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| Earth on Apr 26, 2009

Lorents Lorentsen: ‘Who will pay for climate action?’

“The important and very difficult issue to deal with is who is going to take action, where is this action going to take place, and who is going to pay for it,” said OECD Lorents Lorentsen. Hear more from Lorentsen …

Lorents Lorentsen: All countries will have to join up and work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Lorents Lorentsen is an economist with the OECD, which is 30 countries, including the U.S., whose stated goal is to promote economic stability and democracy among both rich and poor nations. Lorentsen spoke about climate change.

Lorents Lorentsen: The important and very difficult issue to deal with is who is going to take action, where is this action going to take place, and who is going to pay for it.

Lorentsen looks to the U.S. for leadership on climate issues.

Lorents Lorentsen: There’s no doubt that the US could do more to reduce its own greenhouse gases by increasing the prices of fossil fuels, either by using taxes or trading systems, as is used in many states already.

Money from a tax on carbon – or a cap and trade system – he said, could be used to invest in renewable energy technologies – not only for the U.S., but also for India and China.

Lorents Lorentsen: The point here is that many of the cheapest options to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are in China and India. But you couldn’t expect them to do that unless it is paid by the richer countries, at least in part.

Lorentsen said he believes fuel subsidies should be lowered or eliminated.

Lorents Lorentsen: If you, for instance, look at the efficiency of cars in the US, they’re using on average double as much gasoline as the European cars. And the reason for that, simply, is that the prices of gasoline in the US is very much lower than in Europe.

Lorentsen spoke at the March 2009 America’s Climate Choices summit in Washington DC.

Our thanks to:
Lorents Lorentsen
Director
Environment Directorate
Organisation for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD)
Paris, France