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I have a question for all of those who fuss and worry that some countries (specifically China, India and, possibly, the United States) will be unwilling to commit to specific carbon- reduction targets, because of fear that to do so would leave them at an economic disadvantage.

Why not simply slap a carbon tariff on all goods from any noncompliant nation so that the costs of the goods reflect the carbon dioxide they produce, making them less competitive with environmentally friendlier products?

If Japan and the European Union were to agree to this, you’d probably see the U.S., China and India fall into step pretty quick. If such measures precipitated a trade war, so be it. There are enough trade opportunities with like-minded Kyoto Protocol-ratifying states so that a temporary reduction in trade with a few belligerent holdouts would be manageable.

Where are leaders with the principle and backbone to try something like this?

andrew murphy