Action Needed To Combat Climate Change

Daily News-Record, August 19, 2021
Letters to the Editor: Andrew Payton

The release of the International Panel on Climate Change’s 2021 Sixth Assessment Report makes abundantly clear that bold action to address our climate crisis is desperately needed if we are to avoid increasingly strong heat waves, wildfires, and hurricanes, as well as crop failures, sea level rise, climate- induced migration, and economic damage. We as individuals and as a community have an obligation to act.

The single most powerful tool we have at our disposal is carbon pricing: this would be a fee applied to fossil fuels when entering the economy, which then provides economic incentive for low-carbon goods and behaviors like renewable energies, building weatherization, public transit, and local foods. Already about a quarter of the world has carbon pricing policies, including major economies like Canada, Japan and the European Union. A recently passed carbon border tax in the EU will increase the price of U.S. goods in Europe, meaning that if we don’t have a carbon price in place, it will become more and more difficult for our businesses to compete abroad.

There are many actions that we can take as individuals to lower our impact on the climate, but we are most effective when we put pressure on our governments to act. The U.S. government must take aggressive action to combat climate change, and carbon pricing is a simple and effective way to do this.

Andrew Payton