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Idea of the Day: How Carbon Markets Can Help Address Climate Change

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Scientists now believe that absent a major change of course, the planet will warm 4 degrees Celsius by 2100. Climate change on that scale would trigger severe economic, environmental, and social disruptions. The global community would become more fractured and unequal than today, and human suffering on an unprecedented scale could ensue, according to the World Bank.

Nations are negotiating in the United Nations a new global climate agreement, but that treaty may not enter into force until 2020. While such an agreement is essential, the international community must ramp up climate action now—not at the end of the decade. Stimulating much stronger climate action would require creating real political will—a sense of purpose that simply does not exist today. Although not a panacea, this report examines the contributions global carbon markets—defined here as the buying and selling of climate-change securities earned by reducing greenhouse-gas emissions in developing nations—could make to increasing the world’s ambition in addressing climate change.

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Print: Katie Peters (economy, education, poverty, Half in Ten Education Fund)
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Print: Anne Shoup (foreign policy and national security, energy, LGBT issues, health care, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7146 or ashoup@americanprogress.org

Print: Crystal Patterson (immigration)
202.478.6350 or cpatterson@americanprogress.org

Print: Madeline Meth (women's issues, Legal Progress, higher education)
202.741.6277 or mmeth@americanprogress.org

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Tanya Arditi
202.741.6258 or tarditi@americanprogress.org

TV: Lindsay Hamilton
202.483.2675 or lhamilton@americanprogress.org

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or ckiene@americanprogress.org

 

This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

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