreement: Not clear

Price on Carbon: Not clear

Kamala Harris

General: Harris investigated Exxon Mobil for hiding climate risks from shareholders, and she’s earned a 100 percent score from the League of Conservation Voters.

Green New Deal: Supports

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: Not clear

Tulsi Gabbard

General: Gabbard introduced the OFF Fuels for a Better Future Act, which would immediately eliminate subsidies for fossil fuels and use the savings to subsidize a transition to 100 percent renewables by 2035.

Green New Deal: Supports

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: Has expressed support, but it’s not yet clear in what form Not clear

Julian Castro

General: As Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, he oversaw programs designed to improve climate resilience, and as Mayor of San Antonio he encouraged companies to voluntarily embrace sustainable practices.

Green New Deal: Not clear

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: Not clear

Pete Buttigieg

General: Buttigieg has vociferously criticized the Trump administration’s recalcitrance on climate issues, but he just joined the race, and his policies are not yet clear.

Green New Deal: No public comments yet

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: No public comments

Andrew Yang

General: A tech entrepreneur, Yang puts a strong emphasis and developing new technologies,  and advocates the creation of a Global Geoengineering Institute and invite international participation

Green New Deal: No public comments yet

Paris Agreement: Supports

Price on Carbon: He advocates a “tax on emissions that will fund health care initiatives and research for respiratory diseases that are a direct result of these emissions.” The wording indicates a tax on both greenhouse-gas emissions and other pollutants, given the emphasis on respiratory illnesses.

This post appeared first on Ecosystem Marketplace.

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