Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Climate Change Policy: The New Australian Approach

Featured Speakers: Warwick McKibbin, Brookings Institution, Centre for Applied Macroeconomic Analysis, Australian National University; Peter Wilcoxen, Brookings Institution, Syracuse University.

Nobody wants global warming, but not everybody is in the position to implement climate change controls. Australia, for example, has not ratified the Kyoto Protocol, even though it is among the top consumers of fossil fuels in the world. According to McKibbin and Wilcoxen, two researchers who have developed a new model for carbon emissions trading in Australia, this is because Kyoto’s targets and timetables are simply too unrealistic for most countries to follow.

The McKibbin/Wilcoxen Blueprint (MWB) suggests the creation of a hybrid system of taxes and permits for carbon emitters. Distribution of these permits will be strictly a national decision, and tax revenues will go directly to companies/individuals that have complied with carbon emission regulations. While Kyoto emphasizes a top-down, centralized approach, the MWB stresses flexibility towards national circumstances and promotes minimum economic costs. In the end, these kinds of incentives will be most effective in convincing carbon emitters to stick to their targets in order to decrease the detrimental effects of global warming.

Sponsor: The Brookings Institution

Location: 1775 Massachusetts Avenue, NW

Date: June 21, 2007

Time: 1:00- 2:00pm

Approximate Number of Attendees: 45

Intern Attending: Alexandra Martins

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