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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: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
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Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
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Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
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Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
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Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
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TV: Rachel Rosen
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Radio: Chelsea Kiene
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This is part of a regular column: Idea of the Day

For more from the same column, click here