A bold new plan to tackle climate change ignores economic orthodoxy

AS DEALS GO, the New one was a big one. Franklin Roosevelt’s plan to yank America out of depression permanently altered the contours of the country’s economy and politics. Proponents of a “Green New Deal” harbour similar ambitions. Though still nebulous the proposal, championed most loudly by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a new congresswoman from New York, has been met with surprising enthusiasm in Washington. It is an outright rejection of the orthodox economic approach to climate change.

In economics, climate change is a big but straightforward example of a market failure, with a correspondingly straightforward solution. People take environmentally harmful decisions because the private benefits of doing so (using a car to get to work, say) outweigh the private costs (the price of the petrol to run the car). But emission-producing activities also impose social costs—deaths from pollution and collisions, the contribution...



via The Economist: Finance and economics Business Feeds

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