Policy-makers must get past the “delusion” that a price on carbon will be enough to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, Cohen writes.
“We will make the transition to a fossil fuel-free economy because our survival depends on it, but we won’t do it through a tax or treaty that prices energy at its complete cost,” he says. “What we need is a combination of government-funded basic research, along with public-funded private incentives to stimulate rapid commercialization and widespread global diffusion of new renewable energy technologies. We need to lower the price of renewable energy directly and drive fossil fuels from the marketplace…It is true that the fossil fuel companies will fight this policy with all the force they can muster, but it will not be enough. They will lose.”