By George T. Frampton Jr.
Kudos to Siemens for adopting an ambitious plan to eliminate carbon from its global operations. But what can the United States do to improve the carbon-reduction performance of companies that do not follow Siemens’s lead?
The quickest and most efficient solution is to turn to the free market and enact a carbon fee.
To overcome Republican opposition in Congress, use half of the revenue generated to reduce our corporate tax rate (the highest in the industrialized world) to 25 percent. The balance could be returned to low- and middle-income families to offset their slightly higher energy costs.
More than 40 countries have adopted some form of carbon pricing. British Columbia’s revenue-neutral carbon fee has reduced fossil fuel emissions by 16 percent, while emissions in the rest of that country have risen 3 percent. Meantime, British Columbia’s growth outperforms Canada’s.
Our nonprofit has briefed more than 175 senators and representatives, or their aides, and found great interest in this kind of bipartisan solution. The climate-change challenge grows by the day, so we urge Congress to act promptly.
George T. Frampton Jr. is co-founder of the Partnership for Responsible Growth.
This letter to the editor originally appeared in the New York Times on October 1, 2015.