In the absence of the price signals I wrote about in End of Oil II, what do we do? And besides, there had been so many recent fiascos about carbon markets that this instrument risks losing its credibility entirely and make it even harder for carbon emissions to be priced.
Pricing carbon is not just about credits of course. Carbon taxes are forms of prices and if we want to be stigmatising carbon emissions, we can even call it a fine but then the difficult is that we all are emitting carbon so at the end of the day the price will still be sort of a “license to pollute”.
Perhaps better to suggest and highlight that the taxes, credit revenues are going to be reinvested into decarbonisation. In any case, we do need more investments, funds and support towards that. What better way to fund it than to use the proceeds from carbon pricing to achieve that?
And we really can’t wait for the private initiatives and the market to get that going. At the same time, governments cannot afford to try and design the perfect market for it all to work. Rather, if carbon credits is not going to take off, the whole slew of regulation will need to be rolled out including renewable portfolio standards, carbon taxes, renewable gas blending mandates, ban on internal combustion engines, etc.