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What exactly is a carbon price, and how does it work? What would it look like and how would it change everyday life? In this episode of TILclimate (Today I Learned: Climate), MIT economics professor Christopher Knittel joins host Laur Hesse Fisher to break down the complexities of carbon pricing. Together, they explain different types of programs, give us a sense of how much it would cost, and explore how countries and U.S. states are experimenting with carbon pricing now.
Christopher Knittel is a professor of applied economics at MIT’s Sloan School of Management, director of the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), and co-director of the MIT Electric Power Systems Low Carbon Energy Center. Prof. Knittel’s research focuses on energy and environmental economics, and he works to compare the efficiency and costs of different programs and policies that aim to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
For more climate explainers, check out: www.tilclimate.mit.edu.
For more information on carbon pricing, check out:
The work of Prof. Knittel:
Overviews of carbon pricing:
- About Carbon Pricing (UNFCCC)
- Map - Carbon pricing programs around the world (World Bank)
- Map - U.S. state carbon pricing policies (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
Examples of carbon pricing policies outside of the U.S.:
- British Columbia’s Carbon Tax (British Columbia)
- Canada’s Carbon Pricing Plan (Government of Canada)
- European Union’s Emissions Trading System (EU)
- China will start the world’s largest carbon trading market (Scientific American)
Examples of carbon pricing policies in the U.S.:
- California’s Current Cap and Trade System (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
- The existing Northeast US Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
- Federal carbon pricing proposals introduced 2017–2018 (Center for Climate and Energy Solutions)
- Citizens of Washington state voted against a carbon tax in 2018 (NBC)
About the US sulfur dioxide (SO2) cap and trade program
- Acid Rain Program (EPA)
An overview of climate change:
- Climate Science and Climate Risk: A Primer (Kerry Emanuel)
- Laur Hesse Fisher, Host and Producer
- David Lishansky, Editor and Producer
- Cecelia Bolon, Student Production Assistant
- Ruby Wincele, Student Researcher
- Music by Blue Dot Sessions
- Artwork by Aaron Krol
Special thanks to Tom Kiley and MIT Open Learning.
Produced by the MIT Environmental Solutions Initiative at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.