Proposing a Carbon Consumption Tax: Professor Prakash & Colleague on The Conversation

In an article they penned for the website The Conversation, UW Political Science Professor Aseem Prakash and his colleague Nives Dolsak from the UW School of Marine and Environmental Affairs address the question whether it is “possible to reduce carbon emissions without hurting economic growth and destroying jobs.”

Addressing the anti-regulatory stance of the current Congress and White House, Prakash and Dolsak detail the arguments of both the proponents of deregulation and the supporters of regulation. Particularly given the current political climate, a solution to the problem of carbon emissions, they argue, would be consumption-based policies, which “are designed to discourage the consumption of carbon-intensive products and services” as a way to “help us reduce our carbon footprint.” They note:

“A carbon consumption tax […] will discourage the use of carbon-intensive goods irrespective of whether they are manufactured at home or abroad. If it is made revenue-neutral, then the political opposition to this tax will be lower. Importantly, this tax can move us away from the unproductive debate that pits the economy against the environment.”

The article titled “Here’s a better way to regulate carbon – and change the tired environment-versus-economy debate” appeared on The Conversation website on January 30, 2017. The Conversation “is an independent source of news and views from the academic and research community” that launched in October 2014.