We environmental economists have long advocated carbon taxes as the fastest and most efficient way to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from cars and power plants and prevent catastrophic global warming later this century. But carbon taxes can be politically problematic. Witness recent events in France where efforts by the government to increase fuel taxes triggered weeks of … [Read more...] about Can We Reduce Emissions While We Wait for a Carbon Tax?
Latin Americans enthusiastically backed Pope Francis when in June 2015 he published Laudato Si, his encyclical warning that global warming was "one of the principal challenges facing humanity." Governments in the region at the time were preparing to play a leading role in the United Nations climate summit later that year in Paris. Ordinary citizens meanwhile were becoming … [Read more...] about Can Latin American Citizens Change Climate Policy?
The word out of Bonn, where the latest United Nations Climate summit came to an end Nov. 18, is hardly encouraging. Assuming that countries honor their commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions made to date, the globe's temperature will still rise at least 3 degrees Celsius (5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) this century, 1 degree Celsius above the agreement established at the Paris … [Read more...] about Stepping Up the Struggle Against Climate Change
For a region that is very vulnerable to climate change, Latin America remains highly dependent on fossil fuels. Around 40% of the region's energy generation still comes from oil, natural gas, and coal. Moreover, supporting fossil fuels is costly to governments. According to a paper by the International Monetary Fund, the average country in the region spends around 1% of its GDP … [Read more...] about Fighting the Fossil Fuel Addiction
The epic droughts that have devastated Latin America over the last five years, drying up river beds and crippling electricity generation, stand as a clear warning. Latin America and the Caribbean may be one of the world's most important regions for hydroelectric power, with nearly half of generation capacity currently supplied by dams. But ever increasing dry spells engendered … [Read more...] about When Solar Power Cuts Costs and Emissions