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Professors advocate global Swedish-style carbon tax

Published söndag 2 november 2014 kl 15.22
Southern and central areas of Sweden were hit by floods this year. Climate change would likely mean far more. Photo: Johan Nilsson / TT

As world leaders prepare to meet and discuss a new treaty against climate change, three Swedish professors argue the last major agreement has done more harm than good.

Meteorological professor Jonas Nycander, and economics professors Per Krusell and John Hassler say the 1990 Kyoto agreement gave ”false hope.” Professor Hassler is also the former chair of the state watchdog body, the Swedish Fiscal Policy Council.

They write in Dagens Nyheter’s op ed page that carbon emissions are continuing to damage the climate, and what is needed is a world agreement on a tax to restrict the flows.

“It will be hard, but is the only chance to reduce emissions,” write the three professors, all at Stockholm University. They call on Swedish and EU political leaders to push for this solution at the upcoming climate negotiations.

Sweden already has a carbon tax, and the professors argue this level of tax would simply need to be rolled out to the rest of the world.

They write that most emissions now come from countries who did not sign the Kyoto agreement, and that countries which did commit to reductions have side-stepped their responsibilities by moving polluting industries abroad.

The USA and Russia never signed the Kyoto Protocol.

The professors say the Kyoto agreement punishes energy saving and rewards waste, and it is unlikely a country like the USA would ever sign.

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