Robin Hahnel, Portland State University, published “Left Clouds Over Climate Change Policy” on October 7th, 2011 the OnlineFirst section of the Review of Radical Political Economics. To view other OnlineFirst articles, please click here.
Will there be an international climate treaty to follow Kyoto when it expires in 2012, and if so what will it look like? Many climate justice and anti-capitalist spokespersons denounce the Kyoto Protocol as a “pretend solution” and reject international carbon trading altogether. This article argues that, on the contrary, an international cap-and-trade treaty is the only way to avert climate change fairly before it is too late, and that the Kyoto Protocol is a framework that progressives should defend and fix rather than condemn and nix. After explaining why many climate justice and anti-capitalist criticisms of carbon trading are without merit and fail to appreciate how international carbon trading can favor lesser developed countries (LDCs), five changes to make a post-Kyoto cap-and-trade treaty more effective and fair are proposed, and common arguments against carbon trading are rebutted.
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