Efforts to confront climate change are coming from unlikely sources.
U.S. Rep. Chris Gibson and 10 Republican colleagues introduced House Resolution 424 to “create and support economically viable, and broadly supported private and public solutions to study and address the causes and effects of measured changes to our global and regional climates, including mitigation efforts and efforts to balance human activities that have been found to have an impact.” Though non-binding, it represents a breakthrough among Republicans and offers hope that Congress can break the partisan impasse.
The resolution came one week before the U.S. visit of Pope Francis, who spoke about global warming to a joint session of Congress on Sept. 24. All of these efforts come just months before the COP21 meeting in Paris in December, where more than 190 nations hope to negotiate and sign onto a legally binding global agreement to reduce heat-trapping emissions.
A market-based solution such as a fee on carbon with revenue returned to households would appear to align with the Gibson resolution, which states that any solution “should not constrain the United States economy, especially in regard to global competitiveness.” A carbon fee and dividend would grow our economy and create millions of jobs, because of the economic stimulus of recycling the carbon fee revenue back into the economy. The policy could employ border tariffs on imports from nations that do not similarly price carbon, thereby maintaining a level playing field for American businesses.
Scott C. Armstrong