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Wednesday, October 09, 2013
OECD - We Need a "Big, Fat Price on Carbon"
The organization representing the industrialized, First World, isn't pulling any punches on climate change. OECD Secretary-General, Angel Gurria, maintains we need to decarbonize by mid-century.
“We need to achieve zero emissions from fossil-fuel sources by the second half of the century,” Gurria told reporters at a briefing in London.
“That doesn’t mean by 2050 exactly but it means by that time we need to be pretty much on the way to achieving it,” he said.
“This is worse than a debt because there is no bailout and if you have two or three good budget years a debt can be reduced, but emissions hang around for 100 years,” he said.
[Gurria] said there needed to be a “big, fat price on carbon” – either through carbon taxes or emissions-trading schemes which send out consistent and clear price signals.
Many countries already have national policies in place to lower emissions over the next decade or more. Governments are also working to get a global deal to cut emissions signed by 2015, to come into force by 2020.
However, a lot more progress needed to be made to cut emissions immediately, not after 2020, Gurria said.
A "big, fat price on carbon" would probably be the tipping point for expensive, high-carbon fossil fuels such as Athabasca bitumen. We are loathe to acknowledge it in Canada. Certainly none of our political leaders has the courage to say it. That doesn't change the fact that the future is terrible for unconventional, dirty fossil fuels.